Enrichment Announcement

I received an email announcment today about February’s Enrichment being an activity to learn how to cut vegetables. It was a fun email, and I had originally posted it here for laughs, but I have decided to take the email down. The person who wrote the email might not appreciate it being posted for all (the millions of) BCC readers.

So, um, what were some of the best Enrichment nights you attended?? :)

Comments

  1. Sign me up. Perhaps if you perform that task, the Brethren will learn to trust you.

  2. I think this is a great idea. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in Elders Quorum as the brothers complain about their wives’ inability to cut vegetables. I can’t think of anything more significant that the women of the church could be learning.

    I hope no one loses a thumb, though. These sorts of events can be dangerous. Remember, cut _away from_ yourself, not towards yourself. And make sure to have a first aid kit handy. No one wants to be known as “Frodo” after the activity is done.

  3. Elisabeth says:

    LOL! This is a real email I received today, but this is supposed to be a funny post/observation. No serious discussions about the purpose of Enrichment, women and the priesthood, etc. allowed!

  4. “No serious discussions about the purpose of Enrichment, women and the priesthood, etc. allowed!”

    As if any even exist.

  5. That just made me laugh out loud!! Wow – and hour on how to cut vegetables – I’d love to see how they make it last that long! I expect a report!

  6. Actually, Anon, there is a tremendouse about amount of serious discussion on these topics. Take your trolling elsewhere.

    That said, I am very glad to know that the restoration of all things included the fullness of veggie chopping. Change your life, indeed!

  7. Elders, I wanted to give you all a heads up about our next EQ activity. Due to a significant number of requests, Brother Y is going to teach us all how to properly use our TV remotes. I have actually been told that his technique is so wonderful that it made “a world of difference” for one of our brothers. Techniques include proper use of the “recall” button, and avoiding carpal tunnel syndrome. How is that for a ringing endorsement! The event will take place at Bother Y’s house. Details including time to follow!

  8. I am so glad I am in elders quorum. Our next elders quorum activity is making sushi.

  9. Our ward’s enrichment night has been scheduled for Valentine’s Day! Hello?!

  10. This sounds suspiciously like a Pampered Chef party, as in “The proper way to dice vegetables is with the Pampered Chef(TM) Food Chopper(TM) (product number 2585). The proper way to slice tomatoes it with the Pampered Chef(TM) Paring Knife(TM) (product number 1378). And don’t worry about remembering these product numbers they’re all listed on the back of your order form*cough* I mean, handout…”

  11. Removing the original takes all the wind out of my well crafted parody in #7…….Blast!

  12. Elisabeth says:

    I’m sorry, Talon! Your well-crafted parody was much appreciated :)

  13. I got an email yesterday from the Enrichment counselor in my ward with a link to a survey she’d put together for all of us to take.

    Question 1–Please check all of the following activities you’d think would be fun for enrichment.

    Quilting
    Crafts
    Sewing
    Scrapbooking
    Gardening
    Walking
    Aerobics
    Movies
    Service

    I thought the list was pretty bad, but “vegetable-cutting demo” wasn’t on it, so I guess it could have been worse.

    I could only honestly check “service,” but in an effort to be helpful instead of discouraging, I followed my answer up with half a dozen suggestions of community projects that need committed volunteers.

    Other questions included “Rate the importance of having food at Enrichment,” which I thought was pretty funny.

  14. Oooh . . . an altered post! You are _so_ going to get snarked for this one, sweetheart. In fact, I just may have to go report you to the snarker myself!

  15. Kevin Barney says:

    I don’t know, Melissa, movies sound like a pretty good enrichment topic. Let’s see, they could discuss Capote, Brokeback Mountain, Crash, Munich and Good Night and Good Luck. I’m sure a majority of the sisters have seen each of those films, at least.

  16. Elisabeth says:

    Service – and the list of community organizations -was a great suggestion, Melissa.

    One of the difficulties with finding meaningful service projects for Enrichment Night seems to be that we try to cram discrete service projects into the hour or so alloted for each session, instead of developing relationships with community organizations for which we could volunteer on a regular basis (homeless shelters, food banks, animal rescue leagues, etc.). I’ve not explored this idea much, but sounds like it might work.

  17. I hate to wander into such a snark laden post, but my wife (who’s no adacemic pushover- Departmental and university honors in Molecular bio/chem and a french minor) has been in culinary school for the last 16 months or so. You can dice veggies like a layman, or you can use the fast efficient way to cut stuff with without ever cutting yourself, even if your eyes are closed.

    It takes practice- how to hold the knife for the best balance (thumb and forefinger on the blade, not handle), how to hold the item being cut (it’s like a claw, the blade rests against the back of your fingers between the tip and first knuckle), and then how to do regular precision cuts so it’s all even.

    Whether that’s what went on at this particular meeting, I have no idea. But it may not be as worthless as it sounds.

  18. I, on the other hand, can’t spell “academic.”

    And it’s actually between the first and second knuckle, not the tip and first knuckle.

    Sheesh…

  19. Space Chick says:

    Best Enrichment seen to date–we actually assembled casseroles and desserts in aluminum pans, (all ingredients brought by assignment; uncooked, frozen or canned depending on their nature) covered them with foil, then food wrap, taped baking instructions to the outside, and stashed them all in the ward freezer. Whenever someone in the ward was ill, had a baby etc, the Compassionate Service leader would pick up a dinner and a dessert from the freezer and deliver it to the family in need. Turn on the oven, slide in dinner, remove 1 hour later. No-one got tagged with cooking two dinners on short notice, everyone got fed, and we felt we’d actually done something useful for the evening. Go Newport RI!

    And no-one had to go home with some extrememly ugly craft project.

  20. One key is having a real knife. Forget the cheap block-o-knives from Target, and start yourself off with something like this. It makes a world of difference.

  21. Kaimi,

    Those are good knives. But, I’ll take the German made Wusthof knives over anything Japanese made.

  22. Elisabeth,

    That’s exactly right.

    I think a whole RS could commit to providing 4-8 hours a service to a community organization a week. Your turn might come up what once every other month or something?

    There are other options for the more committed. My singles ward in Boston was involved in a project of longterm tutoring. Volunteers got paired with students in the stake who needed extra help. It required a commitment to come one night a week every week for the whole school year. The program has been a phenomenal success.

    I don’t think that this kind of sustained service needs to be rare. It takes some creativity and commitment but it’s not as difficult as we sometimes think it will be.

    Space Chick–I’m passing that freezer meal idea on.

  23. Melissa,

    I suppose I shall have to challenge you to a knife duel. :P

    Actually, I’m not really a Global evangelizer. (The to-the-death battles between different kinds of knife enthusiasts do exist, and they’re never pretty). I like Globals myself, but I think that the ultimate selection is mostly a matter of taste once a person realizes the need to invest in a high end set of knives. Whether it’s a Global or a Wusthof or a good Henkel (though Henkel also makes a lower-end line of knives, avoid those), it’s going to be a thousand times better than the sort of 10-knives-for-20-dollars wood block that adorns far too many Mormon kitchens.

  24. And since I already provided a link to a Global set on Amazon (in my prior comment), in the name of equal-time-for-equal-crime, here are some links to other major possibilities:

    Wusthof

    Henckel

  25. Thanks, Kaimi. Probably nobody cares about Wusthof except me.

    But, the 26 piece Wusthof Megablock is on my wish list at Amazon. It’s only (*cough) $1200.00 (!) so I expect that some close friend or family member will surely give it to me soon ;)

  26. How come it says the Henkels are dishwasher safe? Is there really any difference between theses and the others that say hand wash only? Do you have to give anything up to get that feature?

  27. Didn’t Glenn Close pack a Wusthof in Fatal Attraction?

  28. Technically you could put all your knives in the dishwasher, but it corrodes the metal much quicker than it would if you hand wash.

  29. Oh, how can there be Mormons talking about knives and nobody has yet mentioned Cutco yet?

    Btw, they are fantastic knives. In high school I cut the tip of my finger almost all the way off with the bread slicer. Good times.

  30. Elisabeth says:

    LOL, Rusty! That’s right, my sister swears by her Cutco knives. Great stuff on Nine Moons lately, btw.

    Also, Ben S. (and others), thanks for mentioning the finer points of the art of vegetable cutting (is there a technical term for that?). I can’t remember the last time I cut up a vegetable, so I wasn’t fully appreciating the skill and expertise behind a nicely sliced cucumber or cleanly cut carrot stick.

    But, now my interest is piqued, I shall clear my schedule to attend Enrichment and return and report.

  31. A gal in the ward gave a cooking demo for Enrichment in November–she’s a graduate of a culinary school too fancy for me to name here. A bunch of us asked her if there was one cooking class/skill we could learn which should it be, and she knew her answer: Knife skills.

    So, I probably would have arranged babysitting to go to an hour-long vegetable cutting class. I would expect to do actual cutting under the tutelage of an expert, and all the chopped veges to go into soup for some good purpose.

    ‘Course, I missed the email, so maybe it actually was Pampered Chef. Shudder.

  32. I don’t know about THE best, but we had a nice one lately where a guy made a DVD showing the beauty of the world and urging people to rejoice in loveliness and not be so depressed about the bad stuff.

  33. Can you send me that e-mail. I’m stunningly overwhelmingly curious. I think I might have some type of health emergency if you don’t. :)

  34. My wife has a severe vegetable-cutting deficiency. Really. She never cuts them in the ‘right’ way. They come out looking all kinds of weird shapes. It’s a minor source of embarasssment in her life.

    I’m not kidding.

    The best enrichment in our ward will be in a month or two when my wife and I get to talk about blogging to the sisters. Woohoo!

  35. Our women have no priesthood, our art is racist and our kitchens have lousy knives…this is the last straw, I’m joining the Episcopalians.

  36. Melissa,

    Well, I’d be happy to buy those knives for you, but I’m saving up to buy you a few books. :P

  37. Re #35: I just busted up laughing in the middle of a silent campus computer lab. People stopped what they were doing to turn and stare at me, and I’m turning red. Thanks.

  38. I believe posts like this are at least as damaging to women and work many women do as your perception (I infer) that cutting vegetables is insulting to womens “higher callings.”

    A few ideas:
    1. The larger US culture offers almost no support to men or women for actually learning fundamental homemaking skills like cooking and cleaning. They are seen as demeaning and trivial, work for “other people” to do that get paid lousy wages so “we” can do “real work.” Church culture is one of the only places for women, especially young women still figuring out how to run a household, to learn things like this, even small tasks.

    2. Americans are getting fat and not spending time together as families. Eating homemake dinners together each night is a verified anecdote to both these problems. Small skills like effectivly cutting vegetables gives women confidence that they can do that for their families.

    3. Skills like this can make the difference for a a family to live on one income, if they choose, and with the kind of job that still allows the (generally speaking) man to spend significant time parenting. Prepared convenience foods are expensive.

    I don’t see filling a void as demeaning. Making fun of women who might have a real need for learning these skills is.

    Sorry. I know this was meant to be a lighthearted post. Taking everything way too seriously is a bad habit I’ve got.

  39. I have wondered about the one and only true church, but I have never wondered about the one and only true knives. They are Cutco knives. Even though I was embarrassed that Jesse sold them during a very brief portion of grad school. (To support my education, not his. He never paid a dime of school to anyone. Smarty pants.)

  40. a random John says:

    We made Sushi for an EQ activity about a year ago and I showed everyone how to cut an avocado. Most people had no idea that there was a simple, non-messy way to cut avocados.

    I think that proper slicing technique is a more interesting subject than many assume.

  41. One of the best enrichments I’ve ever been to:

    We had a party to celebrate the birthday of the Relief Society. That sounds ordinary enough, but the party included some delightfully out-of-the-ordinary activities: playing “pin the cookies on the visiting teacher,” throwing pies at a member of the RS presidency (she cooperated–we didn’t ambush her), and learning how to breathe fire. Yep, it was pretty sweet.

  42. Someone should combine #41 and the original proposal, and have an evening of throwing knives at the RS presidency. What could be more fun and enriching than that?

  43. Melissa, on the contrary, I happen to be a huge fan of Wusthof knives. My wife got me a set for fathers day a few years back, and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

    Elisabeth, are we going to hear a report back from you about how this Enrichment went?

    Back in the days when Enrichment was called Homemaking, my mother attended one where the topic was getting involved in the community. `My mother left with a bunch of phone numbers for county political leaders, and she promptly began volunteering to do political stuff. She had five kids, and all us became volunteers, too.

    Every month, we attended the party’s County Committee Meeting. Twice a year (at primary time and election time) we’d spend days sit around tables to stuff envelopes and fold literature. We’d sit in cars while my mother went from from house to house canvassing neighborhoods. Handing out literature for candidates at voting locations became a family ritual. In all, some of my best memories involve political volunteer work. (Luckily, my mother was a Republican)

    Anyway, that’s got to be my favorite homemaker/enrichment activity.

    Not every homemaking/enrichment is a home run, but you’ve got to have them regularly to have any good ones at all. I think the good ones really can make a difference.

  44. Elisabeth says:

    Gina #38, I realized that I might get a few comments like yours after I posted. As you pointed out, this post was meant to be lighthearted – I emailed the woman who wrote the email about the Enrichment activity, and we chuckled over how funny it was to think cutting vegetables would be a good topic for Enrichment (let alone change your life!). Apparently, many of the women in our ward had requested the activity, which is why she scheduled it.

    Anyway, you raise some very good points in your comment, and I agree with you that people should be more conscious of eating properly and take time to prepare their food themselves.

    So, yes, DKL, I’m going to go to this activity – and I’m looking forward to it! Thanks for sharing your testimony of Enrichment with us :)

  45. So I confess, I can’t carve a turkey (sounds dumb). I wish that our EQ would do “enrichment” activities; we just play golf (and I’m not a golfer).

    Re #10 – We have a woman in our ward who is a major Tupperware player (she’s several levels up). She has a Tupperware van, and her phone number and website on the back. Everyone in the ward dismisses her publicly as “that Tupperware lady”, as if she were trying to convert them. The thing is, she doesn’t do *any* publicity and doesn’t solicit any members. Yet, her rep precedes her. The funny thing is that every sister — in secret — approaches her to get their Tupperware fix. Mormons who do Tupperware and Homemade Gourmet and the like just can’t win — even when they deliberately are trying to lose.

  46. I think it important to mention here that a random John also knows what to do with avocados after he slices them. He made an avocado dip for the bloggersnacker at my house that was gleefully consumed in about 7.6 seconds.

  47. a random John says:

    Kristine,

    Thank you for the compliment. Nothing pleases me more than knowing that people have enjoyed my secret recipe for avocado salsa (just don’t call it guacamole!) I’ve recently made some enhancements. If someone out here would throw a bloggersnacker I would be happy to provide a very large bowl of the stuff.

  48. a random John says:

    So, um, when do we get an update?

  49. Well, to answer your original question Elizabeth, there certainly have been a few humdinger Enrichment nights in my ward. We had one night where we learned to make fake bunny hutches as a decorative Easter item (I kid you not) and on the same night we made centerpices of vegetable potpouri. Ok the word wasn’t really potpouri but it was some P word that meant a tower of vegetables. Ahhh, only in the super rich areas of Southern California do you get unforgettable nights like that!

  50. In response to my earlier comment, Elisabeth, you said you’d provide an update on how it went. I’m still waiting.

  51. Elisabeth says:

    DKL, ARJ: I cannot divulge the secrets of Enrichment. What happens at Enrichment Night stays at Enrichment Night.

  52. Ouch! I wonder if the church will ever allow men to be members of Relief Society.

  53. Elisabeth says:

    DKL, you already receive all the blessings of having a member of the Relief Society in your home.  Why would you want to be a member of the Relief Society?  All we do is cut vegetables. You really wouldn’t be interested. Trust me. In any event, you are already a member of the Relief Society.

  54. Thanks for putting that into perspective for me, Elisabeth. I think I have a better understanding of my place in Mormonism.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I missed Elizabeth’s Enrichment Announcement, which frankly makes me want to cry. Please Elizabeth, stop being so darn nice and put it back.  Please. (or email it to me!) And then I looked back a little further and saw Molly Bennion’s post on A More Perfect Patriarchy, don’t know how I missed that one, but if you did, you shouldn’t. Then over to T&S where What about the Children?  by Kristine Haglund Harris pretty much sums up my every thought, only deeper and stuff. Authority on Her Head by Julie M. Smith, is . . . classic Julie which is always wow. [...]

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