Not just another apron:

Two weeks ago a surprise parcel arrived in the form of a brown box.

Joanne, my assistant said “Just what you need – another apron”.

“Ah, but this is no ordinary apron” I told her. “This apron represents a group of like minded food and beverage professionals – and it’s orange”. Bright and cheerful

I run a commercial kitchen and cook at home so I wear an apron most days. I have a variety of aprons most with our logo and a collection from around the world from friends.

Aprons have been in my life for as long as I can remember.

My Mum wore one all day, taking it off just before Dad came home from work. This was the era when women gave their face a quick wash, flick a comb through their hair and put on a bit of lippy ready to greet their husbands. At dinner time she would put her apron back on to cook dinner and wash the dishes

Mum would collect all bits and pieces whilst doing housework and always had a handkerchief ready to dry our tears or wipe runny noses.

My favourite memories are of Gran Lee who lived in Devon and wore a pinny with a big pocket in the front that was always worth a look to see what treats she had hidden. In the garden Gran would collect gooseberries or fallen apples, a few spuds or handful of fresh peas for dinner.

On Mondays all over the countryside in England you would see the washing blowing in the wind, Gran would have always big wooden pegs in her pocket ready to hang out clothes.

Gran Morton lived in Yorkshire, where I was born and she wore what was known as a housecoat, a bit like the dust coats that stores people used to wear only prettier. Gran Morton always had a few shillings in her pockets for us grandkids when we visited once a year.

Without fail there was a hankie (no tissues in those days) a pencil and the daily form ready to pick her horse bets for the day.

We used to travel up north by train and our first sighting of her as we walked around the corner was Gran by the front door in her apron. It was the norm in any street in any village women chatting at the front door or by the front gate in aprons.

At secondary school domestic science and needlework were compulsory subjects. My first project was my apron. While we were making our aprons for four long weeks we learnt how to wash and starch clothes using Robin powder starch dissolved in water. These classes were boring for me I was the daughter of a career Royal Marine and knew how to starch.

For me aprons at work are essential and I wear one on at home. I can’t cook without an apron on, habits die hard. This weekend I attended a cider making workshop and wore an apron. Others were happy to wipe their hands on their t-shirts or jeans.

So thank you Females in Food for my beautiful apron #empoweredcollective #fifwhatscooking

Christine Smith
Food Warrior