Our Cook the Books Club selection for April/May is Life from Scratch, a Memoir of Food, Family and Forgiveness, by Sasha Martin. All in all, heart rending, and poignant, but not my favorite memoir.
Just extemporizing here, as it's all another's history, but right at the outset, one would have thought that a woman with "Mom's" independence of mind, and spirited personality would have tucked her kids into their car, with all essentials and split for the West Coast or somewhere in between, rather than give up her precious children once again. Especially since she regretted turning over her first two to an ex. It's not explicitly stated, but perhaps she would have lost her welfare? It happens all the time, for one reason or another, children are put into foster homes. That whole scenario bothered me. Particularly as we see the awful effects it had on the children of both her relationships, based on Martin's memories. Definitely where forgiveness came into play.
All that aside, and two thirds of the book in, we come to a point of, "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead," I loved the whole concept of her Global Table Adventures, cooking right through the countries of the world, alphabetically. I would like to give that a try myself, maybe take the remainder of my life, certainly no rush if you're not planning a book from it.
There was a lot of food to inspire us Cook the Bookers, right from the beginning with her mother's inventive and heirloom recipes, through time at their foster parents' in Paris, even though Sasha was not allowed into the kitchen there, to the international cuisine explored on her blog, Global Table Adventures.
Right at the beginning of the book, Sasha talks about the crepes her mother made. "One of our favorite childhood treats" - A favorite of mine as well. I love crepes rolled around fruit and or jam with a bit of sour cream inside, for breakfast; then for dinner the rest of the crepes become manicotti with savory fillings. These were filled with a bit of lemon marmalade, kefir cream cheese and fresh mangoes. A dusting of powdered sugar on top is optional. The remaining crepes a few days later, became wrappers for a grated zucchini, mushrooms and cheese filling, topped with tomato sauce. You get two for one, a delicious breakfast and scrumptious dinner.
This will be linked up with Cook the Books, for the Round-up on this selection, for which you still have time to join in, as posts are due by May 31st, for Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event, and with the May Foodies Read Challenge. Be sure to stop by and check out some good book reviews, and food inspiration.