Day 29- “You can do Anything!”…But really we’ve been convinced we can do nothing.

WARNING! Small bitterness rant ahead :P I know some of you out there are very skilled in the home-arts, and this will mean nothing to you!

My neighbor across the street moved, so the other day I drove to her new city to see the new home and visit. While there, she showed me how her friend taught her to make feta cheese. “It’s really easy!” she says. “You just boil milk and…” blah blah I can’t remember the specifics but I do remember that it was like three super easy steps. Of course I’m all surprised and sitting there dumbfounded, “Cheese? You MADE your own cheese!?”

Feta cheese. Put that into the growing list of Things I Thought were Completely Impossible to Make Unless You Had Like Tons of Uninterrupted Time, Massive Arm Strength, and Vast Skill.

Over the years I have been completely shocked at how easy it is to make things that I swore were Homemaking Rocket Science.

Strawberry Jam- Is not hard

Bread- Is not hard

Sourdough Bread- Is not hard

Roasting a Chicken- Is not hard

Pie crust- Is not hard

Crocheting- Is not hard

Apparently, Yogurt (though I haven’t tried yet)- Is not hard

Popcorn- Is not hard

What the heck else do I believe in my head is so impossibly hard, that turns out is pretty basic if you’re just shown a few steps?

“Girls of the world, You can do ANYTHING a man can do!!! You can be a doctor or engineer or firefighter or combat warrior! But don’t even think of doing the things that women can do, because those things have become TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE! No! no! Too hard! You can’t possibly make your own bread, or cheese, or yogurt, or can vegetables, or sew, or knit, or make a PIE with homemade crust! What are you like Martha Stewart or something? Some sort of homemaking fanatical wizard!?”

A woman can get a bachelor’s degree and that’s hard, but it’s “do-able” hard. Making bread? No! Toooo hard! Knit a sweater? NO WAY! (I’m totally the kind of person who falls all over herself when I see my friends’ knitting projects.)

Girls, we really can do Anything!

Including…the things that women have always done.

Have a wonderful day!

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8 Comments

Filed under A Year in Skirts

8 responses to “Day 29- “You can do Anything!”…But really we’ve been convinced we can do nothing.

  1. Colleen

    So true! I stumbled upon your blog via “Like Mother Like Daughter” and I’m enjoying your posts because I find myself on a similar journey – if that makes sense. I have been so happy to see a whole world of wife/mother/homemaker bloggers who are embracing wholeheartedly their roles as women.
    You are right that the message has been that all those traditional homemaking skills are “too hard”, but I also think that an equally strong message has been that those skills are just not necessary. That a truly successful, smart woman gets an education so that she can pay someone else to care for her children, clean her house, prepare her food, etc. And make your own clothes or curtains??? How ridiculous when a woman with a great career can afford the trendiest things at the mall! What a shame that so many of us have fallen for this. But how wonderful that the tide – at least in my world – is turning.

  2. Making pickles is also not hard! See: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/06/bread-and-butter-pickles/

    And don’t even get me started on how it’s like two steps more complicated to make a cake from scratch than from a box, but how it tastes a frillion times better.

  3. First of all, I have to say that I love your blog!

    Secondly, my journey into “making what I formerly thought was impossible” was, of all things, pudding. I had NO IDEA that pudding could be made from scratch. I followed Martha Stewart’s recipe, whipped up some pudding in less than 10 minutes, and spent the rest of the day telling everyone, “Hey! Guess what??? I made pudding from scratch!!!”

    No one seemed as thrilled as I was, but I didn’t care.

    Since then, I have discovered the joys of making bread (do it every week), jam, yogurt (REALLY easy to do!), butter, hot pockets, granola, cream of [whatever] soup, salsa, etc. I’m looking forward to making my own kahlua and vanilla extract soon as well.

    It saddens me that we have sold ourselves short for so long — that we have fallen for the argument that we need to leave it to the experts… the ones that know better than we do…

    So this skirt-wearing, homeschooling mom salutes you! *grin*

  4. I cringe when women say “I don’t cook,” because by embracing that attitude, they are essentially depriving their children of self sufficiency. We have to teach these things, they are almost lost.

  5. Love this post!! It’s so true. And learning the ‘lost womanly arts’ is so satisfying!! I feel at least as good about feeding my family a nice meal as I did about getting an A on a paper in college.

  6. My (20-something female) friends all think I am some sort of genius because I can make bread. Every time I offer them bread they ask if I made it and every time I say yes and they just lose it over how awesome it is. No matter how cheap and simple I tell them it is they are just not interested in doing it themselves. I don’t get it. It tastes better, is cheaper, is healthier, and creates no plastic waste and um, it is easy!

    My mom was one who didn’t really cook. She made hamburger helper and Cambell’s cream of mushroom soup gravy…that sort of thing. I can remember the first time I made rice that wasn’t minute rice. I was floored. I always assumed that if “they” made instant pudding, and minute rice that it was because the real thing was too hard to do. But, that is just not true, as you so clearly know.

    The more womanly arts I learn the more of them that I want to learn. These skills are so valuable and amazing that is it a travesty we undervalue and trivialize them so much in our modern culture. Good for you for bringing them back, one household at a time!

    Wonderful post.

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