April Book Club: A memoir of food, family, and forgiveness

Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness
By Sasha Martin

“…an amazing family tale that reminds me of The Glass Castle, but with more food. And not just any food: We're talking cinnamon raisin pizza." —A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

We’ve got another delectable memoir ahead. Sasha Martin is an award-winning food blogger who decided to cook her way around the world: she created meals inspired by every country in the world over the course of 195 weeks, almost four years.

She chronicles her unexpected, tragic, and ultimately uplifting journey in Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness. The thing is, her memoir is not just about food. Food, for humans, is never just about food though, is it? It turns out that cooking meals from countries around the world kicks up a lot of old family and food memories: and many of these are difficult. Martin’s mother, an extremely eccentric young mother of four kids, was unable to offer much security. She hands the kids off to their father first, and eventually social services intervenes. Martin eventually ends up with her mother’s friend, now a foster parent, who traipses her and her brothers around the world.

But all along, food is a glue: from her mother’s tiny kitchen to the kitchens—and foods—around the world, Martin’s childhood is peppered with the curative, healing tonics of shared meals and transformation. Martin may have set out to cook meals from 195 countries, but like a fine meal that starts with simple ingredients, she created something far more sophisticated and beautiful than her starting materials. As The Washington Post says, “Sasha Martin intended to publish what’s called a stunt memoir....Thankfully, her memoir, Life From Scratch, is not that book. It has more in common with The Glass Castle…though it does include recipes.”

Publishers Weekly agrees that this is more than a simple food memoir: "Food had long provided the few happy moments in Martin’s life...These moments may not be enough to satiate the appetite of foodie readers who are looking for lush bite-by-bite writing, but there is plenty here to engross memoir lovers."

Please join us to discuss Sasha Martin’s Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness (National Geographic, 2016) on Sunday, May 1 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Moscow Food Co-op. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Life From Scratch is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at www.moscowfood.coop.