Cake Please!

This morning on the drive into work a local radio station started talking about Home Ec and Shop Classes and how things have changed so much. It got me thinking about my own classes when I was in middle school 20 years ago.

We were required to take Home Ec, Shop, Art and music/band for at least one year, possibly two. The classes were rotated so that we had one each quarter. Home Ec covered sewing and cooking while we we worked with metal, wood and drafting for shop class.

In shop class we had to make a bubblegum machine and we got to work with all of the machines except the lathe. I can still remember trying to cut out the rounded pieces. I guess I did a decent job, I don’t remember any sharp edges on mine. I also remember having to make a toolbox, I’m happy to say I managed to not fail that project as well. The drafting, well that was a bit more difficult. There’s a reason I’m not an artist, I don’t do spatial relationships very well.

In Home Ec we got to sew pillows! I feel like there was actually something else that we sewed, but dang if I can remember. Nope, I remember we got to pick out a square pillow kit. The fabric was like a linen with a printed picture on one piece. We leared how to properly make the corners with darts. And when we finished that pillow we started on a more difficult one. My second pillow was an ice cream cone with chocolate and strawberry icecream. I also ended up making a light bulb. It’s funny I remember making them, but I have no idea what happened to them after bringing them home.

We also had to cook in Home Ec and despite all the number of days we spent in the cooking portion, I only remember two dishes. The first is home made Sloppy Joes. To this day I still follow that recipe (with a few modifications now) and will not buy canned Sloppy Joe mix. My parents don’t buy the canned stuff either. The second thing I remember making is a Pannekoeken, or a Dutch pancake. These are baked in the oven and have to be served right away while they’re still puffed up. But they are so good, especially with cut fruit on them.

Growing up in Minnesota there was a restaurant chain called Pannekoeken. Whenever a pannekoeken was ordered and ready to serve, the waitress/waiter would literally run from the kitchen while calling out “Pannekoeken” in a sing song voice. They had to call it out so that everyone else knew one was coming at a high speed and to make sure to stay out of the way. Sadly this is a recipe from Home Ec that I no longer have, but one of these days I will have to play around with some that I find online.

One last memory from Home Ec. I think we did spaghetti, but I’m not sure; maybe it was lasagne. We actually made a meal and each team invited another teacher in and served it to that teacher.

Well, that’s my trip down memory lane for tonight. Thanks for joining me 🙂


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