Educating kids about food, from source to plate

Meet Collin Morstein of Scratch Made Meal Delivery Service

SMGnocchi-hp

by Wendy Jeffries, Executive Director, TasteWise Kids

I’m very excited to share about the amazing business our friend Collin Morstein is currently running – Scratch Made. He provides home cooked (made by him and his small team!) delicious meals right to your door. He buys local ingredients directly from area farms and then creates creative, scrumptious dishes. My family loves being able to try new dishes. One of our favorites recently was Gado Gado, which apparently is an Indonesian salad I’d never heard of. We love getting a new menu each week that includes both meat and vegetarian options to choose from and that he does it at a price point that is realistic for everyday life. And since our life is always “organized chaos,” I love that it is not a subscription model so we can only use it on weeks we want it.

Learn more about Collin and Scratch Made below and then get ready to hang up your apron next week and order as we are teaming up with them to on a cool promotion: From Tuesday, June 11th through Saturday, June 15th, ScratchMade will donate 10% of their sales to TasteWise Kids that we can use to ensure more kids get to participate in our hands-on food education  programs.

*Orders placed within that time frame will be delivered to your door on Monday, June 17th.

First, meet Collin and Scratch Made:

1) Tell us about your business. How/when did you start it? what is your goal?

At Scratch Made we deliver fully-prepared meals to families in Baltimore City and parts of the county. Every week we write a menu of dishes from around the globe (with a selection of both meat and vegetarian options), with a heavy emphasis on ingredients from a few small Maryland farms. Our customers place orders using our website and we deliver their selections every Monday. Each portion is packed in a compostable container along with easy reheating instructions. I like to think of us as a surrogate homecooks, available whenever you need it.

We started in February 2018 when a close friend asked us to cook for her and her family of five. She wanted to feed her family wholesome food but, due to her and her husband’s demanding work schedule, was unable to do it herself. We agreed to step-in and wanted to do the same for more families. She’s still with us almost a year and a half later.

Our goal is to make good food, prepared with cared-after ingredients. And for that food to be accessible to families during the work week. We buy meat and produce from the same farms as the best restaurants in Baltimore and D.C and offer an alternative to eating out. It’s precisely the service we’d want to use ourselves.

2) what do your customers say about why they like/use Scratch Made?

We love when people tell us Scratch Made relieved them of some “meal pressure” during the week. They like the convenience of having a ready-made meal in fridge and the assurance of knowing it was prepared by someone they (hopefully) trust.

3) What is one lesson you have learned since you started?

There’s BIG a difference between cooking ‘a la minute’ (cooking to order) and cooking food to be stored for several days. Initially, we used packaging made of plant fiber that, after 2-3 days in the fridge, would absorb much of a dish’s moisture. Not a good thing to happen to pastas, rice dishes or polenta. We’ve since switched to 100% PLA containers and have more or less solved that problem. We also try to be mindful about only offering dishes that reheat well, which of course is a constraint but necessary for what we’re attempting to accomplish.

4) What does healthy eating mean to you?

Preparing foods in their natural state is a great place to start. And if you have the luxury of going to the source (i.e. the farm where the food was grown) all the better. Also, if choosing ‘processed foods’ opt for fermented over doctored in a factory. DISCLAIMER: I do NOT have a degree in nutrition and I like American cheese.

5) How are you involved with TasteWise Kids?

A few years ago I was on the planning committee for the Farm to Chef fundraiser. That’s where I met Wendy and she’s now a regular Scratch Made customer. In the future, I hope to do what I can to support their mission of getting kids invested in the food they eat: it comes from, how to cook it, etc. TasteWise Kids is doing great work and I feel it absolutely necessary for a healthier, happier generation of youngsters (I’m almost 30, so I feel like I can say that).

6) What about TasteWise Kids (or our work) makes you want to do a special promotion with us?

TasteWise Kids is reaching an audience often left out of the conversation. In my mind, educating kids about food is of serious import and yet, we’re not doing all that we can do. I’m so thankful that TWK is carrying the mantle on that front.

7) What is your favorite vegetable?

Cabbage. Because it is THE best vegetable.

8) What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

If you consider baking “cooking” the answer is sourdough bread, resoundingly so. If not, I really enjoying making stocks of all kinds. I take a peculiar joy in skimming.

9) What is a favorite food related memory from your childhood?

My dad used to cook (actually cook) my siblings and I breakfast before school every morning. And that’s what his parents did for he and his siblings too. Those two sentences sum up what it is I like about cooking.

10) What are 2 or 3 things that are always in your refrigerator?

Eggs and sauerkraut.