Magic Tree Clock

Monday, January 26, 2009

Books You Might Enjoy, Part 1

Here is a list of books related to issues in home economics. Although this is helpful, I don't want to contribute to stereotypes about home ec, as if it is always womens' work, even if the discourse makes it look that way. Men work in the home too, but you will be hard-pressed to find books devoted to the topic. Some of these books do include how men have participated in the practice and profession. In general, most deal with women. Remember, home economics isn't just about the home either - it's about how we live each day with the connections to and influences of the external economies, and how we negotiate our practices. The reference format is APA style because that is now permanently ingrained in my brain!

Stage, S. and Vincenti, V.B. (Eds.). (1997). Rethinking home economics: Women and the history of a profession. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Hayden, D. (1976). Seven American utopias: The architecture of communitarian
socialism, 1790-1975
. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Hayden, D. (1981). The grand domestic revolution: A history of feminist designs for
American homes, neighborhoods, and cities
. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Hayden, D. (2004). Domesticating urban space. In M. Wheeler and T. Beatley (Eds.), The sustainable urban development reader (pp. 150-156). New York, NY: Routledge.

Dublin, T. (1979). Women at work: The transformation of work and community in
Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860
. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Rury, J.L. (1991). Education and women's work: Female schooling and the division of labor in urban America, 1870-1930. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Talbot, M. (1910). The education of women. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Sharma, U. (1986). Women's work, class, and the urban household: A study of Shimla, North India. New York, NY: Tavistock Publications.

Hennessy, R. and Ingraham, C. (1997). Materialist feminism: A reader in class, difference, and women's lives. New York, NY: Routledge.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How to Make Butter

Ever wonder where your butter comes from? A huge portion of cheap commercial butter is made from butter and milk products imported from other countries, especially Europe. Well, that is silly, since we have hundreds of thousands of displaced farmers right here in the U.S. that could be producing our own milk and butter. So, since you just can't be sure, strive to find milk that is truly from a local dairy. I'm lucky to have found Snowville Creamery for my dairy needs, a true Ohio dairy where the land, cows, and people aren't outsourced.

Plus, bringing in dairy products from other countries is not helping environmental issues due to the excess use of fuels to transport it. So, making your own butter is "greener".

Here is how to make your own Made in America butter:

1. In a food processor with a typical metal blade, pour in some whipping cream.
2. Run the processor until the fat separates into a chunk from the buttermilk.
3. Scoop out the butter into a bowl, and press out the remaining buttermilk.
4. Done.

Keep the buttermilk to make fresh biscuits, or just drink it. Add a bit of salt to the cream before whipping it if you want. You can add maple syrup, garlic, or herbs as well if you want to spice it up! It's that freakin' easy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Male Home Economist in Northern Ireland

The University of Ulster in Northern Ireland graduated its first male home economics teacher, Marc Harding, in 2005. It was such a new thing that the University posted a news story about him (University of Ulster News), and he was interviewed by the The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland as well.

Men have made inroads into the home economics profession since the 1940s/50s in the United States, but I'm not sure what the history is like in other countries - I'll keep looking! There are lots of stories about men becoming home economists, like this one at The main thrust is still about cooking and childcare issues, at least on the surface. Maybe that is because it's easy to get pictures like the one on Buzzle of people sitting at a dining table. It's much tougher to visualize home economics as a way to understand social justice movements in say food acquisition or the development of marital laws.

Home economics is a global area of knowledge, because most people have to deal with a personal economy in whatever their place of residence is - a 10 room house in a suburban subdivision (a.k.a., perfectly good farm land); a tent under a highway overpass; an apartment in a 300 unit complex. Everyone deals with economics. The University of Alberta in Canada has a good page describing trends in home ec (University of Alberta).

Here is a link to some current research on male home-makers in Nigeria. I think that a cross-cultural examination of home economics issues and processes will lead to ideas that are liberating and functional for everyone.