Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day! By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Mother’s Day got me thinking about mothers, and cooking terrific food, and then kitchens, and then, aprons. A bit ago, Mom sent me an email about aprons—it conjures up wonderful memories:

The History of Aprons

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, 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 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.

--Author Unknown

So, yes—to aprons! Certainly, I could use an apron—the spaghetti sauces and blueberries seem to fly onto the whitest spot of my shirt every time I step close to the stove.

In my mind’s eye, I see Grandma Taylor opening the stove door and bending to take out a pie, using her apron as a very large pot holder….I only notice the smell of the pie, the bubbling of the berries, and I hope that we will be called soon to the table, and I hope that I can beat my brothers for a seconds, if any seconds are to be had….

So, on this Mother’s Day Weekend of 2010, May all Mothers, and all Cooks enjoy a little time to themselves. And, next time you pass that group of aprons in a specialty store—think about buying one, for old times sake!

Picture One: Grandma Taylor and Uncle Dick Lochner, December of 1960
Picture Two: Grandma Taylor, Little Jimmy, Aunt CB at Otty Lake, Canada, July of 1965
Picture Three: Aunt Ruth Maney, Pat Kinsella, Jon Maney, December of 1960
Picture Four: Dave Lochner (or Chuck?),Mary Lou Taylor, Dan Kinsella, Sue Kinsella, with Grandma and Aunt Barb—in apron—in back.
Picture Five: Arnon boys (??), and then Rick Lochner with present, Tim with back to camera, and Aunt Esther—in apron—watching all. Far right, Maney boy??. Taken at Christmas, 1957
Picture Six: Aunt CB, Aunt Barb, Uncle Jack, Thanksgiving at 2846 in 1967


Sue Kinsella said...

What a wonderful idea, to write about aprons! Because you're right, they played such an integral part in our family gatherings that they were taken for granted. When I was in grade school and formed a sewing club with my girlfriends, one of our big achievements was to sew and embroider an apron, but even by then aprons were less common. I don't know if I ever did wear that apron, although I still have it.

For the picture with Aunt Esther in her apron (how I wish she were still here so we could hear her stories!), the older boys are, left to right: Jim Taylor, Jack or George Taylor (I was trying to decide if that might be Richard Maney, but I think he's way in the back hunkered over something), Michael Maney (in red sweater), and Bob Taylor (blue striped shirt). I'm not sure who's on the far right of the picture, but the curly hair makes me wonder if that's Jon Maney.

Uncle Jack said...

#5 Don't know the first two Taylor kids on the left, probably Jim and Jack. Then Mike Maney (red shirt), Bob Taylor, Rick, Tim, Esther, and Charlie Hawkes

Jack Kinsela said...

Look carefuly at picture #4, at Dan Kinsela. You have to admit he has the most horrible haircut since the Beatles. I will now admit I was his personal barber and he was my only customer (grudgingly) But he never gave me a tip. In fact, he never even paid me!!

Sue Kinsella said...

Dad always told Indian stories to the boys as he cut their hair to distract them and keep them quiet while he worked. Looks like maybe he got too carried away by scalping stories!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the memopries that aprons brought back to me (also a wearer of them). M
You will be happy to know that they are coming back. Jo Ann Fabrics now have patterns and sell special material to make then out of

Pat said...

Good to know that Jo Ann Fabrics has patterns!

Just heard another story about aprons while I was changing my father's audio tapes to digital:

My great Aunt Alice Ferguson was remembering on tape a poem that she recited at a school assembly when she was age five, and it talked about a young girl picking a dandelion and putting it in her apron to bring in to give to her teacher (thinking it was a fallen star from the night sky)....

Aunt Alice explained that in 'those days', which would have been in 1893, children dressed up for school and the girls wore aprons.

Now, I picture the girls in good dresses, and then, white aprons on top of the dresses.... So, aprons were not just for kitchens, but I guess for anytime dresses were worn and should be protected...

Of course, my father, ever the joker said to his aunt "Well, Aunt Alice, when you say children were dressed up in those days, are you telling me that the boys wore aprons too?!"

The story ended with the loud laughter of Aunt Alice, Aunt Anna, Margaret my grandmother, and Dad (aka Uncle Jack).

Ahh yes, aprons!!


Mom/CB said...

Well, Evie [anonymous] is not the only one to have problems getting on this blog! I have tried to orrect names unde pictures and can't seem to gt received! Will try again!
I think that is Mike Maney giving present to Kathy Taylor, then Grandma, and Dangerous Dan with the scalp haircut , Barb and Sue.
The next one I see as Jim Taylor, Jack T. Mike Maney , Bob Taylor, Rick , Tim and Charlie Hawkes, Anybody agree? If dates are known that would tell the tale!

Evelyn Taylor said...

This apron article has lots of comments. I will add that fancy, frilly half-aprons were a must for every hostess. You wanted to protect your best dress, but also wanted to look glamorous. It was only removed when you sat down to dinner.

Another thought: Our church used to hold an annual bazaar to make money and Goldie Taylor (Floyd's wife) was in a group of women who met once a week all year long to make aprons to sell at the bazaar. This would have been in 40s and 50s.

Evelyn Taylor