To some, the words 'homemaking skills' sound terribly outdated and boring and they conjure up an image of a women with no career or outside interests chained to the kitchen sink. To me the words evoke two very different emotions. Firstly they remind me of my childhood, my dedicated, thoroughly wonderful mum and the comfort that comes from being the recipient of such homemaking. The other emotion I experience is less positive. It relates to my personal lacking in these skills. I get by, but sometimes wonder how I got to the ripe old age of 39 without knowing how to make a good shortcrust pastry, make marmalade or sew a piece of clothing. I know that growing up my mum tried to teach me some of these things but at the time I had no interest. I'm not sure when this desire began to emerge but it would be a comfort to me, to know I am capable of such things.
So this year I am making a significant effort to learn, experience and hopefully enjoy these elusive homemaking skills. I will be blogging about my progress as I do so and any advice would be welcome.
Below is a list of some of the skills I would like to try to obtain.
- Learn to make different types of pastry
- Make chutney
- Make pasta from scratch
- Make marmalade and jam
- Sew a piece of wearable clothing
- Learn to darn
- Make my own soap
- Reduce waste in our home
- Go fruit picking
- Buy local produce
- Knit a pair of socks
- Learn to spin properly
- Make icecream
- Poach a perfect egg
- Eliminate processed foods from our diet
- Find a community of people who share the same passions
- Grow more vegetables/herbs on my windowsill (no garden)
- Bake our own bread
- Learn to embroider
- Dye yarns and fabric with natural dyes
- Crochet a granny square to make a cushion/blanket
- Sew in zips
- Learn how to make my own cleaning products
As part of my quest I'm going to try and find some experts to help me out. Next week I will be attending the Women's Institute for the first time and no, before you ask, I will not be signing up for any calendars. I will let you know how I get on.
As for now, I can no longer put off the jolly job of cleaning my oven as it is beginning to rebel by pouring smoke out at me every time I cook and making my freshly washed laundry smell like a chip shop. Oh joy xx