By Deborah Eisenhut
When I was very young, some of my first memories were of my grandmother. She was more
than a substitute mother, also a teacher, best friend and inspiration my entire life. I can’t ever
remember her not dressing for church, dressing for bed, or being in a house dress without an
apron. Only those three. Ever.
She taught me how to do everything and of course that included
cooking, gardening, sewing and loving the Lord. Always with an apron on (except to church or
bed of course). The pockets were always full of everything she needed on the move during the
day, from emergency provisions to special keepsakes. We always checked the pockets first
when looking for anything misplaced. My first project sewing with her, was a half apron, out of
brown poplin with the sashes in the back. I had pockets of course and was so proud of that
project. I went on to make pinafores and full aprons as gifts, back when the apron symbolized
love, family and apple pie ideals to me. But by the time I was a teenager, aprons became an
old fashioned symbol, dull and unnecessary to women who now wanted to reach outside the
home for fulfillment. Thankfully there has been a resurgence of all vintage nostalgia, especially
retro kitchen and home culture, so aprons are now everywhere!
When I cleaned out some of my Grandmother’s possessions after she passed away, I found an
especially pretty, well used apron that I remembered well. To my amazement, inside one of the
pockets were two recipe cards, evidently in her last plans to cook. I have since taken a deep
interest in the history of things, and I started with aprons. Two wonderful publications, if you
want to be taken back with heartwarming “apronisms”, are “Aprons: Icon of the American Home”
by Joyce Cheney and “The Apron Book” by Ellyn Anne Geisel.
In the meantime, enjoy the two lovely recipes my grandmother thought worthy of trying. They
are perfect for warm summer weather and the season of delicious, healthy fruits.
Peach Barbecue Sauce
2 cups Heinz ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups Coca Cola
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. quality BBQ dry rub
4 cups ripe Georgia peaches chopped into cubes
Place all above in 4 quart saucepan and bring to boil. Turn Dow heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to large bowl and blend by hand or mixer all visible chunks. (Now a blender
or processor could be used). Let sauce cool and pour into jars. Store in refrigerator until ready
to use. Can be frozen.
Best Blackberry Cobbler
4 cups fresh blackberries, washed and dried
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 large fresh egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup all- purpose flour
6 Tbsp. Butter, melted
Fresh vanilla ice cream for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Place berries in a lightly greased 8 inch square baking dish; sprinkle with
lemon juice. Stir together egg, sugar, and flour in medium bowl until mixture resembles coarse
meal. Sprinkle over fruit. Drizzle melted butter over topping. Bake 375 for 35 minutes or until
lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve with
homemade vanilla ice cream. Strawberries or peaches can be substituted.
BLT Mater Bites
16 – 20 large cherry tomatoes
1 pound sliced bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
3 Tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley
Cut a thin slice off each tomato top. Scoop out pulp and save for another use. Invert tomatoes
on paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine and mix ingredients and spoon into tomatoes.
Refrigerate for several hours. Can add crab meat, chopped egg or sweet pickle cubes to
change flavor of filling. Yummy and fast and great accompaniment.