08 August 2010

Old Ladies' Club

My coworker/friend, I will call her M, and I have started a new club. We tossed around several names at first: Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness, Self-Sufficiency Training, DIY Club, and several others. The one that stuck though, was Old Ladies' Club. Our goal in forming this club is to regain the skills of resourcefulness and self-reliance that have been lost somewhere in the past few generations. We want to learn those things that were just second nature to our grandmothers. Part of the goal of this is to take steps to Green our lifestyles, but we also want to explore new hobbies, make useful things, and eat delicious food! We have a running list on M's desk of all the things we hope to try out as a club. Hopefully we can expand to include more than just the two of us!
Old Ladies' Club had it's first official meeting two weeks ago. We met at M's house and began preparing 30 pounds of tomatoes for canning. M wanted to make tomato sauce and salsa and she was able to work out a good deal with a farmer at the Farmers' Market. What a mess! After a couple hours, M's kitchen was a disaster! But it was a fun and educational experience. Luckily, we weren't complete novices at canning. M took a class with the Oklahoma State University Extension and I have been around and marginally involved in canning with my mother and grandmothers. Even so, we had much to learn.
Lessons learned:
1. Blanching only takes 30 seconds not 5 minutes.
2. 30 pounds of tomatoes becomes a lot less after you peel them and remove the seeds.
3. Canning is a weekend job. It is too much work to do on a Tuesday evening.

For the second meeting of Old Ladies' Club, M came over to my house and my fiancé made us a lovely dinner of black bean soup, Spanish tortilla, and his famous cornbread. For dessert we had strawberry cake baked in little bunny shaped pans. It was so much fun! The goal of this meeting was for me to teach M how to knit. When I learned how to knit, my first project was a scarf. I don't recommend this. It takes a very long time for a beginner to finish a scarf, and it is easy to lose interest before the project is completed. I started M on a dishcloth using cotton yarn

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M was a very quick learner. She not only grasped the idea quickly, but she is able to recognize mistakes, even if she is not able to correct them herself. Recognizing mistakes is a very important skill. She'll finish this dishcloth in no time and be ready to move on to more interesting projects. Teaching M how to knit got me really excited about knitting again. It comes and goes in waves, but knitting is the hobby I have stuck with the longest and intended to keep doing regularly. I have 3 projects on needles right now, and several more in the queue.

Be sure to let me know if you have any suggestions of projects/skills for the Old Ladies' Club!


  1. 1) Brewing beer
    2) Homemade ice cream (without using electricity)

    I'd suggest wine but don't want to a) sound like a boozer and b) don't want to introduce any more of that sweet/fruity wine into the world.

    I'm just sayin'...

  2. Oooo! Beer brewing and homemade ice cream! Two excellent suggestions. I knew of a place that used to advertise Guinness flavored ice cream. Project #3 perhaps....

  3. You could make homemade butter. I remember making it in mason jar when I was little.