Home Economics

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My dear friends Nate and Vanessa just purchased a home and I'm so excited for them. Is there anything more fun than moving into and decorating your first home? We plan to get something special for them once they are settled into their new dwelling, but in the meantime I came across a lovely little book at Mixed Media. Dave always carries a great selection of books. Remember the post we did previously on a pair of books Jacklyn picked up called Don'ts For Wives/ Don'ts For Husbands? Similar in style, Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st-Century Household is compiled by Jennifer McKnight Trontz. The book is filled with snippets of advice -- the kind mums pass down to their daughters, generation to generation. Jacklyn and I love finding home economic books written from the 1900s to 1940s in antique shops. Homemaking during this time was considered a profession, and we always find it interesting to see how much of the 'know-how' has been lost by today's generation. Seriously though. When we went off to university, I witnessed my friend call her mom to ask how to boil water.

The lessons in this book are simple, yet clever. Wishful at times, but quaint. Some practices considered environmentally friendly today like using natural cleansers, were sound living back when. The book offers lessons on everything from removing stains to baking the perfect cake, setting an elegant table, folding a dress shirt, tending a garden, keeping backyard chickens, mending, pickling and party planning. Not included in the party planning chapter is the art of Facebook invites. Most of the lessons resonate in a nostalgic kind of way, but Jennifer, the author of the book truly hopes to pass on these skills to people who can use them today.