I’m sharing 15 valuable skills I learned in Home Economics way back in the day. It’s my understanding some cities or states have stopped the Home Economics classes now. This is very sad to me because even though my mother taught me a lot at home, I had great teaches when I took those classes. I learned a lot, and I mean a lot from them. Was it because I was a teen and the teacher taught me a few things my mother didn’t think to teach me? That’s a good question, I just remember looking forward to those classes.
Here’s the deal, I can still picture that over-sized kitchen that was stocked with aprons for we girls to wear while we got to make a different recipe every week. In between, we learned many more things than just cooking. Please let me know the things you learned in your Home Economics classes, I really want to hear about them.
15 Home Economics Skills
1. How To Measure Ingredients
Do you remember learning how to measure flour for instance? We were taught to use a knife to scrape across the top of the measuring cup to level the flour, right? I never liked doing that so I stopped. I scoop my flour, what do you do? I make bread and I’m not going to scrape 14 cups of flour, just giving you the heads up. I have to giggle about the leveling, it’s who I am. Keep using a knife if it works for you, my friends.
2. How To Sift Flour or Powdered Sugar
Yes, I have a sifter, but I rarely use it. I bought it just in case I need to sift flour, but in ten years I have never sifted flour. But, I’m glad I learned how to sift the flour in my high school cooking class. Another very good reason to have a sifter or a very fine strainer, I can use it to “sprinkle” some powdered sugar very lightly over a fancy dessert.
3. Rolled Cookies
One of the most fun classes in Home Ec was when we made rolled out sugar cookies and we frosted them so many different ways using cake decorating tips. We piped the edges and so much more. We learned to roll the frosting bag down, etc. I had a very patient teacher who loved all the girls in the class.
4. Drop Cookies
One thing that was really nice, I was able to help the teacher show the students how to use two teaspoons to make drop cookies. I can only remember making chocolate chip cookies dropped on to parchment paper on top of the cookie sheet. Looking back I bet a lot of the girls never made any cookies at home. My mom taught me how to cook, bake and the usual kitchen tricks.
5. Biscuit Making
Did you grow up making biscuits? Several of the girls in my class had never made biscuits. My family made biscuits all the time, we ate them with cream chipped beef and creamed tuna and peas. Yummy! If you are nervous to make bread, please start practicing by making biscuits once a week or every two weeks. I can guarantee you we will need to make biscuits when things go south.
I can still see the sewing machines all lined up in the class. Wow, I knew how to sew, but I still learned a lot from my teacher. The students learned every technique, some were easy and some were very hard. We learned how to thread a needle, thread a sewing machine, use good scissors when we cut out the patterns on fabric, etc. She showed us different fabrics and even how to iron different ones. You only burn a piece of fabric once, right? She even showed us how to clean and oil the sewing machines.
I remember a class or two on how to budget. Most of us had jobs and it came in handy. We learned to play with pretend cash, a cash register, and starting a savings account. It was great training on how to start with this much money and then beginning to subtract expenses. Great experience.
I was lucky enough to have learned manners at home, but some of my class mates not so much. We were taught to say, “please, thank you, and excuse me.” Some of these things we may take for granted until we see a child who has no manners.
9. Table Setting Etiquette
Do you remember taking a test on where to put the different sized forks, spoons, and which way to turn the knife blade in the table setting? Or where to put the glass, at the tip of the knife? We learned how to fold napkins. I swear this is why I love a beautiful table when serving guests. It was critical that we learn where to put the bread plate, the bread knife and to never touch that dessert fork until dessert was served. Life was good in those classes.
This is the best Infographic I could find, and I love purple. This gives you an idea of where to put forks, knives, spoons, and goblets. Please keep in mind I’m not this fancy, but I do like my silverware where it’s supposed to be placed. And I can’t eat a meal without a napkin on my lap.
10. How To Use A Pancake Turner
This may sound really funny, but it takes practice on how to flip a pancake, a grilled cheese sandwich, or make over-easy eggs. We learned how to do all of this. She was one patient teacher.
The school had a washer and dryer and we were taught how to wash the aprons, dish towels, and wash rags. I’m sure there were a lot of girls that didn’t know how to even start a washing machine before they took that class.
12. Cleaning Tips
We were instructed how to clean the kitchen countertops, stovetops, and refrigerator. We had to wash the items we used and then let them dry in dish drains. No dishwashers back then.
13. Personal Hygiene
One critical item my teacher taught was to always wash our hands before starting to prep any meal. It’s the little things that make it so important to stay healthy in every area of the house. Wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash your hands again.
14. Cutting Board Safety
I can still remember being told to use one wood cutting board for meat, one for vegetables, one for fruits, and one for bread. We learned about the different bacterias and cleaning the boards with hot soapy water, and oiling them when dry. Little did I know that it would last me a lifetime in the kitchen. I’m a clean freak, and yes, I own it.
I remember learning to make a white sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, and deviled eggs. Having great memories in Home Economics helped make me the cook I am today. My mom must be given credit as well.
I really wish the states that dropped the Home Economics classes will eventually bring them back to the classrooms. It’s a real shame that some of our youth may not learn these skills we all need to survive. Yes, survive. When we have a grid down, and we will, there will be no laundromats up and running, and the fast food drive-throughs will become extinct. My wish is that everyone can teach each other to do at least half of the skills I have listed today. Please keep prepping, we must be diligent. May God bless this world, Linda.