Now days food cooked at home is often from ingredients already mixed together and prepackaged. Rolls are bought at the grocery store and simply warmed up. Such food does not taste or smell like the food cooked from scratch at home. Some homes never have anything but “whap biscuits.” You ask, “What in the world are “whap biscuits?” They are canned biscuits, still in the form of dough in a cylinder shape container; to open it you whap the container on the corner of the edge of the kitchen cabinet and then cook them.
Most packaged pizzas you buy in a grocery store leaves out something to be desired in a good pizza. For one thing they have a very thin topping. When cooked they are often nothing much more than hard tasteless crusty bread with a little bit of yucky stuff on top of them. This is true of many prepackaged foods that you warm up. It often taste more like leftovers than the delicious food we remember our mother mixed from scratch and cooked when we were growing up.
IN OUR fast moving world today many eat at cafes and fast food restaurants more than people did in the past. Those employed may not have time to eat at home. They either have to brown-bag-it or eat out at a restaurant. Those who do may from time to time dream of having a good meal like their mother cooked while they were still at home. I can assure you that my wife cooks better hamburgers than those at any fast food restaurant. For one thing the hamburgers she cooks are good and juicy, not with cold dried out hamburger buns.
All indications are that the term “from scratch” first had reference to the starting of foot races. The starting point of the race was a visible line scratched on the ground for that purpose. This goes back to at least the 18th century. It began to be used in relationship to other sports. Starting “from scratch” came to mean from nothing. Thus, to cook from scratch is to begin without any ingredients already mixed-up.
Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)