Thursday, May 24, 2012

Simpler Times - Whatever Happened to Aprons?

by Cindy Hester

So what ever happened to aprons? Thinking back I can never remember either of my grandmothers being in the kitchen without one. Aprons were multipurpose garments. They served in capacities as diverse as keeping your clothing clean to being a fashion statement. 

In my former life (to borrow a phrase from Leon Hale), I received multiple aprons at the wedding shower for my first marriage. These were not just any old aprons...they were hand-made with love and care. They signified a rite of passage. I was becoming a woman with her very own home complete with her very own kitchen...AND I had aprons! (I didn't know anything much about life or cooking, but I had aprons.) 

I'll never forget the first time I tied one of those precious aprons around my waist. Back then, I had no knowledge of today's cooking icon, Paula Deen, If I had, hers would have been the reflection I saw in the mirror whenever I donned that apron. I felt it held the power for me to whip up any delicacy and wipe away all tears with a single touch. I had witnessed my grandmothers perform both miracles many times. 

Thinking back, I can see my Maw Maw Hood in her apron working away whipping up pie crusts, frying up chicken, and separating the cream from the milk my Paw Paw had gotten from the milk cow earlier that morning. I can see my Maw Maw Moore mixing meringue to go on top of her famous lemon meringue pies, or making one of my Paw Paw's favorite jelly cakes...a recipe she came up with during the Great Depression when money and supplies were sparse. I see them drying their freshly washed hands on their aprons, and I feel the dampness of the cotton as they held me close giving warm hugs and kisses as they finished their tasks. 

I hear the cluck and squawk of the hens and the roosters, and I see the feathers flying in excitement knowing that the bulging apron my Maw Maw holds by the edges is full of feed. I see her hard working hands fling the kernels of  feed, sprinkling it out on the ground in the chicken yard. Once the feed is gone, I see her entering the chicken coop to gather the fresh eggs, gingerly placing them within the skirt of her apron for carrying back to the house.

I hear that aprons are making a comeback, and I do so hope it is true. I read that aprons used to be simply a necessity, but it seems that these days they're more of an accessory. Maybe this is part of what is wrong with today's world. Maybe we've turned necessities into accessories and accessories into necessities. At any rate, while I'm thankful mankind has created KFC and The Cheesecake Factory, only God could have made my apron wearing grandmas. 

A Poem for Bear By Maw Maw Cindy My dear little Bear who sleeps soundly and tight So peaceful and trusting, your cares free...