What’s in a name? Well, everything when the name is Home Ec. Remember Home Economics? That great class taught high schoolers how to cook, sew, and balance their checkbook. What happened? Suddenly, someone decided kids no longer needed to learn these skills.
What is so important about Home Ec?
Every child graduating from high school should be able to provide a home-cooked meal for themselves or a loved one. The name Home Ec, therefore, brings back fond memories of something of value that has been lost; it evokes a sense of nostalgia.
A sense of purpose and usefulness washed over me when I saw the words Home Ec painted on the window of a charming little shop on the far end of India Street in San Diego. The memory of this lost elective beckoned me to check out the shop, and I am so glad I did.
For thirty years, kitchens and pantries have been my happy place. When I saw Home Ec, I knew I was looking at something special. The best way to describe it is a shop full of culinary knick knacks.
What’s on the Shelves?
Shelves full of fantastic hard-to-find sauces, condiments, chili oils, rubs, and spice blends. A table with stacks of cookbooks beautifully displayed greets you as you enter the store. I have a self-imposed moratorium on buying more cookbooks; needless to say, I have purchased several.
Good things to eat.
Chili oil, garlic crunch, and salsa matcha are my jam. I can’t get enough of these condiments; I put them on everything. Carynn, the owner of Home Ec, has searched high and low for the good stuff, so I don’t have to. If she puts it on her shelf, it will eventually end up on mine. Watch out; just like a gateway drug, the first one isn’t free but is addicting. Once Carynn convinces you to buy one, she will have you hooked and you will find yourself with no choice but to come back to her for more.
Gadgets to cook with.
Some shelves hold handmade ceramic bowls, plates, and fun kitchen gadgets. One such item is a salt pig; I knew I couldn’t live without one. A salt pig is a vessel used for holding salt meant to live on your kitchen counter. I always have kosher and sea salt readily accessible. What I once housed in random cups or jars is now neatly stored, ready for use, in my hand-made salt pigs. Oink! Oink!
Home Ec has little side tables throughout the store holding various tools like wooden spoons, rolling pins, and spatulas. I often think I have seen it all, but Carynn always keeps one step ahead of me. She carries these wooden spatulas of varying sizes and shapes for specific applications. They almost look like paint scrapers with the working end shaped for particular tasks. Some are rounded, and others have a more pointed end to reach the edges of a pan while stirring and putting in work; I use these constantly. I have one in every configuration and so do my loved ones, as these became Christmas gifts.
Where is Home Ec?
Home Ec lives inside James Coffee Company with a few other fun shops. Grab a coffee and bounce around to all the fun stores housed in this vintage, well-loved and thoughtfully designed warehouse. No pressure, Home Ec isn’t addictive; everybody goes there, and you can stop anytime; just buy one, try it you’ll love it.
2355 India St. San Diego 92101