12 things I learned in home-ec.

I think it won’t come as a great shock when I say that I had home-ec in high school. It wasn’t a particularly popular subject, except when we did practicals when all the boys would line up at the door to share in the spoils. But what most people don’t know, is that home-ec is one of the most useful subjects in school and actually does something to prepare you for real life. Here are my top 12 reasons:

1} Basic nutrition, food groups, portions and composition of food. Why fast-food is bad and veggies are good. I also know what Kwashiorkor looks like: the image is etched in my mind forever. This is not necessarily useful except that it is something I want to definitely avoid getting.

2} What vitamins and minerals are in which foods. In fact, we went through this so much that I remember about carotenoids, riboflavin, cyanocobalamin and ascorbic acid. Especially useful when you want to treat scurvy and other irritating ailments.

3} How to add cold eggs to hot sauces without the protein in the eggs shriveling up and ruining everything.

4} Food safety: why you shouldn’t cut raw chicken and cooked chicken using the same utensils for instance. You know, basics.

5} To plan mealtimes so that the kitchen is tidy and the table is set at the same time as when the food is done – which should be a balanced meal with varied textures and colours. *You should also ensure that your hair is done, make-up has been touched up, the kids are fed and bathed and you’re dressed for dinner. Your husband does not want to walk in on an untidy wife. {Read important footnote on this!}

6} It’s polite to write and promptly post a beautiful thank-you card to your host{ess} after you went to a dinner party. Or since it’s 2014, send an email or at least an sms – it’s the right thing to do!

7} Wipe the plate after you’ve dished food. It’s something small but presentation counts for a lot.

8} Women should not have more than 3 babies in 4 years since their bodies can’t properly recuperate. This is valid advice – having 3 kids under 4 years old is not for the faint-hearted!

9} Maslow’s pyramid. If you don’t know what that is, you obviously didn’t have home-ec. Click here.

10} How to make a proper Béchamel and Béarnaise. How to caramelize, poach, sauté, sweat (vegetables!), broil, grill, bake, flambé and blanch. And souffles. I think we spent a whole term on souffles. Even if you don’t particularly like cooking, it’s necessary to impress someone every once in a while.

11} Budgeting: you can only buy the new black trousers or the grey knitted sweater, not both. So what are your options? Make the trousers or knit the sweater, of course! Or save if you can’t sew or knit.

12} Ergonomics: place your laundry basket on a chair while you hang the washing out. That way your back won’t get sore.

So why are these things useful? Because it’s everyday stuff. I also remember a lot about biology, art history and a couple of things from my math-textbook. But I don’t use them every day unless I have to know if the triangle between the kitchen and the playroom is obtuse or acute of course!

* Note on the getting ready for your husband thing: I went to high school in the 90’s and my textbook was printed in the late 60’s if I remember correctly. While a lot of the content was timeless {like scurvy}, some things were a bit outdated. Like bringing your husband his slippers. We skipped over that.

Comments · 1

  1. I have a Home-Ec degree, but some of those words you used sounded properly foreign to me… or my it is just the onset of early memory loss 🙂
    But I agree, the basic platform it generates is priceless!

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