A Home Ec Major who can’t boil eggs?

One of my best kept secrets is that I was a Home Economics major back when I entered college in 1962. Yup, cookin’ and sewin’ was what most people thought it was back then. Taught in most public schools too. “A good career you can combine with having a family,” my mother said, “and besides you already make all your own clothes, you’ll excel.”

Well, exce I did in tailoring, and even ‘Home Management’ where we had to make a design with strings and pins to see how many movements around the house we made unnecessarily. I did fine in the lab on making coffee in percolators, even those new electric ones you plugged in! It was easy: two level tablespoons of coffee to every one cup of water. And I mean level. I even got an ‘A’ on a paper that I thought surely I would get an ‘F.’ It basically said in 1962, that teaching only this cookin’  and sewin’ stuff in high schools was Mickey Mouse if we didn’t get the boys involved. Why weren’t we teaching child development and sex education, when more than half of high school graduates back then would be married and having babies within two years.

Want to know what I did get my first ‘F’ in? Pie Crust! I simply could not get the proportion of fat to flour right, no matter which way I measured that shortening (or oil) and cut it in. Thanks to Better Crocker & Trader Joe’s even better already made pie crusts, I gave away my rolling pin long ago.

Know what I still get a ‘D’ in? Making hard boiled eggs! To this day there is some way to do it so that they peel seamlessly, without the mess you see here. But it escapes me. Larry’s method is: room temperature eggs, watch the pot, when it boils turn the burner off, set the timer for 12 minutes, then drain them several times in cold water, letting them sit in the cold water. Well I did that and this is what it looked like when I tried to make a platter of those pretty ‘deviled eggs.’ Oh well, I think I’ll go out and buy some at Safeway and be done with it.

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