Can You Pass This 1953 Home Economics Test (Version 2.0!)

About this Quiz

In the 1950s, managing a home wasn't easy! You studied for it in high school. There were clothes to hem, cocktails to prepare, floors to polish, cakes to bake, and a family to keep smiling.

In Home Economics, eager students learned how to prepare the perfect appetizers, take care of sick children, and perfectly polish the silverware. It was the perfect class to prepare yourself to be the perfect housewife. Would you have caught yourself a husband? Could you make your grandma proud?

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1. What is Lisa making for her kids' afternoon snack?

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  1. S'mores
  2. Lemon Curd Cookies
  3. Mayonnaise
  4. Whipped cream
Lisa is, of course, using a cookie press! If she's staying true to 50's tastes, she might be making lemon curd, ginger snaps, cream wafers, lavender, or pistachio-cream cheese cookies.
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2. Time for spring cleaning! Ketchup and salt are great for:

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  1. Making Joe's Halloween costume
  2. Polishing copper
  3. Polishing shoes
  4. An afternoon snack
Ketchup was incredibly huge back in the fifties, so it was applied to more than just food. Equal parts salt and ketchup should be used with a soft cotton or hemp cloth.
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3. Your husband gives you a compliment. Good manners dictates you say:

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  1. Nothing, walk away
  2. "Go back to work, I'm busy!"
  3. "Is that the best you can do?"
  4. "Thank you, darling!"
It's not necessary that you return a compliment just given to you. However, it is good manners to say thank you.
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4. What recipe should you master for Christmas dinner?

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  1. Shaved ice
  2. Glazed ham
  3. Candied pig brains
  4. Noodle soup
Usually eaten on Christmas or Boxing Day, no holiday season is really complete until you've downed one. Glazed ham fanatics fight passionately over which glaze is the best. Our hands-down favorite is brown sugar.
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5. Cleanliness is respect. Wash your hair:

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  1. Once every six months
  2. Once every two weeks
  3. 10 times a day
  4. Once in a blue moon
It was recommended that hair be shampooed at least every two weeks; more often if the hair got dirty.
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6. Forgot to pick up cleaning materials? Use lemon juice to:

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  1. Clean your pots
  2. Answer life's most persistent questions
Lemon juice is a great way to clean the mineral build-up on tea kettles and coffee pots. Just boil lemon slices inside the pot, and allow it to sit for an hour. Then rinse, and dry! Voila!
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7. Don't serve your tea without this fruity cake:

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  1. Pineapple upside-down cake
  2. Red velvet cake
  3. Irish soda bread
  4. Jello
The pineapple upside-down cake is an old-fashioned cake, which, despite its look, is extremely delicious. It was so named because its toppings are at the bottom (it's upside down). After baking, the cake is flipped, so that the toppings are now at the top.
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8. Something smells sweet! For your son's 11 am playdate, use this tool to make...

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  1. Sunshine
  2. Coffee
  3. Scones
  4. Pizza
Also known as a pastry blender, a pastry cutter is a tool used to mix a solid fat, like butter, into flour. It breaks up the hard butter into smaller pieces, making it easier to mix.
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9. Your dessert repertoire is not complete without:

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  1. Bourbon balls
  2. Honey-baked apples
  3. Marzipan
  4. Jordan almonds
No one can criticize this old-fashioned favorite, made of cored apples, generously drizzled with a brown sugar and honey mixture and baked for about 40 minutes.
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10. Did David spill his cocktail? Mix milk and cornstarch to:

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  1. Give yourself a facial
  2. Refill his cocktail glass
  3. Clean your carpets
  4. Occupy your children
If you don't have time to go to the store, no need to fret! There are products in your pantry that will do the trick. Milk and cornstarch make a great carpet cleaner!
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11. Egg whites, baking powder, and coconut flakes make the perfect party cake!

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  1. Shredded coconut cake
  2. Tres leches
  3. Flan
  4. Butter cake
Remember when all your friends were clamoring for this beauty? Coconut cakes incorporate shredded coconut not only into their batters, but also as decor on the cake's exterior.
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12. Tommy proposed! What should people bring to your engagement party?

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  1. Nothing, no gifts required
  2. Livestock, so you can start a farm
It's not good etiquette to give gifts at engagement parties. Save gift-giving for the wedding itself!
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13. It's laundry day again! Keep the pigments in clothing fresh by:

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  1. Mixing light and dark laundry together
  2. Singing to them
  3. Letting your 3-year-old do the laundry
  4. Turning clothes inside out before washing
Turning clothes inside out before washing keeps them looking newer, longer! Why? The machine agitates clothing fibers. When you wash inside out, it agitates the sides of the clothing that no one sees!
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14. William's home from a hard day at the bank. What should you greet him with?

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  1. Heavy metal music
  2. A Mickey Mouse themed costume party
  3. The cocktail of his choice
  4. A list of chores he has to do
As one Home-Economics textbook noted, greeting your hsuband with a good meal and cocktail: "is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs."
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15. Grandma fell asleep again and burned the pot. How do you clean it?

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  1. Let water and soap simmer in it
  2. With highly toxic pesticides
  3. Give it to your dog, he'll clean it
  4. Throw it away!
Soap water should be placed into the pot or pan and brought to a simmer. Scrubbing afterwards should remove the stains.
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16. For a perfect morning look, never go to sleep without your:

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  1. Teddy bear
  2. Hair rollers
  3. Mascara
  4. Dentures
Hair rollers, or hair curlers, were patented in 1930 but reached peak popularity in the 50s and 60s. Simply wrap your hair around the rollers, secure them in place, and let the curls set. You'll wake up in the morning with a beautiful head of hair!
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17. A comfortable bed is the secret to a good marriage. Wash your pillows:

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  1. Once a year
  2. Every three months
Washing your pillows too often might damage them. Ideally, you should wash them every 3 months.
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18. What hearty soup works wonders when little Stevie has a cold?

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  1. Onion soup
  2. Risotto
  3. Fondue
  4. Foie gras
There's nothing better than a warm soup to beat a cold! Beef stock and onions are essential ingredients in this French-inspired soup. Of course, no onion soup is truly complete without a crunchy topping of savory croutons.
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19. Dinner time! Before taking your first bite, you should...

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  1. Do a dance
  2. Tell a raunchy story
  3. Wait for everyone to be served
  4. Recite the constitution
It is considered very rude to eat your meal before everyone receives their food. This is why restaurants aim to serve entire tables at the same time, regardless of the cooking time of different dishes.
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20. Time for a trip to the market! Why should you make a shopping list?

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  1. It prevents early-onset dementia
  2. It eliminates impulse buying
Always plan ahead! A good shopping list is key to good home management. You'll be sure to buy what you need, and you won't overspend!
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21. A mother's work never ends! The work she did in the home was called:

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  1. Labor income
  2. Income tax
Experiences in Homemaking explains that: "When estimates have been made of what it would cost to pay other people for the various tasks the mother does in caring for her home and family, it has been found that the mother’s time is as valuable as the average father’s time in terms of money. This contribution, which the mother makes to the family income, is called labor income."
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22. The ladies will whisper if you don't prepare these when they come calling:

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  1. Cobbler
  2. Cucumber canapes
  3. Double cheeseburgers
  4. Hoppin' John
Cucumber canapes were a simple but delicious teatime classic. These refreshing, one-bite finger sandwiches usually contain mayo, cream cheese, and thinly sliced bread.
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23. Invited to a party? Why not bring:

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  1. An extra guest
  2. Nothing
  3. A dish or gift
  4. Money to help pay for the food
If you've been invited to a dinner party, it's bad manners to walk in empty-handed. If you can't find the time to bake or make a dish, walk in with a gift.
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24. Is it 6 am already? When you wake up in the morning:

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  1. Never wake up, go back to sleep
  2. Eat candy
  3. Yell at the top of your voice
  4. Open your windows to let fresh air in
Fresh air makes for a good start to the day! Wake up and open your windows to stimulate your senses!
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25. The Smiths surprised you with a visit! Luckily you are always prepared with:

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  1. Whisky
  2. A housewife doesn't know what's in her fridge
  3. A pitcher of iced tea
  4. Milk
Always stock your fridge with iced tea! It's a great drink for adult and children guests, alike! You wouldn't want to be caught unprepared!
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26. At your rehearsal dinner, who should give the first toast?

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  1. Your neighbor down the street
  2. The Queen of England
  3. Your wedding planner
  4. The groom's father
It's only polite to let the father of the groom have the first word. Afterwards, anyone else who wants to speak up can have a turn.
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27. Is it pizza night? Of course, you'll make it by scratch with a...

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  1. Whisk
  2. Spatula
  3. Saute pan
  4. Rolling pin
Rolling pins are used to shape and flatten dough. There are different types, all of which are used for rolling everything from cookies to pizza.
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28. Don't leave the house without...

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  1. Kissing the milkman
  2. Your good luck charm
  3. Putting on makeup
  4. Posting about it on social media
Taking care of your appearance is a sign of respect to everyone else. Do not leave the house with some makeup on, to keep you looking your best!
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29. Timmy's tipping his soup bowl! What do you tell him?

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  1. Stop! It's never okay to tip a soup bowl
  2. Keep on going, you're a champ!
While it's not against the law to tip your bowl, it is not considered to be good etiquette. It would be better to get another helping of soup.
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30. Yawn! At a wedding, when can you politely make an exit?

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  1. After they cut the cake
  2. When it's time for your kid's baseball game
Not all weddings are bundles of fun. Wait until after the cake is cut to leave, then gracefully make your exit.
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31. Little May needs a new dress! Pin your pattern to the fabric:

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  1. Perpendicular to the seem
  2. Never pin your patterns!
If you pin your fabric perpendicular to the seem, the sewing process is much easier! You won't have to stop every time you come across the pin to take it out!
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32. At your dinner party, try serving these:

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  1. Deviled eggs
  2. Black peas
  3. Fish and chips
  4. Shepherd's pie
Deviled eggs make an elegant, yet easy-to-prepare appetizer. They are hard-boiled eggs with a twist! They've been cut in half and filled with a paste made out of the eggs' boiled yolks.
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33. Someone in your company passes gas and says "excuse me". You should:

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  1. Smile or nod
  2. Point and laugh
Good etiquette deems that gross or unfavorable bodily functions be ignored. If someone passes gas and says nothing, you should not bring attention to the situation. If the person who passes gas says "excuse me," simply smile or nod in acknowledgment.
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34. Fred's button fell off! Sew it back on:

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  1. Who needs to sew?
  2. Make Fred do it!
  3. Using a cross-stitch
  4. Threading any which way
The most important part of button sewing is consistency. The thread should match the thread used for the other buttons. If the other buttons were sewed on using a cross-stitch, mirror the stitching, too!
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35. Teach your kids well! Tim to chew his peas....

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  1. 5-10 times
  2. Who needs to chew?
Why chew softer foods 5-10 times? Under-chewed food is more likely to cause bacterial growth. Chewing also releases saliva, which relaxes your lower stomach and speeds up digestion.
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36. Why wash water glasses before anything else?

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  1. People might be thirsty and ask for more water
  2. Wash the cleanest first, so you don't get the dishwater dirty!
The general rule of thumb in the fifties was that the cleanest dishes would be washed first and that the cooking utensils would be last.
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37. Tisk Tisk! Are Sue and Stan behaving at the banquet?

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  1. Yes
  2. No
Dinner manners 101: It is only polite to feed babies at the dinner table. Anything else is too intimate!
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38. Time to update your wardrobe? You'll need to buy new cloth by the:

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  1. Bolt
  2. Fathom
  3. Bard
  4. Metric ounce
In Middle English, short metal rods, particularly those with knobbed ends, were called "bolts". This has been used to refer to cloth since the 15th century!
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39. Women were taught that speaking in a soft, clear, and sweet voice:

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  1. Keeps your cat happy
  2. Keeps your husband satisfied
Always be polite! Women were reminded never to reprimand their husbands or say 'I told you so,' despite provocation. It was simply not good manners to do so.
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40. Don't hold a cocktail party without buying one of these:

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  1. Olives
  2. Oranges
  3. Garnishes
  4. Ice crusher
You couldn't make a cocktail without one! Crushed ice is popular in cocktails because it has more surface area than ice cubes, causing it to cool things more quickly.
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41. Is it proper to wear a dress with bare legs?

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  1. No, always put on nylon stockings
  2. Of course, it's cooler that way
Always cover up! Nylon stockings weren't intended to imitate the appearance of bare legs. In the 1950s, seamless stockings suffered in sales for looking too much like bare legs. They took a long time to take off.
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42. Any good housewife knows that the room with the most germs is:

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  1. The basement
  2. The living room
  3. The kitchen
  4. The garage
It's true! Kitchens and germs are in love. Did you know that, on average, kitchens are likely to have more germs than bathrooms? Something to think about next time you put off doing the dishes.
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43. At dinner, should you put salt & pepper in your food before tasting it?

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  1. That is very rude!
  2. Yes, everyone should!
It is considered very rude to add salt and pepper to your dish before tasting it. It appears as if you're assuming that the food has no seasoning. Try a bit first, just out of courtesy, then add the two.
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44. Rinngggg! Answer the phone call:

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  1. Make your dog answer it
  2. By saying, "What's up, dudette?"
  3. Using a fake Irish accent
  4. By the second ring, to be polite
Answer the phone as promptly and politely as possible! If you don't want to answer, just leave your phone off the hook. No one will know you're not on another call!
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45. Make sure the food in your fridge stays fresh by:

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  1. Only buying green foods
  2. Separating raw meat from other foods
To keep your fridge clean and avoid food poisoning at home, make sure to keep your raw meats away from other things, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Why? You won't cook these foods before eating them, so any bacteria transferred onto them won't be killed.
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46. Too much on your to-do list? How long can you put off sending a thank you card?

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  1. Within 3 months of the event
  2. Within 2 years of the event
Good etiquette demands that thank you cards be written regularly, and at least within 3 months of an event. In them, it is customary that a compliment be given in the very first line.
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47. When planning a three-course dinner party, first serve:

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  1. Creme brulee
  2. Steak
  3. Pumpkin soup
  4. Gummy bears
Soups are generally considered to be appetizers and will be served before the main courses, which often include meat like chicken, fish, or steak, followed by the dessert.
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48. Whatever you do, DON'T put this in your trifel!

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  1. Sponge layers
  2. Black licorice
  3. Sherry
  4. Vanilla pudding powder
Described as a 'gala desert' when well made, the trifle was a staple repertoire of any good housewife. Made with alternating layers of fruit, sponge fingers, sherry, and custard, this heavy dessert would definitely not have gotten along with licorice.
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49. To scrapbook your family holidays, make sure you know how to use this:

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  1. Video camera
  2. Binoculars
  3. Telescope
  4. Camera
By the 1950s, photography had become a middle-class American hobby. Cameras were almost obligatory accessories to road trips. America's favorite, heavily-photographed vacation spots included: Dayton Beach, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Jones Beach, New York; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
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50. While doing chores, why not watch an episode of "I Love Lucy" on this?

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  1. Radio
  2. Electronic picture frame
  3. Modem
  4. TV
Philo Taylor Farnsworth invented the television when he was just 21 years old. He had to play a lot of catch up to do so. Farnsworth didn't even have electricity for the first 14 years of his life!
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