Monday, November 3, 2008

Home Ec Flashbacks

At the first junior high I attended back in the Stone Age, both girls and boys were required to take home ec and shop classes. At the second one I attended, I was in the gifted program and we didn't have anything like that. And at the third, only girls took home ec while only boys enrolled in shop.

What strikes me odd about this is that the first school was in a very rural area of Pennsylvania, the second a suburban town near Philadelphia and the third was in a fairly progressive and liberal-minded town in Connecticut.

So I did learn a bit of wood and metal shop techniques but I spent most of my time in home ec, learning how to measure things in cups and ounces while the the rest of the world was using liters. I also learned to use a sewing machine and follow a pattern in that third school, which was fine and fun until I chose the same material for my final project that the most popular girl in my class did and everyone thought I had copied her.

(Ah but where is Popular Girl now? Last time I saw her she was drunk and flirting with my husband at our high school reunion...wear that dress well, sweetheart.)

The best part of home ec was the cooking. Remember, this was education for the public school students; nothing fancy, nothing complex, no super-costly items in the recipes. Everyone had to be able to cook something. I was reminded of them recently at a writers' group I attended when a woman showed up with a batch of cookies that caused me to go into flashback mode. So I thought I'd dig up some old recipes.

Forgotten Cookies
2 egg whites, room temp.
1 (6 oz.) bag mini-chocolate chips
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. chopped pecans (can add more if desired)

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is stiff. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by teaspoonfuls on aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cookies in oven, close door and turn off oven. Leave cookies in oven overnight and do not open oven door.

And in the morning, you have cookies!

Marshmallow Crescent Puffs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
16 marshmallows
1/4 cup margarine
2 cans crescent dinner rolls
powdered sugar icing
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip marshmallows in melted margarine, roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Wrap a crescent roll triangle around each completely covered marshmallow and squeezing edges of dough tightly to seal. Dip in margarine; place in muffin pan. Put on foil and bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove. Drizzle with icing. Sprinkle with nuts.

Perfect for Thanksgiving!