When I was in 6th grade, my mother bravely invited 10 of my friends to a local church kitchen and taught them how to make apple pie.
If such a scenario leaves you envisioning a scene of mass destruction, you’d be close. After all, our casualties that day only included one upset bowl of cinnamon covered apple slices bouncing across the tiles, a pie crust stuck into the holes of the industrial strength rubber floor mat, and two more pie crusts that refused to roll out and ended up looking like something the cat dragged in.
Calamities aside, a number of delicious-looking pies passed through the door that day, and over the years, my mother received many comments about how my friends were putting her pie-making lesson to good use in their own homes.
Our pie-making experience came back to me when I ran across a recent lifestyle video featuring Bessie White. White, an elderly lady from Colorado, has been making and selling pies for a local farmer’s market for roughly 40 years. In the video, White explains how she learned her craft:
“I was one of nine children, and my mother – we never ate anything she didn’t make herself. So it wasn’t long before we were rolling out the pie, and we were making pies and so I’ve made pies since I was big enough to get up to the table. Roll the dough… and so, it wasn’t something I learned after I was older, I did it all my life. Nope, my mother was quite a talented lady. I don’t know how she done it.”
But while cooking from scratch grew to be second nature to Bessie White, she recognizes that such is not the case with the current generation:
“It’s a shame to ruin – to lose – all of our old traditional things that we do to live. But of course the stores – the grocery stores – have made it so convenient, you see, running down and grab a pie, you know, that it’s not very tempting for people to say, ‘Oh, I’ll go home and make one.’”
White’s assessment should give us pause. By learning to cook from scratch as a child, White not only gained valuable knowledge of basic skills, but she also spent quality time with her mother, who likely imparted wisdom and maturity to her daughter in a casual, everyday way.
Few of us would deny how wonderful it is to have the convenience of being able to go to the store and pick up almost anything our heart desires.
But in the process of gaining convenience, have we lost the basic knowledge and wisdom that was once passed down from generation to generation? Do we need to be more intentional in teaching our children to not only appreciate convenience, but to equip them with the skills, knowledge, and wisdom they will need if that convenience ever disappears?
Image Credit: Dan Dickenson bit.ly/1eBd9Ks
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.