Sunday, June 5, 2022

AROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE: APRONS, YES OR NO? + 6 Book & Apron #Giveaway

 


MAYA: We talk a lot about what we cook, but not about what we cook in. Do you wear an apron while preparing food? If so, what kind? If not, what's your secret for avoiding or getting rid of food stains on your clothes? I cherish my collection of aprons in different styles, all home-sewn, from three generations of my family. 

My grandmother made the bib apron on the left for herself. An excellent seamstress, she sewed wedding gowns, including my mother's, and clothes for the whole family. I can't wear her apron unless I alter it because she was a large woman with a substantial bosom, and I'm not. So it just hangs on my apron hook to remind me of her. My mother made the waist apron during her home ec class in high school. I folded it over so you can see that it's reversible, with a different pattern and different types of pockets on each side. Really cute, but I don't wear it because I need more of me covered when I cook.

I sewed the teal apron as a gift for my mother-in-law because she couldn't find her favorite cobbler-type apron with big pockets in any store. After wearing it for decades, she returned it to me when she stopped cooking in her 90s, and I've used it ever since. I wish I'd aged as gracefully as this apron. It looks nearly new. Stains disappear from it, and it comes out of the dryer unwrinkled. I have to believe that the cotton available in fabric stores in the 1970s was far superior to any cotton I've seen lately. Easy care, good coverage, big pockets--what's not to love about this apron? 

I also have my father's apron inscribed with "Grill Sergeant." It was a gag gift, chosen for him because he'd been a drill sergeant in World War II. He got together with the men and women (nurses) in his unit for a reunion every year starting in 1946 and went to the 62nd reunion three months before he died. I'm not sure if someone in the reunion group or my mother bought this apron for him. He used it, not just when grilling, but when he took up cooking in his 80s. He's the inspiration for my sleuth's grandfather, the proud owner of a similar apron inscribed with "Codger Cook." Granddad wears his apron at the start of Scam Chowder (part of today's giveaway) to convince his dinner guests that he, not his granddaughter, cooked the meal, but his scam backfires.   


🍒 🌷 🍋


VICKI DELANY: I have to confess, I have absolutely nothing to add to this conversation! I don't wear an apron when I cook, I don't have any heirloom aprons, I have no memories of mothers or grandmothers wearing aprons.  How, then Maya asks, do I keep my clothes clean when I cook.  I can't answer that either. I guess I just try to avoid the spills and spatter. And when I don't - into the wash they go. 


🍳 🍴 🍲



LESLIE BUDEWITZ: My mother, who was a tremendous baker, often wore aprons she'd made and made me a couple of child-sized versions. In about the 5th grade, when I was learning to sew, I made one in the style that you slip your arms in and tie in back---the pink and white paisley fabric lives on in a Sunbonnet Sue block in the only quilt I ever made! I also made my dad a shop apron from a maroon and blue patterned cotton, almost denim, in a cobbler style that he wore until his fading eyesight forced him to give up woodworking. I confess, I'm not in the habit of wearing an apron now unless I'm making something particularly spattery. Until recently, I'd pull on the red-and-white striped bibfront model I use for watercolor painting. But then friends, who've been to our home for dinner or holiday brunch many times, gave me an apron emblazoned BOOKS ARE FOOD FOR THE SOUL. (Here I am wearing it at a cooking demo last summer at the grand opening of the new Missoula Public Library, in the demonstration kitchen.) Perfect for a writer, don't you think?     

 

🍇 🌼 🍊


PEG COCHRAN/MARGARET LOUDON: Almost all my aprons were gifts except for some plain chef's aprons and one from New Orleans with a recipe for rice and beans on it that I bought myself. I have a red and white toile apron, two aprons with a wine motif (hmmm...is there a pattern here?) and this super cool one from my sister-in-law. It has all sorts of measurement on it and they're printed upside down so the cook can look down and read them!


 I've turned this picture upside down so you can read it.

Ironically, the only time I wear an apron is when putting the finishing touches on a holiday or company dinner when I'm already dressed up. The rest of the time I wear jeans and sweaters or tops that can be thrown in the wash so I generally don't worry about it!



 

 



🍳 🍴 🍲


LESLIE KARST: Like Vicki, I'm not an apron-wearer. Never have been. In a pinch, I'll tuck a handy dish towel into the waistband of my pants to protect me while frying something especially spattery, but mostly I simply wear my "play clothes" (as my mom used to call them when I was a kid) while I cook, then change into my party clothes for dinner. 

But I do have one apron that I adore. I purchased it for a Halloween week Mystery Writers of America panel that I was on a few years back, when we were all asked to wear costumes for the evening. What do you think? 


🍸 🌺 🍜


TINA KASHIAN: My favorite apron belonged to my mother. A friend had made it for her and wrote her name, Anahid, on the apron. I lost my mother when I was young, in my twenties, and eight months before my wedding. Every time I reach for her apron, I remember her humming and cooking Armenian and Mediterranean dishes. She was a talented self-taught cook who owned a successful restaurant for thirty years. I’m not as talented as she was in the kitchen, but I enjoy cooking. If I don’t wear her apron, then it’s a guarantee that I will stain my clothes. Here I am wearing my mom’s apron.


 🍎 🌸 🌽


LUCY BURDETTE: I don't wear aprons either, though I love all of these so much! I do have one vintage apron--I can't remember where I found it, but I'm afraid to wear it and ruin it. (And as you can see in the photo below, it needs to be ironed!) I enlarged the photo so you can see the tip pocket and the other with a skull and bones. Perfect for a mystery writer....


                                                             🍸 🌺 🍜


MADDIE DAY: We are a big apron-wearing family. I grew up wearing ones made by my grandmother Ruth, and still have one of them. 

Maybe I'm just a slob, but I much prefer to cover my clothing when I cook. The apron doubles as a hand-wiping cloth (instead of my jeans, for example...), and it hits the washing machine when it needs to. I love this pic from Mother's Day this year, with both my adult sons and their sweethearts aproned up! I guess I trained them right.


I love aprons so much that a few years ago I ordered a few dozen as special giveaway prizes. I eventually sent all those out and recently ordered a new batch. Here's my younger son's love, Alex, wearing their new apron last week in their open-air kitchen in Puerto Rico.


I'll give away an Author apron to this month's giveaway winner, but only if you promise to send me a picture of you (or someone) wearing it. 


🍀 🍒 🍇


MOLLY MacRAE:  I love all these aprons and the apron stories! My mom and dad were apron wearers and so am I. I even wear one when I'm just washing dishes. I wish I had a picture of Mom in one of her aprons, but here's Dad doing the dishes, circa 1976. And I just realized that my five siblings and I are all now quite a bit older than Dad was in this picture. Yeow.

I have half a dozen aprons that I rotate through, between wash days, but here's one of my favorites. 



🍓 🍭🍈


VALERIE (V.M.) BURNS: I don't wear an apron when I cook, although I should. My clothes (and the floor) are often covered in flour afterward. My poodle clean-up crew takes care of anything that finds its way onto the floor. That's their territory. I didn't realize that they'd migrated to my personal cleaners until I caught one of them licking food from my pants after I cooked dinner the other day. I had (or at least I used to have) a really nice professional apron. However, I moved last year and between the movers who packed everything and the personal organizer I hired to help unpack, I have no idea where it is. I looked in all the logical places, but couldn't find it. I'm going to call this a shopportunity and buy a new apron or two! In fact, I think I'll get some for giveaways for the upcoming release of my new book, TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER.


☕ 🌹 ☕


CLEO COYLE: My husband and I are happy slobs when it comes to cooking, but we don’t wear aprons. We wear old T-shirts. Our motto. Go ahead, SPLATTER ME, baby! 

My mother, Rose (who was born in Italy) never wore aprons while cooking, either. Neither did my beloved Aunt Mary who lived with us (and taught me much in the kitchen, click here to read more about that and see one of the many recipes she inspired).

Thanksgiving Day was the only occasion I recall mom and Aunt Mary tying on aprons, and that was only after guests arrived and they were dressed for dinner. 

As for Marc’s memories, his mom occasionally wore an old butcher’s apron when she did the dishes, but that was it. Aprons weren't a big factor in our lives, but it was lovely reading how important they were in some of yours! However you cook—aprons on or off, neat and tidy or crazy sloppy—we absolutely hope you will eat with joy! 




GIVEAWAY!

To be entered in this week's drawing
for an Apron from Maddie +
6 terrific mysteries listed below,
join us in the comments...


Do you wear an apron? 
What's your favorite if you do

Do you have one that has sentimental value or reflects your interests?


Join the
conversation!

Include your email address,
so we can contact the winner!


> SCAM CHOWDER by Maya Corrigan

> DEADLY EVER AFTER by Eva Gates

> ASSAULT AND PEPPER by Leslie Budewitz

> ON THE LAMB by Tina Kashian

> ARGYLES AND ARSENIC by Molly MacRae 

> TWO PARTS SUGAR, ONE PART MURDER (ARC) by Valerie Burns

👗  + AN APRON from Maddie Day! 👗



Comments open through
Tuesday, June 7

Don't forget to include
your email address.

📚

 


108 comments:

  1. I love aprons but don’t wear one. I don’t remember ever seeing my grandmother without hers. What a great memory. Debdesk @ outlook. Com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wear an apron sometimes. I have a few different ones. I have one from my grandma. I remember her wearing aprons or a smock when she cooked.
    bmedrano34 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not an apron wearer but I need to get one. I loved all these apron stories! Thanks for the chance.
    Jess
    maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I need a good apron lol, I'm a mess when I cook! I have an old plastic Christmas one which is too crinkly to use. When I was little, I had a cute blue one with a lamb embroidered on it. I love that Grill Sergeant idea, too!
    Kathylynn103@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Kathy. I'm a messy cook too. If I don't put on an apron, I'm guaranteed to get grease or tomato sauce or whatever on my clothes.

      Delete
  5. I definitely wear an apron so I don't get all messed up. I have one I got for Christmas from my grandsons. Thanks for this amazingly generous giveaway. Linda May Maycarlson6848@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. While I do love aprons, I'm the worst about actually wearing one. Probably because the ones I have hold such special memories that I can't think of doing anything to stain them or wear them out. Instead, I do three things in preparation to cook if I know it's going to be messy or fried foods. Having long hair, I make sure it's pulled back into a ponytail out of the way and no lose hairs anywhere. Then I grab my standard grab t-shirt that I slip on while cooking that I quickly change out of before sitting down to the table (also when I let my hair down). And lastly, I make sure the old hands are washed and clean.

    I have such fond memories of aprons. My Granny always wore the bib aprons. In her senior years, she made a lot of the short aprons out of the gingham check and then did cross stitching on them giving them as gifts. I have some of both the gifted ones and the one she wore so much. My Mom wore the shorter aprons during my growing up years, but later in life turned to the aprons that where full length type with pockets that you slipped into with a snap at the back of the neck. Again, I have some of both of hers. The ones I treasure the most are mine from my childhood that my Granny made for me when I was about 3. They were miniatures of my Mom's that she had also made.

    This post has me re-thinking about my aprons and allowed me a stroll down memory lane. What am I saving them for? I'll be 70 this year and no one to pass them down to. I'm going to get them out and enjoy them - both in wearing them and the memories they will evoke with each wearing of the fun family times of being in the kitchen and around our dinner tables. Thank you!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, Kay. You do use an apron when you cook. . . it's a T-shirt apron. How great that your aprons bring back memories and you'll use them to remind you of the people you love.

      Delete
    2. Lol, Kay! That's the way I feel--don't want to get any stains on those beautiful aprons I have! Ha!

      Delete
    3. Love this, Kay -- and I'm laughing, realizing I was baking and cooking yesterday, testing recipes, and even though we'd just had this conversation, I STILL forgot to wear one! Let's make a deal: We'll all make an effort to wear them more often!

      Delete
  7. I wear an apron I received from my nephew.
    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love aprons but do not wear them like I used to. I remember my great grandmother always had an apron on. I loved her soft aprons with pockets.

    ReplyDelete
  9. At home, I don't wear an apron. If I am at a church function, where I am serving food, I do wear an apron.

    ReplyDelete
  10. AmaryChapman@facebook.comcomJune 5, 2022 at 8:53 AM

    Not any more, but when I did it was a plain one

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have an apron but I never wear it because I don't want to get it dirty. But this has inspired me to start wearing it. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Not wanting to get an apron dirty reminds me of a story my husband tells about a man in his army unit who objected to the other guys putting anything in the trashcan because he wanted it perfect for inspection.

      Delete
  12. What wonderful stories about aprons! I love hearing how they were passed along or given to someone as a gift. I don’t wear aprons although I am often covered in spaghetti sauce. I did learn to sew an apron in high school. We had to sew it in sewing class and then wear it in food class. Our grandchildren will wear aprons when cooking, but I think the whole kitchen needs an apron because it’s a disaster when we get done. But we have so much fun, I don’t care about the mess. Thank you for the chance to win. moonwisp@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete