Anthony Bourdain thinks we are required to take Home EC.

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
Some of you know that he is extremely outspoken, and is totally anti-Food Network. He loves to pick on Racheal Ray. Who else doesn't forget that he condemned Sandra Lee?- "Pure evil. This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time. She Must Be Stopped. Her death-dealing can-opening ways will cut a swath of destruction through the world if not contained. I would likely be arrested if I suggested on television that any children watching should promptly go to a wooded area with a gun and harm themselves. What’s the difference between that and Sandra suggesting we fill our mouths with Ritz Crackers, jam a can of Cheez Wiz in after and press hard? None that I can see." *smirks*

Anyway, I've heard recent controversial remarks regarding Anthony Bourdain's book, "Medium Raw", and it lead me to look up blogs what they said about his book. I've been considering buying his book.

Anthony Bourdain would have made a great home economics teacher.

Sure, he’s foul-mouthed and probably not a big fan of kids in that awkward middle school stage, but Bourdain makes a passionate case in his new book, “Medium Raw,” which comes out next month, that both men and women should be required to learn how to cook

Bourdain isn’t the spitting image of a feminist — the crusty, salt-and-pepper haired TV star often makes politically incorrect comments and sex/food innuendos both before and after having too many drinks on camera at whatever exotic locale he’s exploring in his show, “No Reservations” — but the former chef-turned-author argues in his new book that women in the 1960s had every right to resist the shackles of domestic obligation, which was often introduced to them in home ec:

"Back in the dark ages, young women and girls were automatically segregated off to home-economics classes, where they were indoctrinated with the belief that cooking was one of the essential skill sets for responsible citizenry — or, more to the point, useful housewifery. When they began asking the obvious question — “Why me and not him?” — it signaled the beginning of the end of any institutionalized teaching of cooking skills. Women rejected the idea that they should be designated simply by virtue of their gender, to perform what would be called, in a professional situation, service jobs, and rightly refused to submit."

“Home ec” became the most glaring illustration of everything wrong with the gender politics of the time. Quickly identified as an instrument of subjugation, it became an instant anachronism. Knowing how to cook, or visibly enjoying it, became an embarrassment for an enlightened young woman, a reminder of prior servitude.

Males were hardly leaping to pick up the slack, as cooking had been so wrong-headedly portrayed as “for girls” — or, equally as bad, “for queers.”

Bourdain says it was at this time that we missed a golden opportunity to, instead of just removing home economics classes all together, that we should have forced everyone learn to cook.

Now that cooking is cool, a revolutionary change that he knows he and his Food Network and rockstar-chef brethren played a part in creating, we should spin it so that not knowing how to cook becomes universally uncool. “Maybe it’s the kid in the future who can’t roast a chicken who should be considered the ‘spaz’,” he writes.

I grew up in rural Missouri, where despite the fact that gender equality is just about the last issue on anybody’s mind, students in my middle school who wanted to take shop or home economics were required to take both. I really wanted to play with saws and wood, so I signed up for shop and, out of obligation, took the home ec component. So, just few months after mastering drafting and jig saws, my classmates and I (about half girls and half boys) baked snickerdoodles and sewed aprons.

Home economics and shop were electives, and we certainly didn’t learn to roast chickens, but it’s pretty cool that you couldn’t take one without the other.

However, I suspect that with budget cuts, the school, like most across the country, has eliminated one or both of the classes entirely by now.

Few people reading this blog would disagree with Tony’s pitch that young people of both genders should learn cooking basics, but the bigger, more complex question is who should teach them? Are cooking and nutrition something schools should be required to teach? If we’re going to say that cooking is essential to being a well-rounded adult, aren’t car maintenance, personal finance and fitness also good things to know? Schools can’t even afford to keep band programs going, much less required lifestyle classes, but the athletic programs always seem to be the last ones to feel the pinch.

As a high school athlete during the volleyball and softball seasons, I spent no fewer than 15 hours a week practicing crafts that I no longer use.

How ironic: That’s about the same number of hours a week I spend in the kitchen now.

Bourdain says “there is no reason in the world” we can’t teach all these youngsters knife basics and beef bourguignon, but I think his head must be cloudy from the drinks, jet lag and royalty checks.

But at least we know he’s cleared the gender hurdle like an all-star track athlete
source: Anthony Bourdain, the feminist: Require everyone to take home ec | The Feminist Kitchen

I've taken an elective class, home ec when I was a senior. There were guys in my home ec, and they thought it was fun to cook with and to woo chicks. lol

Should we be required to take home ec in public high schools?
 

Beach girl

Active Member
I WISH both genders would be required to take both home ec (including a component on household finance and budgeting) and shop. With all the other demands on teenagers' time, it probably won't happen any time soon, but life skills like that indeed are important.
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
I agree with you, Beach girl.

A few days ago, I was at Super Target to buy yellow squashes. Cashier was scanning my items, and she looked at my yellow squashes, and took her vegetable book out to check the prices. She asked me if they were yellow squashes. I replied, "Yes, they are." She has admitted me that she doesn't know much about vegetables. :shock: They are just yellow squashes..
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
They are fresh. I think she finds it easier if she scans frozen bags without asking what kind of veggie this is.
 

Beowulf

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
They are fresh. I think she finds it easier if she scans frozen bags without asking what kind of veggie this is.
In a garden early in the season, can you tell by the baby plants what kind of veggies are growing? A lot of people can't. lol
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
In a garden early in the season, can you tell by the baby plants what kind of veggies are growing? A lot of people can't. lol
Yes, I do. My dad is a retired soil scientist and agronomist. He also showed me how to taste soils.. yeah, not too bad.
 

Beowulf

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Yes, I do. My dad is a retired soil scientist and agronomist. He also showed me how to taste soils.. yeah, not too bad.
Good. We have a rather large garden in the back yard but since the seed packets got mixed up after planting, I cannot identify half the buggers yet. :lol:
 

Beach girl

Active Member
Yes, I do. My dad is a retired soil scientist and agronomist. He also showed me how to taste soils.. yeah, not too bad.

Now THAT's dedication!

I just put in my tomato and basil plants in a big container on my back deck. Looking forward to a lot of good eating from that!
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
lol! Soil does smell! I don't have backyard. I have two houseplants that clean our air. One of them is dying. I think someone at Lowes broke those roots by shoving it down so hard. That reminds me.. I have to fertilize it again.

In my opinion, a big container is far better than a wooden box. They are reliable and easy to manage.

Tip: If you plan to grow your herbs and fruits organically in your back yard, and you may think your back yard is healthy, but that is not always case. Test your soils first ensuring it is healthy. My dad always warns them. If the soil is not really healthy, unfortunately, you can't replace it with fresh soils. Go for containers, then.
 

Beowulf

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
lol! Soil does smell! I don't have backyard. I have two houseplants that clean our air. One of them is dying. I think someone at Lowes broke those roots by shoving it down so hard. That reminds me.. I have to fertilize it again.

In my opinion, a big container is far better than a wooden box. They are reliable and easy to manage.

Tip: If you plan to grow your herbs and fruits organically in your back yard, and you may think your back yard is healthy, but that is not always case. Test your soils first ensuring it is healthy. My dad always warns them. If the soil is not really healthy, unfortunately, you can't replace it with fresh soils. Go for containers, then.
Fascinating! I haven't thought about putting the garden soil into my hand and smelling it, lest the sardonic next door neighbor calls me Kit Carson for a while, but I am wondering...I do notice that some soil smells sweet, while others smell sour or acrid. Which smell is best for growing veggies?
 

deafskeptic

Active Member
Premium Member
When I was at VSDB, we were require to take home enomonics so we could learn to cook for ourselves.
 

deafskeptic

Active Member
Premium Member
I agree with you, Beach girl.

A few days ago, I was at Super Target to buy yellow squashes. Cashier was scanning my items, and she looked at my yellow squashes, and took her vegetable book out to check the prices. She asked me if they were yellow squashes. I replied, "Yes, they are." She has admitted me that she doesn't know much about vegetables. :shock: They are just yellow squashes..
I've had to explain to clerks what leeks are or even what kale is. I believe your story.
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
Fascinating! I haven't thought about putting the garden soil into my hand and smelling it, lest the sardonic next door neighbor calls me Kit Carson for a while, but I am wondering...I do notice that some soil smells sweet, while others smell sour or acrid. Which smell is best for growing veggies?
There isn't. Depends on what kind of vegetables you grow in your garden. Some vegetables require alkaline. Other veggies require acid. Some fruit plants require an acid soil. You can find out if your vegetable needs alkaline, acid or neutral.
 

deafskeptic

Active Member
Premium Member
Some have been trying to figure out if those leeks are green onions or green onions are leeks.. They certainly look alike.
Only superfically. I've seen some large green onions but as a whole leeks are thicker all around.
 

sallylou

Potterhead and Janeite
Premium Member
I think that it's a great idea. Also a basic course for home repairs. Not envisioning anything with electricity though.
 

Daredevel7

Adrenaline Junky
Premium Member
I agree with you, Beach girl.

A few days ago, I was at Super Target to buy yellow squashes. Cashier was scanning my items, and she looked at my yellow squashes, and took her vegetable book out to check the prices. She asked me if they were yellow squashes. I replied, "Yes, they are." She has admitted me that she doesn't know much about vegetables. :shock: They are just yellow squashes..
Uh oh... sounds like this movie may come true: Idiocracy (2006) - IMDb
 

Dixie

Farting Snowflakes
Premium Member
I took Home Economics in school but it wasn't well taught. During the cooking portion of the course, the class got to choose which groups they would like to be in, and well me being the odd one, I got placed in a group by the teacher because none of the groups really wanted me. Well instead of learning to cook, I was literally shoved aside and told, I could do the clean up. The other kids basically got to have fun and make the mess while I had to be the one to clean it up. I was even laughed at when one of the kids changed the liquid in the cleaning bottle without my knowledge and when I got cleaning the oven there was this green smudgy stuff all over it. I recall someone saying "She's so dumb, she can't even clean. Retard." I hated that class. My parents never sat me down to teach me how to cook, so I never learned. My mom constantly criticizes me for not knowing how to cook and that my DD will have to be the one to take care of me. If I ever had any confidence about my cooking it was squashed by my ex-husband that always complained about how my cooking sucked.

At least now I have a friend of mine that has offered to teach me how to cook. I think we will be making cupcakes. I know it sounds very elementary and 'childish', but I guess you have to start somewhere.

BTW - they should change it from Home Economics to "Life Skills". It should also be taught for two consecutive semesters, not just one. Course material should include cooking, sewing, budgeting, job skills, finances, basic home repairs, family conflict resolutions, crisis management, basic automotive maintenance and upkeep. Stuff that the average Joe will actually do. Many students nowadays are graduating with AP Calculus under their belt but they can't cook a meal or sew a button on their shirt to save their life. Also, all drivers should learn to drive a standard stick shift vehicle. I regret not knowing how to drive a standard.
 
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