I love YouTube. Not only is it the home of cat videos (!!!!), lately it has enabled me to watch full educational films that used to play in schools in the 1950s and 60s. While there have been a lot of really good ones, Iowa State University’s Home Economics Story from 1951 has to be my favorite.
This was the era when it was assumed that every woman would get married and leave the workforce, yet the video still emphasized how the home ec degree would provide a young woman with a way to earn a living until that blessed event occurred, and how learning about nutrition and fashion would benefit her future family.
When I was in school, there were cooking and sewing classes, but I never took them them. I don’t know that I know anyone who did. I am so grateful that I opted for typing class … on a manual typewriter … but I digress. I learned the basics of both cooking and sewing from Ma, and I have built up my skills over the years.
I’m facing a weird dichotomy right now. I was greatly affected by The Feminine Mystique, which I listened to in my car over the course of five weeks more than a year ago.
I’m still thinking about it. The issues she discussed seemed both foreign and completely contemporary. It made me want a career for the first time in my life. Yet at the same time, I am incredibly drawn to the skills of old. If given my choice of leisure activities, canning would win out 99% of the time if I had the room to store all the yumminess I created. There definitely will be future canning posts … and maybe even a video!
This year for the holidays my list includes a cool new apron and an old-fashioned apple corer/peeler. I feel a bit like I’m in a time warp.
I would love to teach people these skills I’m learning … okay, maybe after I’m better at it. Then again, while my friends love eating my creations, I’m not having anyone knock on my door and want to know how to do it themselves. You know what? That is okay. I like that this is my thing. It speaks to both my frugal and creative sides. What more could I ask for?
Are home ec classes still taught in schools? What book do you still find yourself thinking about ages after reading it? or What is your thing?