_Where Do You Buy Scratch

Serves: 5



As a general practice, by accident or design, I use very few mixes and pre-packaged items. Maybe that is partly because of the way I was brought up. But I also actually enjoy making things the old-fashioned way with basic ingredients. For some reason, I think it tastes better. However, if my students want to use mixes for ease and convenience while learning to cook in Dutch ovens, or time is a factor, I encourage the use of items already prepared. There's no need to make things more complicated than necessary.

Along those lines, I recently ran across the following story that depicts this dilemna of a beginning cook.

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.

With mother's delicious cakes in mind, my first trip to the supermarket was to buy some scratch. I found the aisles that read "baking items". I spent a good fifteen minutes looking at everything from vegetable oil, sugar, flour, and chocolate without ever seeing a sign of scratch. I was sure it wouldn't be with pickles or meat. I asked a clerk if they carried scratch. He looked at me kind of funny and finally said, "You'll have to go to 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. I asked the clerk, "Do you have scratch?" 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 my 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 Garden Cookbook" given to us as a wedding gift, 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 that he liked to cook and would gladly take over any time.

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 and cakes and even lemon pudding from scratch….. Well, if he made all those things from scratch, I was sure he had 20 pounds also. But I couldn't find where he stored it. 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 would bake a cake." He got out the flour, sugar, eggs, milk and shortening, but not a sign of scratch. I watched him blend it all 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 chickens?"

- Author Unknown

Spiced with More Tall Tales - Desserts

This _Where Do You Buy Scratch recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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_Where Do You Buy Scratch

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