Saturday, November 14, 2009

Made from Scratch

Sandra Lee's memoir, Made from Scratch, was much more interesting than I thought it would be. She had a very rough childhood. The way she comes off on her TV show, she seems like someone who has also had an easy life. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but she doesn't seem likes she's ever had real problems. That is definately not the case. Up until the time she was about six she was basically raised by her grandmother, who taught her the skills that she would eventually use to survive and then to make millions. Her mother and stepfather took her and her sister back when she was six. Things were never great, but they didn't get horrible until her stepfather left and her mother sank into a depression, and Sandra was left to run the household and take care of four siblings even though she was only 10. She cooked, shopped, cleaned, did laundry, and was a mother to her siblings. Her mother belittled her and insulted her. She eventually went to live with her father, where she encountered a new set of problems and eventually found herself on her own at 17. She took her ability to make crafts to local craft shows, and started raking in money. She developed a product line and ended up making millions by the time she was 25.
The story really teaches the power of hard work, and that if you put your mind to something you can succeed. I think it also spotlighted why there are a lot of famous people who had bad childhoods. They have more desire to succeed, more motivation, no risk in trying because they have nothing to lose. She also didn't have well meaning relatives trying to help by telling her she couldn't make it, parents advising her to take the safe and secure route.
It's not the most well written book in the world, but the story was interesting enough to make up for that. Learning about her background in crafts and home decorating also explains her tablescapes on her TV show. I think they're cute, but I've also thought they were a little odd. I understand now that that is where her passion started, in creating simple, inexpensive ways to decorate, so this is her way of still sharing that info even though she's doing a food show.
This book also served as reading a biography/autobiography for the Four-Month Reading Challenge and as a book from 2007 for the Countdown Challenge.

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