On with the apron!

This is the last of the books in the pile from my aunt.  It was her home economics book from school and has her handwritten notes in pencil with indications of what needs to be learnt for tests and exams.  🙂

Old cookery books

This was the only “local” book being written and published in South Africa by M.S.E. van Niekerk, Senior Inspectress of Domestic Science and M.A. Phillips, Inspectress of Domestic Science.  I never knew that was such a words as inspectress.

Dedicated to the schoolgirls of today-
the housewives of the future

On with the apron

I loved all the instructions in the 4 page introduction and how to test the temperature of an oven without a thermometer.  How easy things have become over the years!

Apron intro 1 of 4 Apron intro 2 of 4 Apron intro 3 of 4 Apron intro 4 of 4

The book is divided into two parts – Housewifery and Cookery.

The chapters under Housewifery cover The Domestic and Personal Duties of the Members of the Family in the Home; The Care of the Home; The Outside of The House; The Choice, Care and Cleaning of Household Cleaning Utensils; Metals; The Kitchen – Furnishing and Equipment; The Kitchen Sink; Stoves; The Disposal of Household Waste; Cutlery; China; Glass; The Setting of Tables; Shoes and Leather Articles; Brushes and Combs; Books; Furniture; Floor Coverings; The Bedroom; The Bath-Room and Lavatory; Household Mending; Household Cloths; Household Pests and The Household Budget.

The chapters under Cookery cover Marketing; Terms Used in Cookery; Weighing and Measuring; Foods and Nutrients; Methods of Cooking; The Planning of Meals; Soups; Fish; Meat; Vegetables; Salads; Fruit; Beverages; Milk and Milk Products; Eggs; Cereals; Raising Agents; Flour Mixtures; Sandwiches; The Preservation of Food; Sauces and Kitchen Economy.

Apron economy 1 of 3

Apron economy 2 of 3

Apron ecomomy 3 of 3

Each chapter has comprehensive information with nothing being left to the imagination – a great book for young ladies of the time.  Oh dear, now I am making my aunt sound old – sorry Aunty Christine – you know what I mean.

By the time I got to having home economics classes, all we learnt was how to cook and bake basic items, that was it, well as far as my old brain can remember.

What did you learn in home economics at school?


50 thoughts on “On with the apron!

  1. Love it! What year was it published in, Mandy? Or did you say and I missed it? What did I learn in Home Ec? All sorts of things… including some of the stuff listed in these books (it was the 70s). I also learned that boys can’t run as fast as girls and that dish mop fights are great fun! xo

    • Happy week to you too Renee. I would love to have learnt first aid. Seems the combination was all practical. Have a beautiful day. My Pete is home for a while so I have not been visiting as much. 🙂 xo

  2. Bahaha… I love these books, seriously. Its a lovely reminder. 🙂 I am rather impressed with how comprehensive the list is, I know its kind of strange to say, but some of this needs to come back into the cookery courses, especially the saving of food section. When I was doing my training over a decade ago, it was hammered into us about the importance of not wasting food, but when I was working with some young apprentice chefs earlier this year, they just tossed stuff in the bin, sooooooooo much wastage. It was mind blowing. I guess I followed many of the principals detailed in your book when I was doing home economics at school.
    Hope you are well my darling friend. Hugs and love. xox

    • This is a great book Anna! I absolutely hate waste. I am ridiculously frugal with everything! Pete even made comment last night about the toothpaste tube and I said there is at least enough paste left for 3 or 4 brushes. He just shook his head. 😀
      I am on top of the world. 1. My Pete is home for a whole week. 2. We just found out he has been short listed for another award – in London! The company is sending him. Awesome. So excited for him. Can’t contain my happiness!
      How you my friend? Can’t believe we have officially started the countdown. Yippee! 🙂 xoxoxo

      • Pete is a star. How wonderful and exciting that his hard work is being recognised. Please pass on my warmest congratulations with a happy dance and high five. Just brilliant. 🙂 Does this mean another trip to London? 🙂
        I’m great, work is starting to get crazy busy with wedding season, but I am at the 2 month mark now until I am off on my adventures. Yay! Teehee. I was saying the same thing to Mom last night. The countdown to Mandy & Meerkats is onnnnnnn. LOL! Cant wait to give you a giant hug and chat face to face. Hope your week is going swell. xoxox

        • My Pete is the bestest star ever! I say that because I can and because it’s true. 😀 Can’t wait to meet you and mom. Pete and I talk about you daily when he is home and can’t wait to have you visit with us. Things are going a bit wild here at the moment – will update in a posts ASAP! Oh, Pete is off to London for the awards – we wanted me to go with but just not working out this time around. Love to you my dear friend. Have a beautiful love filled happy weekend. 🙂 xoxoxo

  3. I don’t really remember very much about home ec classes. I think it may have been an elective subject and I went to one class and wasn’t very impressed. Love these spattered pages with the relevant and not so relevant tips. Makes for a great read!

  4. When I did home economics at school it was all very basic – nothing tricky and all about putting a family meal on the table at the end of the day. I love these old cookbooks – they give you so much information not only about recipes, but how to cook xx

  5. I love the Time Saver paragraph: use plastic curtains. 😀 And by the way, I am constantly wearing an apron. I have lots of them, and I love them!

    • So, where do I apply for my 6 figure salary then… Oh wouldn’t that be awesome. With that kind of salary, I could come and visit you sooner and stay for longer. Oh wouldn’t that be fun. Hope you are having a beautiful week Kim. I am having the most incredible time having Pete home for a whole week and to top it all we heard he has been short listed for another award in London! The company are sending him for the conference and awards. Can’t explain how incredibly happy and proud I am of him. 🙂 xoxoxo

  6. “Serve attractively and quickly,” there are some real gems in this one. One of my favorites that you’ve shared. My home ec class was split up between sewing things like small bags and cooking things like chocolate truffles- fun, but not necessarily the most useful

  7. What a great find! I am pretty old myself, so I do remember Home Ec, but it was mostly just cooking. Some budgeting and how to shop efficiently, but not all of the info in this book. Some of it we do well to still follow today!

  8. I love these posts, Mandy. I really do. Sadly, there were no home ec courses for boys in my day. Even worse, going to a college prep secondary school, there were no drafting nor mechanics courses either. Luckily, I had Mom & Zia to teach me home ec — and I’ve a checkbook for all things mechanical. 🙂

  9. I think I’ve flunked housewifery. I cracked up reading how “one” should be sure to make time for “amusement” even If one does not have staff. Can you imagine having to live up to those standards today?
    Our home economics class had cooking but also household budgeting, choosing things like vacuum cleaners & then half a year of sewing & knitting.

    • Julie, you are so right, there is no young or old in learning. Have a beautiful weekend and I will pop over soon again. Things are just a bit hectic with crime here at the moment and I am in the midst of being part of the solution. 🙂 xoxo

  10. I LOVe this book! I hated home ec at school – we had a drunken, chain smoking nun who looked rather like a hooker. I’m not joking – she used to take most of our cookery money and send us out to buy cigarettes and sherry for her. The first thing we learned to “cook” was scrambled eggs. I was horrible to her (bit ashamed of that now) in return for her being horrible to us as she made me start to hate cooking which I was previously enjoying at home with my mum and grandma!

    • What is it with some nuns! Urgh! I can completely understand why you were horrible to her as a youngster. Think with a little more wisdom as an adult I would still do the same thing but in a different way – if you know what I mean. Have a beautiful weekend Tanya. 🙂 xo

  11. Reading old books like these and cookbooks I am reminded how instant society has become. There was such planning and purposefulness even in cleaning. Granted I am grateful for modern conveniences and time savers, but I think some valuable intentionality has been lost. Great books, I can almost hear the crackle of the pages. 🙂

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