Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Apron Tea

An Apron Tea: Is there anything more homey than an apron? Ms. Arline, the hostess, had been known about town to throw some very creative tea events, and this was no exception. Upon arriving, I saw large tents covering the lawn and inside them were 24  round tables,covered in white linen tableclothes. Guests were served a garden salad, quartered watercress and turkey sandwiches, and fresh fruit. Perfect for a warm summer's day.
   A historian had been brought in to give an informative talk and show her HUGE collection of aprons and their significance throughout the decades. There were bib aprons, waist aprons, fancy pinnefore aprons, even dress aprons. Some reflected that their first apron was made their first apron in Home Ec class..a course that many schools have eliminated with budget cuts. Each guest was asked to wear an apron to the tea and to bring a wrapped gift for a game exchange. 

Pinned to the sides of the canopies, colorful aprons flapped in the breeze. As we circulated in our  aprons, memories and stories were beginning to surface: "Grandma used to carry the peaches she just picked", another remembered that her "aunt used to wipe the kids dirty faces", and my own grandmom carried things in the large pockets; like  the clothespins to hang out the wet laundry outside, cookies for the grandkids, keys to the cold celler, even another apron which was always clean and a little fancier in case company popped over. I always knew Grandma's apron pockets would have something special in them. One guest's mom left one hanging by the front door to change into when company stopped by. The apron was certainly a utilitarian garment. One gal said, "my grandma would use it to wipe the counters, dust the furniture, and then wipe our was already damp, right?.." I laughed so hard, today it better be made from an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial dye-safe, fabric!
The hostess made sure everyone was having a good time, tiny dessert plates with lemon cake and custard was served. Orange Spice tea was served in painted tea cups, which then was given to the guests to take home. It was a memorable, informative afternoon. Revisiting all the memories I have attached to aprons , I now own several.

image photo : Lemon teaphoto courtesy of A Taste of Home