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34 Practical Life Skills to Master on Your Snow Day/Weekend

It’s tempting, when drumming up content for a website like Food52, to assume that your readers have a basic working knowledge of… well. Everything. Nobody balks if we speak casually about laminating dough, for example. Further: Our comments sections, even on design and culture stories, can be as insightful as the articles themselves, and we write about community recipes, tips, and suggestions all the time (that’s how Food52 got started, you know).

But as we’ve grown, we’ve seen our readers gravitate just as frequently to practical, basic life skills—how to hand-wash delicate clothes, care for stainless steel cookware, buy quality furniture, or refinish a cutting board to name a few.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Our editorial team has long referred to articles under this umbrella as “Home Ec” amongst ourselves (“family and consumer sciences” just does not have the same ring to it). So we’re formalizing the topic, scouting out experts, and planning to bring lots more of it to you. Heavy on useful, timely, or otherwise interesting skills and tips (budgeting, yes); low on fussy, outdated, or otherwise useless tutorials (how to follow a poodle skirt pattern, no). Full disclosure: There might be some sewing.

Below, some topics and articles we’re going to be sharing more of (just the beginning):

home care + handiwork

Keeping your pipes safe, your plants alive, your countertops quenched—and more.

How to Hang Pendant Bulbs (And More!) from Your Ceiling
How to Hang Pendant Bulbs (And More!) from Your Ceiling
by Amanda Sims
How I Grew the Lush Garden Oasis of My Dreams—in 30 Square Feet
How I Grew the Lush Garden Oasis of My Dreams—in 30 Square Feet
by Liz Johnson

cleaning guides + laundry

Guides on everything from cleaning all kinds of cookware to mastering the art of laundry.

Skip Your Next Trip to the Dry Cleaner Thanks to This Kitchen Tool
Skip Your Next Trip to the Dry Cleaner Thanks to This Kitchen Tool
by Alison Freer
The 13 Best Kitchen Cleaning Tips We Learned in 2016
The 13 Best Kitchen Cleaning Tips We Learned in 2016
by Amanda Sims
It Takes 10 Seconds to Protect Your Shoes From Nasty Winter Weather
It Takes 10 Seconds to Protect Your Shoes From Nasty Winter Weather
by Alison Freer
How to Find a Great Tailor No Matter Where You Live
How to Find a Great Tailor No Matter Where You Live
by Alison Freer

cooking basics

Safe canning, happy (sharp!) knives, and chicken carving 101.

The Need-to-Know Guide to Botulism, For Safe Canning & Preserving
The Need-to-Know Guide to Botulism, For Safe Canning & Preserving
by Leslie Stephens
6 Things You Should Do to Take Care of Your Knives
6 Things You Should Do to Take Care of Your Knives
by Caroline Lange
How to Break Down a Chicken ( + How to Make Chicken Stock)
How to Break Down a Chicken ( + How to Make Chicken Stock)
by Cara Nicoletti

creative arts

An intro to hand sewing, candle-making, working with lye, dye, and more.

How to Make Soap at Home (Even if You Failed Chemistry)
How to Make Soap at Home (Even if You Failed Chemistry)
by Caitlin Pike
A New Life—Eternal!—For the Last Potatoes in Your Pantry
A New Life—Eternal!—For the Last Potatoes in Your Pantry
by Laura Kaesshaefer
How to Preserve and Press Leaves + Ideas for Using Them
How to Preserve and Press Leaves + Ideas for Using Them
by Laura Kaesshaefer

What would you like to see from Home Ec on Food52? Tell us in the comments.

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