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Have you heard of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits? If not, you’re missing out.
I went to my second class with the Deans of the Academy, Charlestonians Lee Manigault and Suzanne Pollak.
These ladies have been teaming up for the past two years to teach us how to get back to our roots: the home. And though they refer to themselves as “the Deans” and the name sounds super fancy, rest assured… you won’t get any lashings or demerits from these ladies. They want to show you a great time and are both witty as heck. The name is as tongue-in-cheek as they are.
Dean Pollak started the night explaining WHY the home is so important to her. She’s had two sons in the military and a son with cancer. She explained that her home “wrapped its arms around” their family when they needed it most. She’s also convinced that if you want to get things done with a powerful person, you have them over for breakfast. The Deans say at home is when you REALLY get to know someone, and it’s true. It became increasingly obvious to me that my generation has gotten OUT of the home and OUT of the loop of normal human contact and communication. We barely know how to have people over for dinner anymore.
The Deans are out to rectify that.
Their website boasts...
“The Deans know that houses like to be lived in and they are going to show you how to live in yours, whether a cottage, condo, or castle. Not only will you learn how to cook, you will learn how to connect to your home.The Deans help people realize the value and meaning of home life.”
This particular class was about Jams, Jellies and All Things Pickled.
I thought I’d spend an hour or two slaving over a hot stove in return for some delicious jam. Instead, I spent an hour or two drinking and laughing with friends, ate a delicious dinner...
....followed by a delicious dessert...
...and still went home with a delicious chutney and some bangin’ pickled watermelon. I realize I just said delicious three times in a row, but it’s true.
Here are a couple more pictures and in the meantime, consider getting a group together for a class, or sign up for a class on your own. I personally guarantee you’ll laugh your ass off, you won’t leave hungry, and you may even learn a thing or two.
Photos by Vicki Stone