Where Do You Buy “Scratch”?
My mother never let me help much in the kitchen. As a result, my cooking ability was practically nonexistent when I got married. But I did remember Mother mentioning to her friends that she’s made cakes, pies, and other things from scratch. So my first priority after the honeymoon was to locate some scratch. With mother’s delicious cakes in mind, my first trip to the supermarket was to buy some scratch.
I found the aisle that read “baking items”. I spent a good 15 minutes looking at everything from vegetable oil, sugar, flour and chocolate, without seeing a sign of scratch. I was sure it wouldn’t be with the pickles or the meat. I asked the clerk if they carried scratch. He looked at me funny and finally said, “You’ll have to go the store on the corner.”
When I got there, it turned out to be a feed store. I thought it rather strange, but I decided cakes were feed. “Do you have scratch?” I asked the clerk. He asked me how much I wanted. I suggested a pound or two. His reply was, “How many chickens do you have? It only comes in 20-pound bags.” I really didn’t understand why he mentioned chickens, but I had heard mother say she made chicken casserole from scratch so I bought 20 pounds and hurried home.
My next problem was to find a recipe calling for scratch. I went through every single page of my lovely Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, given as a wedding present, looking for a recipe calling for scratch. There I was with 20 pounds of scratch and no recipe.
When I opened the scratch I had doubts that a beautiful fluffy cake would ever result from such a hard-looking ingredient. I hoped with the addition of liquids and heat, the result would be successful. I had no need to mention my problem to my husband as he suggested very early in our marriage he liked to cook and would gladly take over anytime. One day he made a pie and when I told him how good it was, he said he made it from scratch. That assured me it could be done.
Being a new bride is scary and when I found out he made pies, cakes and even lemon pudding from scratch . . . well, if he made all those things from scratch I was sure he had bought a 20-pound bag also. But I couldn’t find where he stored it and I checked my supply . . . it was still full.
At this point I was ready to give up because all the people knew about scratch except me.
I decided to try a different approach. One day when my husband was not doing anything, I said “Honey, I wish you’d bake a cake.” He got out the flour, sugar, eggs, milk and shortening, but not a sign of scratch. I watched him blend it together, pour it into a pan and slide it in the oven to bake. An hour later as we were eating the cake, I looked at him and smiled and said, “Honey, why don’t we raise a few chickens?”