I remember we used to have Home Science classes when I was in lower Secondary school. Oh how we loved those classes! What did they teach us during Home Science? We had to split ourselves into two groups and alternate. One group would learn cooking and baking while the other group learns tailoring.
For the tailoring class, first, we had to learn to make an apron and a cap for our cooking class. Then we learned to patch torn clothing, we learned to sew zippers and buttons and how to cut and sew a blouse with embroidery and lace. We even learned smocking and made a little girl’s dress and our tailoring class teacher taught us cross stitch. It was amazing how much we learned. And it was so much fun. Our sewing class was just upstairs from the cooking class which was fully equipped with many ovens for baking cakes. The sewing class had many sewing machines. Towards the end of the class we would be able to smell all the foods that the cooking class group had cooked up as the smells wafted in through the windows.
For the cooking class, we had to first learn some simple housekeeping. We learned to make beds, hospital style, we learned to polish silver and brass, we learned the way to wash and dry different types of materials with special care for wools and silks. Then we learned cooking. We learned to cook all sorts of dishes and we learned to bake using different styles. I remember I was cooking sweet and sour fish once and my fish was undercooked. Before the teacher checked my fish, I quickly slipped it into the fryer for a second round of frying secretly. Haha. We learned to make all sorts of local foods including nasi lemak wrapped in a banana leaf (we had to go hunting for the banana leaves, then we learned that we had to quickly dip them into hot water so that they became flexible and would not break) and local delicacies or kuih.
Another time, my cupcakes was overbaked. We learned to hide our burnt biscuits etc. It was very enjoyable. We even had to sit for a cooking exam. My question was to cook for a cooking competition so layout was very important. Dad had to go and buy me some special plates so that I could present them nicely. I still have the plates to this day! I cooked my sweet and sour fish then but by then I had mastered it. Then I carefully decorated my food and placed them at different heights during display.
I really miss my home science classes in school. It has given me many lovely memories of school.
My favourite subjects in school were Home Science, English, Art, Chemistry and Biology. I hated History and Physics. What is your favourite subject in school?
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