Thursday, September 23, 2010


A friend recently sent this "history of the apron" to me.  As it happens I had sewn up a whole bunch of aprons, some of which are shown in the picture (although maybe not so clearly).  I always think to put on an apron after I have grease splashes or batter spatters all over a freshly laundered outfit.  In most of the memories I have of my grandmother, she IS wearing an apron and working in the kitchen.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they 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, 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 menfolks 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.


  1. I'm a big fan of aprons, but, like you, I sometimes forget them right when I need them most. I have the stains to show for it.

  2. I've read this piece before and just love it. I like aprons but never wear one, don't even own one.

  3. Olga, this is one of my favorites from you. You described a completely different time and a wonderful woman.

  4. Got tickled about dusting with it when company comes. Aprons need to make a come back.

  5. The minute I head to the stove I put on my apron, especially if I'm going to fry or brown something. I have two aprons. Both are very functional -- no ruffles, no gathers - and both with bibs. (One does have a plethora of cats on it and was given to me by a daughter; my own taste runs more to a nice Williams-Sonoma chef-y type apron.) I can't imagine cooking without using them. T-shirts, my favorite around-the-house apparel, LOVE grease spatters and as often as not won't let go of them in the wash. I'd rather that grease sit on my aprons!


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