Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A memory of friendship.

Coming home from work my feet usually take me to the kitchen. I open a cupboard for a pan, the fridge for some meat and vegetables, I walk out in the garden to see what is most tempting in the herbgarden or the vegetable path. I wash my hands and I start cooking. I wear my everyday clothes, a pair of jeans, a blouse or a sweather. Some days my clothes get stains, some days not. In a drawer I have a collection of aprons, old and new, big and small, colourful or plains. But I seldom think of using them. Why is that? I guess the answer is that it is so easy to wash clothers today. I use only natural fiber clothes and our washing machine will be doing some washing anyway - a blouse more or less doesn't matter. In many ways I am old fashioned and it is important for me to take care of old traditions in the kitchen. To cook and bake what we eat instead of buying fast food. To experience with new traditional dishes or to make again when my grandmother taught me. But somewhere along the road I have lost the tradition of wearing an apron.
May be I should start again. I could open the drawer where I keep all my aprons and find one which goes with my mood. Or find one which could protect the blue top I am wearing and which I plan to wear again tomorrow without washing it in between.

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I do open the drawer, and deep in the bottom I find a treasure, an apron I am proud to own. Hand stiched Hardanger embroidery made by the old, old fingers of a woman who was my penfriend for many years in my youth. With a gap of almost 70 years between us the letters want fluently back and forth between our mailboxes, and for my confirmation when I was 14 she made me this apron.

The apron is well used, and over the years it has followed me through alot of celebrations and parties - yes this is an apron to use when serving, not when you cook :-). Today it will not go back to the bottom of the drawer. I will find a place for it where I can see it, and my thoughts wanders to dear old Jenny and all my other penpals around the world. A memory of friendship across the borders.

More great apron stories can be found over at Ilva's fantastic food blog.

3 comments:

Karen said...

That is the one bad thing about drawers. We put things in when we should leave them out to remind us of friends, family, places and memories. My mother and grandmother never went into the kitchen without an apron hanging placed around their waist or over their shoulders. I think of my own granddaughters and wonder do they even know what an apron is for? Maybe I should show them.

tammy said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous apron.

Simona said...

Very nice story and very nice apron. When I visited Norway I have been to several ethnic museums showcasing embroidery and other types of artwork: I loved everything I saw. I have not made it as far up as Trondheim, which, as I keep saying to myself, is one reason I need to go back.