My mother never let me help much in the kitchen. As a result, my cooking
ability was practically non-existent when I got married. But I did remember
mother mentioning to her friends that she made cakes, pies and other
things from scratch. So my first priority after the honeymoon, was to locate
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, so I asked the clerk if they carried scratch. He
looked at me funny and said, “You’ll have to go to the store on the
When I got there, it turned out to be a feed store. I thought it rather
strange, but I decided after all that cakes were food. “Do you have scratch?” I asked the
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
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 - a
wedding gift. I looked and looked for a recipe using scratch. There I was
with 20 pounds 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 new husband. He had suggested very early in our marriage
that 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 that he made it from
scratch. That assured me that 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 of scratch 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 into 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
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