AtoZ Letter H~Home Economics...Heloise Who?

The Home Economics classroom was on the second floor of our high school building and had a half dozen big windows that opened in case we had to flap our aprons over burnt cookies to keep from calling the fire department. The kitchen was well equipped with several double ovens, ranges and at least one refrigerator.  Counter space, sinks and cabinets were more than adequate for a class of 10 to 15 girls.

Some of the girls had high hopes of becoming the next Betty Crocker or June Cleaver.  I was not one of them.  I knew all I needed to know about cooking, baking and Crisco.  Standing over a hot stove frying chicken and stirring gravy was not my idea of fun.  I did that at home.

Sewing was fun.  Sewing was creative and you had something to show for your efforts besides a sink full of dirty dishes. 

Even though I wasn't all that interested in cooking and food preparation, I was very interested in Kitchen Design and any and everything that had to do with Setting the Table.

And so began a lifetime of collecting Dishes, Glassware, Tablecloths, Napkins, Crystal, Pottery and you name it in the realm of Vintage to Retro Table Settings. 

Looking through my Home Economics Notebooks and Scrapbooks, I realized there were a good many other lessons learned besides making lopped sided cakes and sewing aprons.   Here is an example of 1964 Sex Education without actually using the 'S' word and without getting too personal....
Sue Pittman
H.E. II January 8, 1964
Chapter 14  Dating and Marriage
1.  What are the advantages of 'Going Steady'?
       You can always depend on having a date for social functions.
2.  What are the disadvantages of 'Going Steady'?
       You never get all your work done because you have to entertain your steady in the evenings.
 What do you think...was I into 'Going Steady'?
In spite of not being Betty Sue Crocker, but instead...having an aptitude for Setting a Table fit for the School Board,  plus having time to Sew Frilly Aprons for all the Betty Crocker Wannabe's due to not having to entertain a 'Steady'....I was Who's Who in Home Economics for 1964. 
Eat your heart out Heloise!

Jane...ETCETERA~Thoughts from my perfectly wrecked brain 


Wendy said...

I bet you could teach Home Economics! Do they even have such a course anymore? I took Home Ec in 7th grade and all I remember is sewing a vest. I'm sure we cooked -- just don't remember anything but that vest.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I never did Home Ec, just practical cookery, which was fun :). Learned how to make the best chocolate cheesecake ever ::g::.
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Sue McPeak said...

I wish I'd had cheesecake cookery! Chocolate cheesecake...awesome.

Joanne said...

I've told you before - I'd do your math homework if you'd sew the project for me. I hated Home-Ec. I wanted shop class but they didn't offer that to girls back in the day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - we had sewing classes and eventually cooking ones - but by then .. I was done - my mother was a good cook and I wasn't interested in the basics, and not being able to wear wool and most fabrics .. I could do some sewing - basic this time .. and was probably reasonably good at it .. but cannot for the life of me faff around with things ... Cheesecake I learnt after I left school!! Cheers Hilary

Sue McPeak said...

I thought about it...being a Home Ec major, but changed my mind when I saw how many cute guys there were in the Phys Ed registration line. Besides I had more Phys Ed metals. They don't have Home Economics in school anymore...they call it a myriad of other things like...Fashion Design or Home and Family Life where you learn to cope with the after effects of 'entertaining your steady' when you should have been baking and sewing aprons.

Sue McPeak said...

Do you think the HomeEc teacher would know? I know my Math teacher would have been very suspicious of a paper he didn't get to mark up with Big Red X's. I wanted to take Shop Class, too, but my electives were always take up with HomeEc....I do love shop tools and gadgets!

Sue McPeak said...

You sound very well rounded in all things cooking and sewing! I can't wear wool either...so itchy! I still need to learn cheesecake...it's just easier to get it already made...expensive though.

bookworm said...

I remember Home Ec (and hated it). Couldn't cook. Couldn't sew. Couldn't knit I FAILED KNITING! I had no sex ed in my school, either. Your example was sweet, in a way - but hilarious. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

Sue McPeak said...

It's okay...I FAILED CROCHET...a ONE needle skill...never got the chance to FAIL KNITTING...one too many needles, said HE teacher. LOL!!! It was really not my fault that my arm chair doily turned out to be a tea glass kozy. That stupid string and teeny tiny hook! 'S'ed was not my thing either....a 'steady' was too much trouble and a waste of time....I'd rather shoot baskets and beat boys at HORSE!

bookworm said...

Thank you for your future shout out. Can't believe someone would teach crochet with the cotton thread and those tiny metal hooks. I've crocheted for some 45 years (partially self taught) and I would never teach anyone crochet using a doily project. I officially remove your failing grade! Also, I tried 3 more times through the years to learn knitting. It was just never meant to be.

Sue McPeak said...

Thank-you for the crochet passing grade. It haunted me for years until the Crochet Hippies came up with YARN, the 'J' Hook and Granny Square Poncho/Shawls. I've been a Yarn Crocheter ever since...even have a collection of #10 Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread in every color and a bag full of teeny tiny hooks. Still don't make doilies, tho. I did learn to knit and enjoy it as long as I don't have to make TWO of anything....I suffer terribly from SSS (Second Sock Syndrome).

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Oh, well, I cook almost every day, whether I like it or not. And some days I do, some days I don't. I felt let down by my Jr. High home-ec class. What they taught, I'd already learned from Mama. I did sew in my teens and early 20's. I didn't find it fun or relaxing, but I did like being able to make something no one else had. Then I got married and life got hectic and I mostly quit sewing.
Love your collage!!
Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
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with the A to Z Challenge

Sue McPeak said...

Most girls of our era do learn cooking and sewing from our mothers which often made HomeEc at school kind of redundant. With that in mind, the HE teacher had to be pretty creative in finding new and fun ways to present what we already knew. In my business, I see women daily who took HomeEc back in the day, and now wish they had learned to sew....INTEREST...a biggie!!!


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