Advance Praise for LIFE FROM SCRATCH:
“Martin, a food writer and blogger, spent 195 weeks cooking meals from every country of the world. But the most memorable moments in this spirited narrative take place in the many weeks before those 195.”—Publishers Weekly
“Poignant, heartwarming and generously filled with delicious recipes.”—Kirkus
“Martin peppers this memoir with recipes reflective of her life’s circumstances of the moment, from stuffed artichokes to apple pie. Her assured prose endows this narrative of an atypical upbringing with both immediacy and poignancy.”—Booklist
“This beautifully written book is both poignant and uplifting. Not to mention delicious. It’s 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”
“Sasha Martin writes from her heart about the ambitious global culinary adventure she began in her home kitchen in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and how this effort healed her relationship with her mother, shattered after years of separation. Her popular blog has already encouraged readers to try something new on their plates—and so will this book.”—Julie Metz, author of “Perfection”
“‘Life from Scratch’ is an unconventional love story. This beautiful book begins with the quest of cooking a meal from every country—a noble feat of its own!—but then turns it into something far beyond a kitchen adventure. Be prepared to be changed as you experience Sasha’s journey for yourself.”—Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Happiness of Pursuit”
WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2015)—Over the course of 195 weeks, food blogger and new mother Sasha Martin cooked a meal from every country in the world, sharing her family’s experiences on her Global Table Adventure blog. The ambitious experiment won Martin a dedicated audience — but it belied a troubled personal history. In the prologue of her new book, LIFE FROM SCRATCH: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness (National Geographic Books; ISBN: 978-1-4262-1374-8; ebook ISBN: 978-1-4262-1375-5; March 3, 2015; $25; hardcover), Martin explains, “Most people who have had a rough background will admit there’s something unsettling about finding happiness after difficulty.” Her memoir unselfconsciously shares her remarkable life story and how Martin found peace with her own happiness at the stove in her Tulsa, Oklahoma, kitchen.
LIFE FROM SCRATCH begins in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood in the makeshift kitchen of Martin’s eccentric, creative and passionate mother. Using food stamps and meager savings from her work as a seamstress, Martin’s mother encourages Sasha and her older brother, Michael, to join in cooking adventures that elevate their lives. When 5-year-old Sasha wants to make Julia Child’s roast lamb, they save for months for the ingredients and cook up a meal so delicious that Martin can still vividly recall the flavors. Other times when the family doesn’t have the time or means for a special meal, Martin’s mother cheerfully says, “No need to go without,” and tells her daughter to draw the feasts of her imagination.
But the family’s unconventional lifestyle leads to encounters with social services, landing Martin and her brother in a series of foster homes. Ultimately, their mother makes the heart-wrenching decision that her children, aged 10 and 12, will be better off living permanently with old family friends. Cut off from her mother, moved far from the home she knows and shooed from the kitchen, Martin struggles to gain her footing — and becomes unmoored in the face of the heartbreaking loss of her brother. Over time, cooking becomes Martin’s outlet, passion and salvation as she navigates her way into adulthood. And as Martin embarks on her quest to encounter the world’s culinary traditions, cooking allows her come to terms with her past and with her own surprising happy ending. Heartfelt and honest, LIFE FROM SCRATCH is a story of self-acceptance and discovery that shows the power of food to bond, to empower and to heal, and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within. The book features 29 original recipes from international traditions and Martin’s own family heritage.
About Sasha Martin
SASHA MARTIN is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was an M.F.K. Fisher scholar at the Culinary Institute of America. Her work has been featured on NPR and CNNGo as well as in Whole Living, Bon Appetit, The Smithsonian and The Huffington Post. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.
National Geographic Books
National Geographic Books creates and distributes print and digital works that inspire, entertain, teach and give readers access to a world of discovery — and possibility. Each year National Geographic publishes more than 150 new books for adults, families and children on a wide range of nonfiction subjects, from animals to travel, cartography to history, fun facts to moving stories. National Geographic books are available in 38 languages and more than 60 countries and in countless bookstores, mass-market outlets, schools, libraries and specialty retailers throughout the world.