Covered in the Kitchen: Aprons for Every Mood

by Laura on July 3, 2012

in Traditions

While perusing the most recent Sur La Table catalogue, I came across a collection of vintage style aprons for $29.95. Not a bad price for the aprons that offer full coverage, great style and fun designs. But I stopped myself before I pulled out the credit card, because I just don’t have room for one more apron on the hook in the kitchen.

I’m not old fashion or overly nostalgic, just sensible. To me, the apron is an essential in the kitchen, just like my favorite knife, fry pan, waffle iron, and coffee maker. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not donning an apron. I use it for the same reasons that my grandmother did – to protect my clothes while cooking (although I rarely wear a dress when in the kitchen like my grandmother), to wipe my hands, or to quickly grab a hot pan. I’ve even been seen using my apron to car ry in vegetables from the garden.

Either hand-me-downs or homemade, my aprons come in all varieties – full and half styles, plain, decorative, and utilitarian. There are aprons made with vintage fabrics, memory-invoking designs, and those trimmed with rick-rack, and even lace.

To me, the apron of choice on any given day is made with my mood and my task at hand. With that in mind, I present to you a compendium of (my) aprons – and which tasks they perform well. Yes, Grandma knew what she was doing . . .  so wrap an apron around your waist, because an apron is an essential kitchen ‘tool’.

The Baking Apron – Perfect for pies and bread baking, this baking apron covers me top to bottom and all the way around, keeping my clothes free from flour and whatever else may find it’s way onto it. The full coverage from front to back gives me the ability to simply wipe my hands on my hips – or back end – without dirtying my clothes. The big bib helps protect my shirts from splattering oil and bubbling spaghetti sauce, which can wreak havoc on any wardrobe. And the big pockets are perfect for holding utensils, but more often used to hold a stash of tissues, as there is often a child with a drippy nose joining me in the kitchen. Adding to its appeal, is the bright and cheerful red and pink flower blossom design and red border, which makes me feel as if I’m on a farm — If I only had a windowsill to place the pie on to cool.

The Hostess Apron – This full apron allows me to stylishly welcome guests then serve them, while providing coverage in the kitchen. The slight-retro style of the apron is complemented by the girlish pink flowers on brown background, to give me a stylish touch that doesn’t scream “Hey, I have an apron on!” to my guests. The hostess apron also has a wide waist and tie, that make it easy to hang a towel from the apron allowing me to wipe my hands – after all, I like to keep my aprons in tip top shape.

The Make-Me-Happy Apron – For some reason this daisy-print apron reminds me of when I was a kid (perhaps it is because I had daisies on my bedroom curtains.) Whenever I put it on, it puts me in a good mood – and always elicits comments happy from the kids. Bright green with white and pink flowers decorate this hand-me-down and the lightweight fabric coupled with full coverage make this a good choice for warm summer days – providing full coverage without making me too hot in the kitchen.

The French Maid Apron – This sexy little black and white ruffled half apron is perfect for dinner parties. This half apron is dolled up with sparling silver rick rack, black see-through organza ruffle and flower print. I must admit, it doesn’t offer much coverage, but then again, this time it is more about style and making a statement.

The Retro – The di stinctive 50’s fabric with pink teal vases, tables and coffee service trays, make me want to don a pretty dress and high heals, and cook up a T V dinner. An apron that always elicits fun comments, this larger half apron, reaches down to my knees giving me the assurance that no splash or splatter will dirty my dress.

The Picnic Apron – Indoors or out, I feel as if I’m at a picnic when wearing this blue-and-white checked apron. With the blue rick rack, large pockets and crisscross stitching coupled with a length that reaches to the top of my knees, this apron provides full bottom coverage while putting a smile on my face.

The Festive Holiday – This old family favorite holiday apron reminds me of my grandmother, who happily wore it whiling toiling away in her two kitchens every holiday to feed the family. Whether bent over the oven basting the turkey, tending to a simmering pot, or kneading some of our holiday yeast breads, this large half apron  is a fixture on me during holiday times, just as it was on my Grandmother.

The Provence – This half apron offers nothing more in function than many of my other aprons, but what makes it special is that the fabric was bought in a market in the South of France while attending cooking school in the mid-90s. I may not be skinning a rabbit these days, but the distinctive French fabric easily transports me back to that summer, inspiring me to create some delicious meals for the family.

For the Grill  and other rough and tumble cooking.  This classically styled unisex waiter’s apron holds up in the kitchen and at the grill. The splotches of marinade and splatters of oil are badges of honor on this white apron made of sturdy cotton which is also great for serving. The apron has large front pocket that is perfect for holding grill tools, extra utensils and even recipe cards. Making this apron even more special is Mom’s addition of the Family Eats logo to the front. It is quickly becoming one of our favorites.

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