Raise your hand if you hated home-ec.
Those of you who do not yet have teenagers have probably lost touch with home economics in school, which is now called FACS, for "Family and Consumer Science." This term is obviously a misnomer because the word "science" implies direct correlations between cause and effect, linear thinking, and streamline procedures. If your household with teenagers runs like a science lab, I suggest you verify their place of birth because they are not from around here, meaning planet Earth. And Maury Povich wants to talk to you.
Let me compare/contrast the true home home-ec with FACS.
Baby Girl's 8th grade recipes are typed out on 8 1/2 by 11" papers. They begin like this: Before you pre-heat the oven, check to make sure oven racks are centered in the middle. Gather all of your utensils and measuring cups (16 listed in all, including dishcloth). Count out 24 paper muffin liner cups. Place liner cups in muffin wells.
Recipe is written in pencil on back of cardboard piece torn from a Little Debbie box. "Get in here; you're the one who wanted to make this! OK, put down the dog and wash your hands. Crawl into the cabinet and look for the cupcake pan I haven't used since you were eight. Better wash it. Pre-heat the oven." (Oven dings.) "What is that smell? Oh...(opening oven) Now who left the fish sticks in from last night?" Baby Girl: "Mom, we had fish sticks Wednesday night."
19 steps in all, PLUS 9 for the next day, and I am not making that up. One actual step: Crack eggs into coffee cups. Check for freshness by smelling and looking for the white chalzae [What is that? Makes think of Charlize Theron] around yolk. Another step: When your cheesecakes are cool, cover with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil that has your name, period, and kitchen # on it. Actual step from "next day" instructions: Everyone will sit down and eat together with proper manners.
Reduce six steps to three by throwing everything dry in a big bowl, then throw in wet stuff. Crack the egg already. You're tapping it like you're doing Morse code. OK, if you see Charlize Theron in your eggs, they're bad. When they're cool, don't waste the plastic wrap--your brother will eat 12 right away, and your dad will eat 6, which leaves 4 for your sister's boyfriend and one for you and me. Maybe you should go ahead and eat yours now. Every man for himself.
Do not leave the room without your teacher inspecting your dishes as well as kitchen area. Do not leave the room until you have permission.
Lick these beaters. Good job. Swoosh them around in the measuring cup water to prepare them for your dad to wash. Spray out your bowl with hot water. No need for soap since we did not lick the bowl. Go take a shower and get the splatters out of your hair. Wait--how did you get splatters in your hair? Did you lick the bowl??? Nevermind, I don't want to know; it's already in the cabinet. Do not come back in here or ask to make anything else for 7 business days, which does NOT include weekends. You're dismissed.