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The apron


My best friend, Carol, ready to pluck herbs in a favorite apron

My best friend, Carol, ready to pluck herbs in a favorite apron

The apron

When I cook, I put on my oldest apron, the one that is well worn and dotted with stains. Aprons are not just a piece of clothing, but a piece of history. The stains that don’t come are remembrances of time spent in the kitchen with loved ones. Back in the day, Grandma’s apron served more than just protection to clothing and this treasured poem proves it:

  • It was used as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
  • It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
  • From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
  • 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 hot wood stove.
  • Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
  • 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 apples that had fallen from the trees.
  • When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
  • When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that “old-time apron” that served so many purposes.



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  1. Judy

    I was so touched by your column about the Apron. I still wear my grandma’s . I love the food stains,even though I don’t know what they are. I think about your columns often. I requested a recipe for popovers and a couple weeks later there it was. My gram wore her Apron when she made them. Thank you so much.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      That’s what it’s about, Judy! Memories truly are made during the ordinary times of our day.

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