I was sitting around the kitchen table with my Great Aunt and Grandmother one day when they began to reminisce about their childhood. Inevitably they began talking of their mother and how she would scrape the crystallized jelly from the side of old canning jars until she had enough to sweeten a cake. In the midst of the great depression sweets were hard to come by and yet this poor mother of nine had the skills to make a cake from essentially nothing. Nothing was wasted. Everything and (more importantly) everyone had a defined purpose. This discussion with the matriarchs of my family planted a seed in my brain. As I watch events unfold across the world, as I hear talk of economic disaster, revolution, and human survival I wonder, in the event of a worst case scenario where gas prices soar and food supplies are limited what will this generation of women put on the table for their children? What skills have we honed over our lifetimes to allow for the survival and success of our families? My grandmother left grade school after learning how to read and write to work alongside her mother. The sad reality is no matter how much I work to emulate her example I will always have less experiences on which to draw. Cooking, cleaning, preserving, maintaining and caring for a family are skills that require practice and planning…and I am ill prepared. In this modern age women are told they can be and go do anything. The hidden subtext is that traditional choices are less worthy in the eyes of society. Did the second wave of feminists understand that in promoting womens rights they would actually limit traditional skills that allowed women like my grandmother to make cakes with no sugar? As a true daughter of my generation I’ve come to realize I’m ill prepared to live up to the examples set by the women who came before me. I have never sewed a garment, I learned to cook in college and I have never canned a vegetable. Here in my 33rd year I’ve decided to make a change. I will no longer accept social dogma that belittles the choices of traditional women to work inside the home. I will learn to sew, garden, can, cook and iron with the same methodical precision and imagination of my foremothers. I will defer to my excellent husband who deserves my respect and admiration and I will not apologize for it to anyone who wishes to see that as evidence of inferiority. To that end this blog will chronicle my (likely) comical attempts to harness my inner feminine nature for the sake of my family, my community, my state, my country and the world.