It's strawberry season. This week's slim grocery list included pectin (for making jam) and clear gel (for making pie). I went to the giant supermarket whose big backside I can see and hear from my bedroom window. I hunted for pectin and clear gel in all the logical spots (baking needs, gelatin and pudding, jam and jelly, canned fruit). When I asked a store employee for help finding them, he looked at me out of his one good eye as if I'd asked for directions to the moon. He snagged another employee who was just walking by and turned me over to her. She pointed me to a previously unnoticed touch-screen locater. Clear gel was not listed. The little star on the map for "pectin" directed me to aisles 12 and 13 (Or was it 11 and 12? It was impossible to tell.) I checked all three aisles. They contained cleaning supplies, toilet tissue, and pet food.
I hope that at the slightly smaller grocery chain, where I usually shop, someone can tell me whether or not such scratch-cooking ingredients are stocked. If I'm lucky, they might even tell me where to look.