I’m sure I’ve been forthright about this before, as much as it makes me feel a little bad to say out loud. (Figuratively speaking.) But there always moments in time when these things come up, and there is some purpose in being truthful in the matter. Right?
Well, this is one of those times.
So the truth is, <whisper> my mother was just not very domestic in the kitchen. Nor was her mother. <end of whisper> Which says something not good. Doesn’t it?
I’ll answer that. Yes it does.
It says that the chances of me being one, was slim to none.
Unless of course, I broke the cycle, and took responsibility for myself. Made different choices. And God-willing, began a new cycle for my children, and grandchildren, to carry on.
(I’m not really that smart. I read something like that in a book once.)
I have to say, I did know plenty about cleaning, weeding gardens, and working hard coming into this holy-Sacrament-of-marriage-thing. I worked for a little old lady from the time I was 11 years old until I was14, every Saturday. Her name was Mrs. Flahive, (pronounced with long vowels.) I cleaned her house top to bottom, kept up her gardens, weeded her stone patio, changed the sheets on the beds, did laundry, etc. I even polished her silver with some grayish-brown, horrid-smelling stuff. I learned a lot from her. Although I didn’t really appreciate the value in the tasks, at the time. I never even thought about how they would serve me well someday, in my own home-keeping years.
Some things, she was very particular about how it was done….such as the fine techniques of folding sheets, or making a bed. It’s funny that I insist on these same techniques in my own home now. lol She was a nice old lady, made me a fine lunch which we enjoyed together, and later had an afternoon tea as well. And then she paid me too! She paid me well, I might add. For a kid. Of course, I was also risking my life twice a day, every Saturday, as this 80 year old woman who peered through the hole of her steering wheel, picked me and and brought me home. I’ll never forget that time we were heading for the side of the bridge…..
But admittedly, I was slow coming around as a new bride-to-be, in the cooking and baking area. I think becoming a mother sort of kicked me into domestic-gear. Somewhat. Until then, my husband and I did o.k., together. He did have more of a domestic mother, all the way around. From what I could tell, anyway. So he had watched, learned, and praise God, was not helpless himself when we married.
Yes, all of this story-telling has everything to do with homeschooling.
In particular today: Homeschooling in the Kitchen
I don’t know if they even have Home Economics in school anymore. Do they? But I heard they did, back when I was in school. Problem is, I went to a private Catholic high school, where the guidance counselor, was also the Geometry teacher sometimes, and the principal was sometimes the Religion teacher. (That was a bad run.). The gym teacher helped in areas he should have never been helping, with the senior girls, if you know what I mean. (But I won’t go there today.) In other words, we were just a small school, without any extras. We didn’t even have a football team. Or a field of any sporty-kind.
My mom was a wonderful mother in many ways, so don’t get me wrong. But seeing as though I was not learning much in the kitchen at home, it would have been nice to learn about some of the cooking and baking stuff, especially, somewhere. In retrospect, I mean. (Because I am quite sure I could have cared less at the time.) And so seeing as though my kids are not in school, and won’t be going to high school either, where they may or may not have gotten Home Ec classes, I feel it is up to me to be sure they get some!! Otherwise, they could end up as a floundering bride or groom some day. And if they marry the same, there is going to be a big problem. Like. . . . a travesty. Know what I’m saying?
So I need to be sure, my kids get a domestic bone from me, some way, some how, some day. Hopefully before they are married, or are out on their own. Even if they are single, I don’t want them resorting to fast foods and whatnot!
And so it was that mindset that I was in, when I got my kids (happily) helping out in the kitchen, since they were about ohhhh….so tall. (Use your imagination. It’s pretty short.)
But it was in having them help, that I realized just how much schooling can happen in the kitchen! And the more we do it, the more I see the lessons happening.
It’s a whole lot more than Home Economics!
First, there is READING…..the directions. I have them do it out loud. It’s such an opportunity for new kitchen-related VOCABULARY words, SPELLING words, and PROPER PRONUNCIATION.
On this particular day in the kitchen, we were making an ordinary box of cinnamon streusel cake, and making the apple version.
Then, comes FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS, of what was just read, very carefully.
MATH is a biggie! (age depending.) There is counting, adding and subtracting, and measuring. (Especially when halving or doubling a recipe.) Reading numbers, and temperatures!
SCIENCE is everywhere, in the operating kitchen. How does one ingredient react, when another is added to it? Why must we temper some ingredients first, before adding to the big batch. (There’s another new word! So what does it mean, and how do we do it?)
What happens with various temperatures set in the oven, and what is the difference between baking, and broiling?
Enjoying our time spent together counts for something too! For some, it truly is a learned behavior!
(Not for my kids, of course. I’m just sayin’ ; )
How about the ins and outs of KITCHEN SAFETY? We are using sharp knives, reaching into hot ovens….
…..and operating heavy machinery!
(After you read this post, you may want to find out how this sweet piece of machinery hummed it’s way into our lives, and MiXeD everything up, HERE. ; )
Uhh, by the way…….Where’s the fire extinguisher, just in case? And how do you use that?
We don’t want to learn that Science, in an emergency. You want to know how to use that thing if you need to! And if all else fails,< insert the family fire drill skills here>, and we’ll meet at the telephone pole across the street!
Back to the lessons at hand…
Learning how to WORK AS A TEAM, and also ……..
…….admitting when you need help, and allowing others to help you.
All of these lessons I mentioned, are just the topping of the cake.
I am sure you could think of plenty more, in addition to mine.
Think on it.
OH OH OH!! I just thought of another one!! The one I think we all like to forget!:
The RESPONSIBILITY of cleaning up the mess!
But most times, we can do so, while we enjoy the mouth-watering smell we’ve created in the air.
Ahhhhhh……smells…..SO…….good!!! We can hardly wait to cut into it, indeed!
Of course the best lesson of all:, our mouths and our bellies, REAP THE REWARDS OF our HARD WORK.
All kids, home schooled or not, can benefit from the lessons to be learned in the kitchen.
What lessons have I missed mentioning? Help me out here.
I’ll be hoping you can you add to my list, because I know there is a lot more. And you’re smart cookies.
While I wait, if you’ll excuse me, I need to head down to the laundry room, transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer, sort some piles, and start a new wash load.
And you can bet I’ll be taking a kiddo down with me. And believe it or not, they’ll be excited to come and help! (And secretly learn.)
Hopefully, I’m cutting my chances here of them coming home on weekends from college, accompanied by several loads of laundry. If they do, we’ll be repeating those lessons, that weekend. ; )