a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aprons are Currently Trendy Copy Cats of Those from Days Long Gone

Some of you may remember Home Ec.  Some of you may remember making an apron in Home Ec. The rest may say "What the heck is Home Ec?"

My grandmother was never without one. She made hers from patterned fabric flour sacks using a pattern she created, cut from newspaper. In my day the pattern cost 25 cents and fabric flour sacks were a thing of the past. The good fabric started at 49  cents a yard. 

Important  Note: ((at least to me) 
Over the years as my awareness has increased along with my size I have swore sizing, both in patterns and purchased clothing had changed . . . in the opposite direction.  The size listed on the pattern on the left validates it! 

Home Economics was a required class for all girls beginning in the 8th grade. In my school Home Ec was actually two full year classes. In 7th grade we took cooking. Confession: Even though I still remember how to make eggs ala goldenrod I won't and this class is where I had my first, and only, bite of liver.  Aside from those two things it was a very helpful class---and provided  the basics of how to cook.  In the 8th grade we took sewing.  The boys were taking wood shop and electric shop those years.

 These classes are not only  no longer requirements, I understand they are not even electives in some schools.  How sad.

I realize times are really different from 58 years ago and that now everything can be had instantly but I am not convinced all this "progress" is good. I am not knocking convenience, I think it is great, but I am not sure that what we have available now will be always available and I worry about those who are not prepared for such a time. 

Today vintage is trendy --- back in style.  Today, while  there are many  patterns available to recreate the aprons of yesteryear,  I am not sure the young people of today grasp it's original functionality.  

While I was looking for a picture of a woman using her apron  I came across these suggestions for using vintage aprons.

Vintage aprons hold a special place in people's hearts. They are often beautiful whether they are the everyday variety or made for a hostessing occasion.
Not surprisingly, many people are collecting these vintage aprons. They are often inexpensive, and can be displayed in a number of creative ways:
  • Hanging on hooks or pegs
  • Used as valences in the kitchen
  • Make an indoor clothesline against a wall
  • Hang on a door knob
  • Sew into a plastic bag holder
  • Use your imagination!

The main use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress she was wearing because she  didn't have many. Aprons were easier to wash than dresses and they took less material and less time to make. 

Additionally an apron . . .
  • served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven
  • was wonderful for drying children's tears, and wiping the resultant runny noses
  • was a super quick and efficient dust cloth when unexpected company drove in the driveway
  • became the ideal hiding places for shy kids when somebody dropped in to visit
  • was used for carrying in the collected eggs (and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven).

Those big old aprons . . .

  • carried wood chips and kindling into the kitchen
  • wiped many a perspiring brow, as she bent over the hot wood stove
  • carried in all sorts of vegetables in from the garden
  • became the basket for gathering the fruit that had fallen from the trees in the orchard
  • was the receptacle for returning all the fruit and vegetables remains - shells, husks, peelings, cores, pits - back outside to the compost pile.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

When the weather was hot she could use the apron to fan herself and when the weather was cold, she could wrap that big apron around her arms to warm them. 

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Back, then Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Now, her posterity probably sets theirs on the counter to thaw! 

Today, the crazy government would probably appoint a committee that would go crazy trying to figure out how many germs accumulated on that apron and it's effect on the wearer and those she came in contact with. 

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron but 
comfort and love. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

When life hands you a less-than-perfect watermelon. . .

Be creative! It's surprisingly simple to blend a variety
of fruits to come up with a refreshing and
delicious icy-cold drink
mix it up with other  fruits and make a
perfect cooler!

Last week we picked up a perfect-appearing baby
watermelon. Cut open, the inside was a bright luscious red and we thought we had hit the melon jackpot.

Nope!  It was all looks and very little taste ---- what'a waste.

But not so.  I diced up the
melon, divided it among small zip lock bags and banished it to the freezer, right next to some previously frozen strawberries.

I like to come up with juicy-fruity chilly concoctions using what I have on hand.  I raided the refrigerator and came up with the following.  It was delicious!

Berry Melon Cooler
1 to 2 cups frozen watermelon chunks
3/4 to 1 cup frozen strawberries
juice of one or two oranges
1 carton vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup cream
1 T. white sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine in a blender until smooth.  (Add a little water if it is too thick.)

Serve immediately.

I would have expected the other flavors to overwhelm even a tasty   melon but somehow they didn't.  The watermelon flavor was right there with the others. 

The amounts and variety I used are just to give you an idea. I doubt you can miss with any combination. 

'til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail