vintage advice for the 21st century {Home Economics}

Over the years, our domestic wisdom has deteriorated, growing sparser with each generation.  I find it fascinating to listen to the knowledge of generations long passed.  They seem to have cataloged quite a lot of information, crucial for great house-keeping and cohesive family living.  These days, we don’t find it necessary to catalog quite as much information because, well, information is readily reached at our fingertips (hello Google).  For me, I find a lot of my household advice from my very favorite magazine Real Simple.  It’s one of the few magazines I still subscribe to (most are just a waste of trees).  But even with these resources, there are some tidbits that only a great-grandma can relay.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some sort of manual, a handbook to reference from?  Well there is, and it’s called Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st Century, by Jennifer McKnight Trontz.  The book is a collection of information that one might find in an old home ec textbook or from the mouth of a wise elder.  The topics cover everything necessary to run a healthy and happy home, according to Trontz.

Here’s the rundown of topics: Successful Economical Living, Kitchen Art and Sciences, Care of Clothing and Textiles, Management and Furnishings of the Home, and Leisurely Pursuits.  Missing the homemaker gene?  This little beauty can help fill in the missing links and answer your day to day questions. Know how to hem your husband’s pants, you can.  Know what temperature to reach to get a hard crack for those lollipops, you can.

I must admit, I really wanted Home Economics for the novelty of it.  It’s adorable and has cute vintage illustrations to go along with the vintage advice.  I really wanted to review it and feature it as the perfect gift to give a young girl.  Perhaps a young girl leaving for university, getting married, starting a family, and I do still recommend it for this purpose, but now, I think all women should read it!  I read so many interesting tidbits that I have now filed in my brain.  I’m feeling oh so domestic!  I read a lot of information that I was taught long ago by my mother (see I did pay attention sometimes).  I admit, a lot of it had escaped my brain, but now I can easily recall it.  Simple etiquette, laundering tips, needle arts, and, of course, hostessing.  Every In The Know Mom should have this book memorized, or at least in an easy-to-grab position on the bookshelf. It covers it all! Purchase your own Home Economics book from and grab a few more as priceless gifts for the little ladies in your life.

Special thanks to Quirk for providing a sample book for review purposes.

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