10 Things You Should Have Learned in Home Economics
Self-sufficiency can be simple, cheap—and rewarding.
By Leah Zerbe
Self-sufficiency is making a comeback. All around the country, people are banishing the use of dehydrated potato flakes, prefabricated pancake mixes, fast-food drive-through windows, and trips to the dry cleaner's because they yearn to make things from scratch again, just as our ancestors did. But unless you grew up with an ambitious Home Ec teacher or tugging at the apron strings of your great-grandmother, you might not know where to start. After all, baking a loaf of bread or fermenting a batch of real sauerkraut must be hard, right? Otherwise, why would food manufacturers insist on doing these traditional tasks for us?
"Knowing how to deal with the physical objects in our lives—which is what home ec is really about—makes us independent and creative," explains Rosanna Nafziger Henderson, coauthor of The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home. "The ready-made world is so eager to prey on our insecurities and undermine our confidence in doing things for ourselves."
"When we never get to try our hand at those basic skills, we wind up believing we're saving ourselves a lot of time when we buy processed food or elaborate single-purpose appliances," she adds. "We lose that sense of accomplishment, and half the time we waste our money on junk food or gadgets that save no significant time anyway."
Here are 10 things everyone should know how to make or work with: www.rodale.com/self-sufficiency?cm_mmc=The
“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” John Burroughs
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