My old and dear friend, Susan sent me this charming little story about Grandma’s aprons. Of course it took me back to a time when I remember my own Grandma, standing in the kitchen in her “Cobbler‘s Apron”, because that’s the kind she preferred and she used to make them herself. I remember my own mother wearing the more traditional short, tie-it-around-your-waist version and having many; Some were the kind she put on just before the company came, crisp, clean and often frilly.
When I was a young wife, I asked my Grandmother to make me some Cobbler Aprons and she gave me two. I still have one (which unfortunately I can no longer fit in) and one I gave to my daughter. I think she still has it, I hope she does.
Today’s aprons are very different and are more associated with grilling than cooking although lately I’ve taken to wearing one more often than not when I cook. I mean how many times do I have to send a tee shirt or blouse to the cleaners before I learn that it’s quite possible that I will a) spill something on myself, b) splash something on myself or c) the oil will spatter on me!! Well I have about 4 of these pseudo-chef aprons; a black one with various pasta shapes and their names on the front, a white one with a big blue whale courtesy of a Westchester real estate company, and two favorites; one with penguins on the front and lined in pink – just perfect for me and my husband’s niece, Dani made it. The other favorite is a black apron with the just these words so near and dear to my heart – something like “All I ask is that you treat me with the same respect as Martha”. – Love it! But enough about me, here’s the lovely little story which if you’re old enough will take you back to another simpler time.
What a sweet memory!
Remember making aprons in Home Ec class?
I don’t think our kids know what an apron is and they certainly don’t have Home Ec classes. The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few and it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that….
It served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children’s tears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs and fussy chicks.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow bent over the stove.
Chips and kindling were brought into the kitchen in that apron for the wood stove or fireplace.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in the apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up, it’s surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
It was a super place to hide a marble, a piece of candy or almost anything in Nana’s pocket.
When it was time for dinner, Grandma would go out to the porch, wave her apron and the menfolk would know it was time to come in from the fields for dinner. (This is more Hollywood than any memory I would have).
It will be a long time before anyone invents anything as useful as Grandma’s apron.