Vocational Classes

//Vocational Classes

Vocational Classes

Do any of you ladies remember the Home Economics Classes we had in high school? I’d be surprised if you don’t remember those classes which we fondly referred to as Home Ec. I don’t recall exactly what year I had those (freshman year or maybe sophomore) but I’m pretty certain it wasn’t junior or senior year. I do remember the year being divided into segments where we learned different aspects of running a home – the two I recall most vividly are Sewing and Cooking.

For me sewing was a disaster! We girls were told that the goal of the class was to create something from one yard of material – that item was to be an apron. (Yes, we wore aprons back then and that is the subject for another blog post.) So I dragged my mom to the store where we chose an apron pattern that looked simple and bought one yard of material. We spent several classes learning how to read a pattern and how to actually pin the pattern to the material to make the best use of the yardage we had. At last we were allowed to actually cut the pieces out. Now there were a limited number of sewing machines in class – two or three – and most of my classmates made a beeline for them. I thought I would simply let them go first because they were so happy to be sewing. But time for the Sewing Class ran out as we approached the Christmas holidays and those of us who were still waiting for our turns at the sewing machines were instructed to finish our aprons at home and bring them to school after the holidays so that we could be graded. As I had little to no interest in sewing, my mom finished the apron for me in under ten minutes and I brought it back to be graded. Boy was she sore when my apron earned a B.

The next segment was Cooking. We had a large room with several kitchen areas set up similar to the picture above. Our teacher paired us up and assigned a kitchen area where we learned the basics of cooking. I remember having lots of fun during that class because we got to eat what we made! My best dish was Popovers that my parents would have me make at home for Sunday dinner. And in those days it was thought to be exotic to add nuts to a salad – so when I prepared a Waldorf Salad for my mom and dad they were hesitant to try it. But once they sampled it they liked it and from then on mom would include a few walnuts or bits of apple when she prepared salad for Sunday dinner.

It’s been over forty years since those classes and I’m hoping that I can unearth that Popover recipe. It might take some time as I sift through the memories of my youth but I’ll post it here when I find it.

Do you have a memory of Home Ec classes? Or gentlemen, how about a memory or two from your Shop or Woodworking classes?


By |2017-05-18T21:35:32+00:00May 14th, 2013|Valley Memories Articles|2 Comments


  1. Jean Cutarelli Harlow May 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I think we had Home Ec freshman year. I remember that I managed to burn a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I enjoyed sewing more than cooking. At some point we also learned how to set a table, proper table manners, etc. That might have been part of cooking class. I thought there was a third segment of Home Ec, but I don’t recall what it was.

  2. Barbara "Opuszynski"Cotter October 12, 2013 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Hi Marion!
    I thought this was a “great memory” when I read it in May!
    Since then, I experienced something of a time warp that I want to share. Waiting in my doctor’s office, I glanced at an incoming patient. It was my home ec teacher from the middle 1960’s! She remembered me!! She even remembered the name of my street! She aged well. She must be in her early 80’s.
    I immediately recollected your article which was the same exact experience I had in home ec. It was great seeing her!


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