Starting From Scratch: What You Should Know about Food and Cooking is a food manifesto that helps young readers relate to what they eat, inspiring both budding chefs and budding food lovers in the process. Beginning with an exploration of taste and how it works, author and food activist Sarah Elton explains how ingredients have been on the move for centuries, resulting in the unique fusion of flavors we love today. She breaks down the science of food and cooking into bite-sized and easily digestible pieces of information that cover the chemistry of heat versus cold, fat versus acid, and salt versus sweet. Both practical and philosophical in its approach, Starting from Scratch demystifies food and cooking by boiling it down to the basics. Young chefs learn to make sense of recipes, measure and substitute ingredients, and stock a pantry, and discover that food is more than just a prepackaged meal. Using simple and universal examples, Starting from Scratch inspires children to eat better, try new flavors, and understand what’s on their plate. Even reluctant chefs will gain an improved sense of where food comes from and be able to join in on a conversation that continues from snack time to dinnertime.
After reading through the book, and sharing it with Walker (who has become my helper in the kitchen), we decided to try the Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce recipe, and adapt it to our taste. Fun, easy and yes, it tasted great! Even at 3 or 4 years old, children can be in the kitchen learning from us.
Quick and Simple Pasta Sauce (As adapted from page 90)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes (used unsalted with basil)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
- Pinch sugar, to taste
- Fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat a large saucepan over medium, add oil, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes (with any liquid) to the pan. Add Italian seasoning, vinegar, capers and pinch of salt. Break up tomatoes with a potato masher. Cook over medium-low, on a low simmer, for 20 or so minutes, stirring often. Season to taste with sugar (to cut the bite of the acid in tomatoes), salt and pepper, to taste.
Dresses 16 ounces of cooked spaghetti.
FTC Disclosure: We received a review copy.