I really never quite know what I am going to write about next on these blog posts. I imagine that some people who blog possibly have it all mapped out, days, weeks, months, in advance so that it flows and there is some feeling of continuity.
Nah. So much for planning ahead, as in a previous post this week!
That’s the joy of not needing to do it for anyone but me. I can literally please myself and, anyway, inspiration is a funny thing. It’s hard to plan for inspiration. I think inspiration seeks us out, not the other way around.
I was ironing the apron (left) this morning and hung it on the corner of the door to let the steam get away. Already hanging on the back of this door is the apron (right) that I leave here for doing mucky jobs upstairs. These two aprons represent the Alpha and Omega of aprons in this house. Omega for now, that is, as there are bound to be more in the future, but, for now, the dark blue one is Omega.
Alpha is over 20 years old and I think I bought it at IKEA. Goodness! Try and find quality like it now and you would be seriously hard pushed. It is made from very heavy denim material and is the pinnacle of everything a good apron should be, to my mind. Let’s talk about the whys of aprons for a second.
I adore cooking but…I am a slob. I can manage to get squirts and blobs of whatever I am cooking all over me even when I am being careful. Cooking without an apron on is just a disaster waiting to happen for my clothes and, if the blop in question is a fatty sort of blop, you may well be stuck with it. Greasy stains are notoriously hard to get out of fabric and we all want to be looking after our clothes as well as we can now- for reasons both financial and environmental. Okay, and sentimental. You can bet that the fatty blop will land on your very favourite piece of clothing and ruining that won’t make your day, I promise.
And then there’s my old friend, RITUAL. When I go into the kitchen and take the apron off the back of the door, lift it over my head, wrap the long ties all around me and back to the front again and then tie a sturdy knot in front , I feel ready to create with food. It is my armour, my shield.
I feel invincible.
A good apron does need to be made of fabric that is going to wear well for a long time. Alpha is made of the heavy denim that your favourite blue jeans USED to be made of- it gets better and better with each wear and just makes you smile. It has held up fairly well until now.
The neck strap wears out first where it is hung on the back of the door every day. I have repaired that twice now. The other place that is going, which is going to get some sort of creative treatment as I am mending it, is on the front. There is a place on the left hand side, about 6-8 inches up from the bottom and right over where your left leg would be underneath- that spot right there is growing a hole. Why there? It is the place I absent-mindedly wipe my wet hands as I am cooking, washing up, etc. There is a remedy for this, which I am trying to get in the habit of doing with Omega now, which is to pull an old, small, thin tea towel (a Ha! I knew I would use them for something!) through those long, wrapped around, ties at your waist. The fact that it is there reminds me to use it and not my apron to dry my hands.
Those long ties. It MUST have long ties. This is a deal breaker for me with this type of apron. Yes, I can tie an apron behind my back. I can even be Mrs. Smarty-pants and tie it into a perfectly tied bow behind my back. (Thanks, Mom!) But, why go to that effort? It is so much easier and stays tied up properly if it is long enough to come all the way back to the front again and still have plenty of length to tie properly. And that towel, the one that I am going to be using religiously now, stays in place when looped through the double wrapped ties.
Pockets. A great apron has AT LEAST one pocket. You can see Alpha’s huge pocket on the front there. Perfect. Just perfect. I think every garment made, of any type, should have pockets as a legal requirement. The world would be a better place. Almost every apron I own has pockets and, when things go missing around here- phone, keys, you know, THINGS- the apron pocket is always a good first place to look.
Aprons have so many more uses than just for cooking. Alpha there is now a hair cutting/ cleaning apron. The pocket is particularly useful while cleaning. It can hold all the little bits I pick up as I dust and vacuum and then transport them back to their respective homes around the house. You may have noticed a blue and white iteration hanging in the inglenook on the photo for 28th Feb 2022. That one is now a mucky apron as well and is used for cleaning out the fire and carrying in logs. I’m about to repair the neck strap on that one.
There you have it. Omega, pictured on the left, is my current kitchen favourite. It was a Christmas present from my dear husband and it took a bit of persuading that, yes, I wanted an apron for my Christmas present and yes, I wanted THIS particular apron.
It ticked all the boxes and I have not been disappointed. Thanks, Sweetie!
My NEXT apron will be home made. We took down a huge, brightly coloured front door curtain last year made of now very dated, 1980s fabric. I have taken it all apart and boil washed some of it to shrink the fabric as far as it is going to shrink. I am planning one of those wrap around, Japanese style aprons that are all the rage now. I dare say it might make an appearance here someday.
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