What is scratch? I don’t hear this word as much as I once did when I was closer to Calvertville than Kingdom Come. I am not sure as it has multiple meanings and applications.
I was reminded of the word as BW and dined at Cracker Barrel, one of our favorite restaurants, recently. The Barrel, as we refer to it, was voted America’s favorite casual, family restaurant recently. As we walked in we were greeted by a sign on a small chalkboard that featured the daily special that included buttermilk biscuits made from scratch.
Now I am a smarty pants at times, according to BW, so I could not resist asking the lady who seated us, “What is scratch?” A look came on her face as if she had just been caught robbing a jewelry store in the mall and she replied, “What do you mean? Do you mean I scratch an itch or what?” “No. Your sign says buttermilk biscuits made from scratch and I just wonder what is scratch.” “Well,” she said, “I think it may mean they are made in our kitchen.” I concluded that she was right; scratch means made with ingredients in the kitchen at the Barrel.
Let’s explore the term. Made from scratch is a common term. Some define the term as assembled or made from whatever is available, and so unlikely to be of highest quality. Not so in food and many other instances, at least I hope that is true.
We scratch our heads in thinking, chickens scratch the ground for food, we scratch an itch, people scratch out a living, we start from scratch, scratch off a lottery ticket, say scratch that when something isn’t working and scratch the car. Often my western cowboy heroes got a scratch in a gun fight with Lefty Slaughter or Sam Sidewinder.
Both of our sons-in-law like to cook. They are quite good at it. Recently we were visiting our granddaughters and their parents in the knobs and Todd made an richly delicious dish that he calls “cabinet soup.” He claims it is made from whatever you can find in the cabinet. I don’t know if that is 100% accurate but if it was that soup should be included in Campbell’s stable of soups. It was better than anything they make and it was made from scratch.
BW is a seamstress extraordinaire. She has been so since we first met. She sewed for herself and our two girls all the time. She could take a remnant of material purchased for 50 cents and make a little girls dress. She would frequently go into a dress shop and look and look and look and come out with nothing. I often said to her, “I know what you were thinking, you could buy the material and make that dress for pennies on the dollar. Weren’t you.” “Yes. I just could not justify the expense. Made from scratch.
Larry Vandeventer – I am a Calvertville Native. Reach me at 317-839-7656 or at Goosecrick@aol.com. Read about me, my books, and my columns on my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and Rambler1956.com. I am a graduate of Worthington High School and Indiana State University.