The basic purpose of an apron is to protect clothing. Artists, children and cooks wear aprons. Aprons can also be fashion. Who can forget the image of the “perfect” housewife of the 50s, in her housedress, pearls, pumps, and coordinating apron? I nostalgically associate aprons (except for my college years) with love and caring. The people who wore them or made them for me were the people who loved me most. Their apron strings are tied directly to my heart strings.
When I think apron, I always think of my Great-Aunt Rosie. I don’t ever remember seeing her without an apron. She wore those aprons that had a bib front, wide straps that crossed over each other in the back, usually made from a fabric with a small-flowered calico print, and sometimes a bit of rick-rack. Here’s a picture of all the first cousins and Aunt Rosie. She has a cardigan on over her apron.
Here’s another another apron I remember from my childhood–the one my mom made for me to go to kindergarten–to protect my little jumpers from finger paints and clay. It had my name on it, and apples for pockets!
For a few years, when I was in college, apron strings were bad. I felt that mom was trying to control my whole life–insert teenaged eye roll here, along with angst-filled sigh–keeping me tied to her apron strings. Age has mellowed me a bit, and now I look back fondly on those apron strings that shaped me. The aprons that represented the women in my life that cooked for me and taught me their cooking secrets.
I have a weak spot for aprons, and can’t keep from buying the ones I love. Like this one! Just look at that adorable apple pocket! Nostalgia reached out, took my hand and absolutely MADE me buy this.
Here are some others from my collection. The tomato one is my favorite to wear when I make pasta sauce. It just seems fitting. The pink one has an old-fashioned print that reminds me of Aunt Rosie–perfect for cookie baking. Hot sauce apron? For making my “world famous” green tomatillo salsa! The green one is a classic grocer’s apron from a health food grocer, The Sundrop, that went out of business here years ago. It’s the least fancy, so DH is OK wearing it while he peels tomatoes for the pasta sauce.
Each apron has its own food connection, its own ties to the past and the ability to comfort the future. How many of you have aprons of your own or remember the aprons of your “women folk?” Stay tuned for holiday season–I have a collection of holiday-themed aprons all of you apron lovers won’t want to miss. They are the perfect festive-wear to don when preparing Christmas yumminess!