Tales of 7th Grade Home EC Class….

 In 7th grade I took Home Economics. The old school way was half a year was sewing(I still can not sew on a button) and the other half was cooking. We had to fly solo in sewing class(which was taught by the math teacher…again, perhaps why I can’t even sew on a button). But in cooking class we had a partner. Little did I know that my partner D and I would be partners in class all the way through our undergrad degrees. Oddly enough only two of those times we selected each other. The other 9 times were random. Yes, I had the same cooking partner and lab partner 11 times. D was not someone I would have chosen. For starters, D is a guy. He took Home EC to scam on chics, and well, I was so not someone he wanted to scam on. So we didn’t start off the best. We so did not get along in Home EC. He never paid attention and I ended up doing all the cooking. Luckily by the time we got to high school, that all changed. We learned to draw on each others strengths to get each other through the class. In Biology, he did all the dissecting. In Chem class I did all the calculations and so on. We didn’t hang out together, we ran in very different crowds, but he did become someone I ended up depending on time and time again. He was even nice enough to get suspended for 3 days for telling our Physics teacher to go fuck himself for saying that girls were too stupid to take physics(on our first day of class….and by the way I carried the highest grade the whole year and scored a perfect score on my AP exam).
Anyway, back to our Home EC days. So like I had said, D was of little help. Oh he would stir stuff and what not to look busy but that was about it. One day we were making pumpkin pie. I had to use the rest room and I told him to go gather our ingredients. For some stupid reason all of our ingredients were put into bowls. And right next to each other was the salt and the sugar. I’m sure you know where this story is going. D, had grabbed us a cup and a half of salt. This of course did not become apparent till it started to bake, and curdle a little. Unfortunately for us, the main rule in class was, whatever you bake/cook(allergies excluded) you had to take a bite of. So that was the day I threw up in class. Salt pie is not something that tastes all that good.
These bar cookies come from our 7th grade Home Economics cookbook that we made at the end of the year. It had every recipe that we made. I have to say, we made quite a bit. And I must have gone to a pretty rich school, because there is no way there would be funding for all that food nowadays. It’s fun to thumb through it. I have little glitter sticker stars next to the things I liked. My name and some boy named John, who I can’t seem to remember, captured in a little heart with swirls all around it.
I’m pretty sure that this cookbook is the only useful thing I got out of junior high.

Rocky Road Cookie Bars 

1/2 cup sifted flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 12oz package chocolate chips

Beat with mixer first 7 ingredients, EXCEPT for the nuts. Add nuts and stir, pour into greased 9×12-inch pan(I used 8×8 because there seemed to be sooo little batter I didn’t even think it would spread out. But it does puff up quite a bit so perhaps you should stick with the original plan). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Immediately layer with 3 last ingredients(since I used and 8×8 pan I used half the amount of the toppings).
Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Remove and swirl topping with knife. Cool and cut into squares.

These turn out very gooey and not so fun to cut. But considering the fact that they are from a home economics cookbook, they are pretty good. I would like to go back and try it in the 9×13 inch pan to see what kind of difference it would make.

Source: A piece of cake…the cookbook from my home ec class, 1984(yes, I’m old :P)


  1. Wow — I had the same 7th grade home ec/cooking combination. If we made a cookbook, and I don’t remember one, it’s long gone. And if we’d made anything this delicious, I think I’d remember! Seems to me we made mostly breakfast things, and chocolate chip cookies!

  2. I can’t believe that you still have a cookbook from 7th grade. That is awesome! hurray for D for standing up for the girls in Physics class. Oh God, a cup and a half of salt… should I try that in the kitchen , I wonder….
    These cookie bars sound divine!

  3. those look delicious!!

  4. What fun memories!! I know I took home ec one year (I remember I sewed a horrible looking sun dress) but I can’t remember what we cooked. I actually don’t think we did much cooking at all – mostly just mixing for dips and such.

    These bars look amazing!

  5. Home ec was fun except we had a really mean teacher, everyone dreaded her. I think we only cooked 3 things in the class, can’t really remember anymore, and we never learned how to sew either. Makes me wonder what we learned in that class. Hmm… These cookies look delicious, love the ooey gooey marshmallows!

  6. Oh my god!

    I’m making these as soon as I can!! My mother loves rocky road. What better than in a bar?!

    Thank you!

  7. Those look so good — much better than any of the tripe we made in my HomeEc class!

  8. Thanks for bringing back my memories of junior high home ec class! Beautiful & yummy looking photo!

  9. Wow! The only things I remember making in HomeEc are waldorf salad and fresh pasta! Your class sounds so much better! Heck even your sewing sounds better than mine was!
    What wonderful memories!

  10. Fantastic story!
    We didn’t have home ec so I never got to bake at school. I didn’t learn to sew either. Geez, what did I do all those years?

  11. Lucky thing. I never made anything this good in home ec. I suffered through things like tapioca and tuna mornay.

  12. har! We had the exact same set up in my junior high.. cooking 1/2 a year and sewing the next. Although we had no partners in either class. As for what we made, I couldn’t tell you.. all I remember is one skinny little girl getting all pissed off, supposedly on my behalf, because the teach said “All fat people love whipped cream” and she looked right at me and said, “don’t they?” Well after I died from embarrassment, I simply said, “No.” And then the girl started whining to the teacher about what a nasty thing to have said and just because some people are fat doesn’t mean they have to love whipped cream.. hahahaaaa! And that’s what I took from my Home Ec. class. Priceless, eh? God.

    As for sewing.. uhh.. I can’t relive that nightmare, not even for you, Gracie. =)

    The cookies do look good!


  13. I wonder if I could have one of those please?

  14. I had Home Economics class with half a year of sewing and half a year of cooking too! And also a partner for the cooking part! I didn’t like the sewing part at all but the cooking was a hell lot of fun! Now I cook a lot, and sew a lot (I’m a fashion design student). =p

  15. Oh, yes, Jr. High homec. Many memories there. I preferred cooking to sewing, but I refused to participate on the day we had to taste baby food (so we’d know what we were feeding our babies at some point in the future). My partner said it was quite good and finished off the jar for us.

    Your cookies look fabulous!

  16. I love that story! Have you tried to find him again or have you seen him at the reunions. I would love to see what else is in the cookbook of yours!

  17. Oh yum! They look so delicious. Great post.

  18. Your HomeEc sounds much more fun than mine making quiche and omelettes!!
    Great read!

  19. I took Home EC right through to Grade 12. The last sewing project we made was a tailored jacket with bound buttonholes, etc. My mom didn’t let me cook so Home EC was my only opportunity to learn. We’ve come a long way baby!!!!

  20. What a difference 10 years makes….we instead had quarters – 1 cooking, 1 sewing, 1 woodshop and 1 art/painting. Guys and girls took all 4. :)

    Truly your story made me laugh so hard…how often do we think lab partners are the scourge of our existence, until they reappear years later as co-workers!

    Great recipe too! Delicious!

  21. Seriously. I always feel a rush of anticipation when I go to your site…and fear. I know that I’ll see something so tempting and delectable that it will HAUNT MY DREAMS! That looks soooooo good! Great post, too! :):)

  22. Wow! Those look so yummy! I wish I could grab one right now! Great story as well! ;)

  23. That is a book I would love to have. :)

  24. What fun! I did a posting over on my blog on 8/9/2007 about whether we inherit food genes, etc. And I wrote up my experiences in Home Ec too. It was the blogger at Tea and Cookies that got me to thinking about it (she wrote a post about food genes). Anyway, I never saved any of my recipes from Home Ec – guess they didn’t make that big of an impression.

  25. I remember taking Home Ec in 7th grade. Our teacher was Mrs. Salutchi (sp). She and I did not really get along very well in the sewing part of the class, because by that time, I all ready knew how to cook and to sew. My grandmother had started teaching me with i was about 8. But when the cooking part started she would let me help teach because I knew how to cook pretty well. I can remember friends calling me at home for help with recipes that we learned in class. Good memories really, some of the few good ones from Junior high.

  26. I remember my first home ec lesson at school… we made toast.
    That was pretty much as good as it got, actually.

    Sorry, I actually came here to ask if you’d mind me linking your site on my own (shiny new) food blog? I’ve just been setting it up and thought I’d better check (I can remove it if you mind). But I got distracted by the chocolatey goodness ^__^ Mmmm.

  27. Peabody, what a riot. I think my physics teacher must have moved to your school/state after I too shamed him by being the only girl in his class and the high score/grade.

    I remember home-ec class being 1/3 year sewing, 1/3 year cooking, 1/3 how to run a house and be a Stepford wife (middle 70s you know) but like you, the best thing was the cookbook.

    These look really good!

  28. Oh my goodness…so funny! Its amazing to me how something that delicious looking actually featured in a 7th grade home economics cookbook. And I love that your male lab partner was a pioneering feminist! :-)

  29. Funny, funny post. I never got to do Home Ec…something about being in a Catholic school meant that I got to take Latin instead…whooha!…but I took a sewing class at a local fabric store and made the most terrible looking top and skirt that you ever saw. Physics were far beyond my capabilities, so I’m glad that you showed them and did best of all. Obviously smarter than that pig of a physics teacher.
    The Rocky Road cookies are too yummy looking.

  30. That is so cool that you kept that book from high school. What a great treasure to have. And those bars are as good as your great stories of D and the salt pie.

  31. Yum! We just made muffins in home ec – and messed those up! But, the whole 1984 thing? We had home ec the same time and I am young! So, I am thinking you are as well! ha ha ha

  32. These look like something I was looking for to stuff in my face at about 11PM last night after I was completely disgusted with the heat. Truly delicious looking.

  33. MissLauraQ says:

    WOW – you learned stuff in Home Ec? All I remember is I had to make (get this) cinnamon toast for the final – I of course Aced it.

    And to this day will only eat cinnamon toast the way I was taught in Home Ec (extra butter and a broiler)

  34. pat palmeri says:

    I am a Home Ec teacher. I hardly every teach sewing…I don’ enjoy it. But I love cooking…I teach grades 5-8 and I teach French, Spanish, Asian and Vegetarian cooking. I also give out a cookbook every marking period. My studens love hw cookbook and the class. I would love a copy of your cookbook…,the rocky raod bars look delicious.

  35. i am in seventh grade right now actually. i take home ec and it is great. we dont get homework. it only lasts half of the year. we make good thingd like pizza, no bake cookies, monkey bread, muffins, pancakes, and even homemade lollipops. our teacher is nice and she lets us use extra chocolate chips and doesnt get mad if we make a mess as long as we clean it up. our sewing thing is giant pillows. we get to embroider anything we want. and by the way, our kitchen groups have 4, yes 4 people in them! we only get to help cook half of the time. there is the cook, the assistant cook, manager, and host. we are one of the very few schools who have a home ec class still. i am so glad. bob morris wants to put more money towards charter schools, rather than public, so i hope he doesnt win!

  36. I took Home Ec for a few years. Had many recipes that were my favorites saved for years. One day a close family member borrowed them and never gave back. I miss these recipes so so much. One was for home made bread and I depended on that. Was the best I had. Wish I could find more recipes from home ec. Another recipe taken was for my lasgna. I know that one pretty muich but sure would like to see the recipe to make sure.

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