*Sniff* *Sniff* Do you smell that? We WONDER what it could be. It smells so good! Our tummies are starting to rumble. Is it time for lunch yet?

Have you ever walked into the house to find a WONDERful smell wafting out of the kitchen? You know what we’re talking about: home cooking! While going out to a restaurant can be fun for sure, a nice homemade meal is also a fantastic treat to be enjoyed by the whole family.

There are all sorts of homemade favorites. How about homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast? Or chicken noodle soup made from Grandma’s old recipe? And who could forget that homemade macaroni and cheese made from scratch? It beats anything out of a box by a mile!

But have you ever stopped to think about what homemade means? And what does it mean to make something “from scratch”? Let’s find out today in Wonderopolis!

Have you ever made something “from scratch”? Sometimes we scratch our heads when we’re WONDERing what to cook for dinner. Then we make something. But that’s probably not where the saying came from!

Scratch” has actually been used since the 1700s as a sporting term. For example, long, long ago players of various sports, such as cricket, would mark boundaries or starting points by scratching markings onto the ground.

Also, in boxing, lines used to be scratched onto the ground to determine where boxers would start at the beginning of a fight. Thus, they would “start from scratch.” Over the years, the term moved beyond the sports world into general conversation to refer generically to any type of starting point.

In cooking, for example, making something “from scratch” means starting at the beginning by using nothing but fresh ingredients rather than prepackaged products. Although “from scratch” is often used interchangeably with “homemade,” the two aren’t necessarily the same.

Homemade,” for example, often has a much broader meaning. Plus, not all people use “homemade” in the same way. Confused yet? Let’s look at a few examples to make things clearer.

Let’s take cake, for example. Do you like cake? Who doesn’t right? If you think about it, there are all sorts of ways to get cake. The easiest way for kids to get cake is to have a birthday or to be friends with lots of people who have birthdays!

If you’re an adult, though, you’re probably responsible for obtaining or making the cake, not just eating it. When it comes to cake procurement, there are several options. The easiest, but also the most costly, way to get a cake is to buy one at the grocery store or a bakery.

If you don’t want a store-bought cake, though, you could go the homemade route. For some people, a homemade cake is any cake that’s made at home instead of purchased at a store. Chefs will quibble with such a definition, though.

Bakers will argue that a true homemade cake is made “from scratch,” by using flour, eggs, sugar and other flavorings according to a recipe. These people believe that cakes made from a prepackaged box mix that only requires you to add water or a few other ingredients doesn’t qualify as homemade.

So what do you think? Is a box-mix cake homemade? It can certainly be said that it’s indeed made at home. But it’s far from made “from scratch.” Does it really matter, though? What do you think? What does “homemade” mean to you?

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Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will have you wagging for joy!