Sibling Writing Assignment # 36: Italian Tomato Sauce and Homemade Noodles

Silver Valley girl gave us this prompt for the week. We were to recall a vivid memory that happened at school during junior high. Raymond Pert's is here, Silver Valley Girl's is here.

In Kellogg we attended junior high at the old Washington School that had been the high school. I also attended kindergarten in a room in the basement. The building has since been torn down, but back in late sixties /early seventies junior high was grades seven, eight, and nine.

Ninth grade had two classes that I looked forward to taking all through junior high. One was P.E. with Mrs. H. The other was home economics. At that time boys did shop and girls did home ec. All through junior high I walked by the home ec room and was intrigued by the kitchen units, the wonderful smells, the big windows that brought sunshine into the room, the sewing machines, and the teacher Mrs. M. First semester we did cooking and second semester was sewing.

I had always loved to cook with Mom in the kitchen before home ec, but I don't think I really understood the science of cooking. I loved learning about nutrition and how to measure ingredients correctly. I also loved the cooking part of home ec. We tried things that I hadn't made at home. Also, I had this class in the middle of the morning so getting to sample food was a real treat.

We made many dishes during that first semester, but what I really remember was the Italian Tomato Sauce and homemade noodles. There was a large group of Italian people in Kellogg and they loved to prepare dishes from the homeland. I felt like I was a part of that culture as we learned to make the sauce. I remember watching it simmer during the class. I remember the smells of oregano and garlic filling the room. Then we actually made homemade pasta. I don't think I have made it since. After a few days of simmering the sauce, rolling out noodles, and cooking it all together we had a fine feast. Perhaps my love for recipes and cooking was cemented that semester in Mrs. M.'s class.

I must have used up all my home skills first semester, because the sewing semester didn't quite stay with me. I did learn to sew, I did make an outfit for the traditional ninth grade style show, and I got a good grade in the class. The Italian Tomato Sauce and Homemade Noodles are what stayed in my memory.


  1. Thank you for the John Mayer blog!
    I added him to my favorites and will try and start reading it!

  2. very interesting...back in time..

  3. we have a large contingent of Italians here, too

    every fall there is an Italian Heritage Day celebration PLUS... there is a grape stomp

    I wonder if there is a homemade noodle demonstration, too. Those sound so yummy. (I'm a pasta person)

  4. Ah, the old Washington school building. It was always a maze to me. . .but then I went to Pinehurst Jr. High - which was very small by comparison.

    Ah, Home Ec - loved it! (Especially the sewing and interior design part!)

    Ah, Homemade Noodles. Time to make homemade noodles in chicken soup. Mom used to make it, and serve it over mashed potatoes! It was good, but the carbohydrates were exponential! I like homemade noodles, but have never tried them in Italian sauce. Now, I have something else to try!

  5. Shelby: Yes, it did take me back!
    Pamela: No grape stomps in Little Italy in Kellogg, but lots of pasta!
    PIMD: I was trying to remember where they had the home-ec room at Pinehurst Junior High. Did Mrs. Johnson also teach home-ec? Now I think I will go buy the

  6. Did Pinehurst Junior High also used this text book in 1950???

    Wifes Duties

    The following is an exact excerpt from a 1950's Home Economics Textbook “The Good wives Guide”.

    1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home, and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome home.

    2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people.

    3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

    4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc, and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

    5. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a little fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

    6. Prepare the children. Take a few moments to wash their hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

    7. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him.

    8. Greet him with a warm smile, and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

    9. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Remember, his topics of conversation are more important than your.

    10. Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

    11. Your goal. Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where you husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

    12. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.

    13. Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he has gone through all day.

    14. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair, or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange for his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low soothing and pleasant voice.

    15. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment of integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house, and as such, will always exercise his will with faithfulness & fairness. You have no right to question him.
    A good wife always knows her place.

  7. I don't remember that from school, but have read it recently online. . .LOL! There were too many years between the time I took Jr. High Home Ec. and got married. . .at least 10 years - that I didn't remember much about Husband info.

    Mrs. Johnson taught both Home Ec and PE. She was great. Our Home Ec classroom was the first room on the left down the Jr. High Hall, moving away from the office and gym. I think it was the size of a double classroom with the kitchen being closest to the nurses, counselor's office area - and the sewing room further down. I believe they turned it into the Teacher's Lounge later, as the teachers just had a tiny, long room for their breaks. (Between the boys restroom and the former nurses station). I substitute taught at Pinehurst during the 1975-76 school year, and they were still using the small room at that time.


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