Redneck Review

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Life of Education Hasn't Hurt Me None

Remember that Paul Simon classic, Kodachrome? Probably not,
you young whippersnappers. It goes like this: "When I think back
on all the crap I learned in high's a wonder I can think
at all. And though my life of education hasn't hurt me none...I can
read the writing on the wall." Don't I sing right purty? I don't know
why I was thinking about that song, except it was a summer song
from back in the day.

Then I was reading Redneck Diva's tale of baking a turkey when
there was a peak alert, which means that you are supposed to
conserve energy and not do things like bake during peak hours
of electrical usage. And thanks, Diva, because I had no hot water
and took a COLD shower Sunday because for some reason the
breaker tripped for our water heater. I think you used just a little
too much electricity before it had a chance to come this way, and
in my mind now turkey = cold shower.

All this got me to thinking that I don't cook too much that doesn't
come out of a box or a can. I hope they teach the kids that stuff
these days, though I did hear one of my students ask another, "If
I bring a can of corn to the old people's dinner, will you cook it
for me?" As far as I know, the kids only spend about 2 weeks
of their Family and Consumer Science (FACS) class on cooking.

Way back when I had it, it was called Home Economics. They
didn't teach us much useful stuff, either. I learned how to make
a cheese souffle. Yeah. That's one of our staples here in Missouri.
Cheese souffle. I don't remember how to make it, mainly because
it tasted like puffy burned cheese. I also learned how to make an
apron, and how to sew a dress from a McCalls' pattern. Both
are skills which I do not need. First of all, even when I cook, I
don't wear an apron. What does that mean--that you're a slob
and know ahead of time that you're going to spill stuff? And I
don't sew myself dresses, because I don't wear dresses, and if
the urge ever strikes me, I'll go to Wal-mart and fork over $19.96
for one already made instead of buying the pattern and material
and thread.

Tomorrow I will elaborate on some other crap I learned in high
school. And if everybody is really good, sometime I will tell you
a story about writing on the wall.


  • At 10:09 PM, Blogger Raehan said…

    Kodachrome is a Simon AND Garfunkel song. No?

    Love them.

    This post brought back funny memories of my third grade Home Economics teacher.

    Very funny.

  • At 2:01 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Hi Hillbilly Mom,
    It is a pity the way kids are being taught these days about food. Don't worry, I am not blaming the schools or teachers here, it is up to the parents to do a bit better.
    I look forward to getting my kids back in the Kitchen, they love cooking. I once got my No.2 son to cook dinner for us, yes I know three is a bit young, but I just did what he told me to do, to season the steak, and for how long it should be cooked. One of the best meals we had ever eaten.
    Tonight, it is the day before shopping, so I just got all the vegies from the fridge, and made a soup. Tastes great, and simple. No cans needed.

  • At 9:19 AM, Blogger Alexandrialeigh said…

    I come from an Italian family. We spend all of our time in the kitchen.

    I think we've all been cooking since...well, probably since birth.

    And I took Home Ec, too, and learned how to make an omelette and potato soup. The shorts I made never fit properly, but that's no surprise as I'm terrible at anything artistic that's made with my hands except food. I can't even color in the lines.

    (By the way, You Can Call Me Al.)

  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    Did you try any Simon and Garfunkel on your guitar, or just John Denver?

    My kids always want to help. I let #1 peel eggs and chop potatoes for potato salad. Then he wouldn't eat it. But he was proud that he "made" it. I am sure you will teach your little ones better than I teach mine.

    And now for a story about soup. I never could eat homemade vegetable soup until I was an adult. I saw my mom making it once, and it reminded me of a pot of garbage bubbling on the stove. She put everything in it. The green beans and corn were the worst. Now I like it, though I have to use a soup starter mix and go from there.

    That's another good song. I have it on my Paul Simon Graceland CD.

    Imagine what kind of feast we would have if people could only make what they learned in school. The kids here sew boxers and pajama pants now instead of dresses. I guess once they started making boys take the class, they couldn't make them sew dresses.

  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger Redneck Diva said…

    Sorry about the shower, there. You might wanna give me a holler next time you smell turkey baking and you're inclinced to bathe - I can at least turn the oven off for awhile.

    Our HomeEc teacher ROCKED back in the day. I nearly took an F for refusing to touch raw hamburger when we made tacos, but she let me make it up by making a cake a week for awhile and then writing a report about it. I never understood why she made us learn to make white sauce, which is pretty much gravy. Why not just call it gravy? I'd have SO gotten the hang of it if she hadn't called it some weird name. I also never understood why we needed to know how to make white sauce in order to make macaroni and cheese. I just throw some butter, milk and cheese in a pan with macaroni - no cornstarch and flour necessary! Nearly as obscure as the cheese souffle.

    We didn't make dresses in HomeEc - we made "jams". Remember those loverly bermuda short things? Mine were camouflage and I wore them until they fell apart. Of course, the teacher knew I was sewing challenged and pretty much sewed them for me. She even told me that what I lacked in the sewing department I more than made up for in the kitchen. She only prayed that my future husband was an eater and not Amish. 'Cuz if it was up to me to clothe my entire family by hand, there'd be a family of naked Amish around here today.

  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger Bert Ford said…

    I can actually cook pretty well.
    I learned out of self defense.
    When I was a child, my mother could NOT cook. Most of what I was fed came in an aluminum tray, or involved opening one thing & pouring it over another thing. (usually white bread) My maternal grandmother was German by way of Michigan. Her method of food preparation was to boil it until all traces of flavor were removed.
    Her presentation was as a uniform beige mush with something buttered on the side. (usually white bread)
    I was saved from gustatory hell by my paternal granny. She cooked gumbo & catfish & fried chicken & sausages & ham & pork chops & sweet potatoes & collard greens & cornbread & blackeyed peas & biscuits & butter beans & okra & . . . I've got to stop now. I missed lunch & I'm actually arousing myself.

  • At 2:19 AM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    Sounds like your Home Ec teacher liked cake. My mom used to whip up some kind of white sauce to drown the tuna and noodle caserole nobody liked. It looked like milk and flour to me. I don't know what was special about it.

    I guess my boys will turn out to be good cooks. One of them says I make the best noodles ever. Here's my recipe: Buy the cheapest box of elbow macaroni. Boil 9 minutes. Drain. Stir in some butter. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (the cheapest brand in the cardboard can). WooHoo! I'm a gourmet chef!

  • At 9:08 AM, Blogger KarbonKountyMoos said…

    Me & Julio down by the schoolyard can cook too. . . Well, I'm really not sure about Julio.

    Can I get that souffle recipe? I'm sure that my farmer would appreciate it. I never took Home Ec. Or Home Wreck.

  • At 6:52 PM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    That souffle recipe is long gone. I bumped it out of my head to make room for more important things, like the lyrics to Paul Simon songs. I think me and Julio had drivers' ed together one summer. That will tell you how very old I am!


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