Grandma’s Apron

I recently happened upon a poem, “Grandma’s Apron”, that I would like to share with you. It was written by Tina Trivett in honor of her grandmother. When I read the poem, I couldn’t help but think of my own apron-wearing grandmother – Ruth Baumgart.

My grandparents (Ruth and Gerhard Baumgart) and their four children lived on dairy farm in Wisconsin. They worked hard and lived simply. They raised a good bit of their own food which included milk, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, and fruit. That meant that Grandma spent a lot of time in the kitchen… and a lot of time wearing an apron. Most days, she wore a simple house dress topped with a correspondingly modest apron. Some of them tied at the waist, while more elaborate styles looped over her shoulders and tied at the waist. Fancy!

Grandma was known for her baking. She was especially productive the weeks before Christmas. This was her time to shine. She made iced sugar cookies, spritz cookies, caramels, popcorn balls, fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, haystack cookies, chocolate & marshmallow covered brownies, pinwheel cookies, and so many other things I can’t remember now. Spending time with Grandma and Grandpa over Christmas was delightful. So many goodies. So little time.

I still bake some of Grandma’s specialties and use her rolling pin when making cutout sugar cookies and pinwheel cookies. I like to think that a bit of her soul is embedded in that old wooden rolling pin. People love my Christmas sugar cookies with butter cream icing, which leads me to believe that my theory is true. Imagine how much better they would be if I wore an apron while I made them!

Remembering Grandma, busy in her kitchen, wearing her super-heroine outfit/apron, gives me great comfort. Even though she’s been gone for ten years, I still get teary-eyed when I think about her. She truly is one of the finest people I have ever known.

Here’s a video of my grandma making kolaches. When she gave the final rundown on the ingredients, she unintentionally left out yeast. Not something you want to forget with this recipe! My uncle Gary shot this video in 1987. Peanut gallery commentary by my grandpa and cousin Dierdra.

 

The poem I promised…

Grandma’s Apron
by Tina Trivett

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she’d found.
Or to hide a crying child’s face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.
She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.
She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I’m sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.

You can find more of Tina Trivett’s poetry on her poetry blog.

 

A Final Thought…

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.
Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I never caught anything from an apron…But Love.

(Author Unknown)

 

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16 thoughts on “Grandma’s Apron

  1. Love, love, love….so enjoyed watching your grandma make her Kolaches. Loved hearing that Wisconsin accent…especially when she was reeling off how to make the prune filling. Kept thinking-wow, what a lot of work…but I’m sure well worth the wait. She was a lovely woman, glad I got to meet her. What a beautiful tribute Julie!

  2. Julie,
    The video reminds me of my Aunt Kate. She was my pseudo grandma. All of my grandparents had passed by the time I came along because my parents where the youngest in their families and I was the youngest in my family. Aunt Kate made donuts…good ones and she wore an apron too. As a matter of fact I can still see her in that apron and house dress. Thank you for taking me back to see her in my memory again.
    Jerry

  3. I’ll bet she had some serious arm muscles from stirring that dough by hand. I’m so spoiled with my Kitchenaid.

    This was such a sweet post, Julie. I especially loved the part about the rolling pin.

    • She was a pretty tough lady Sharon. Not only did she spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but she did outdoor farm work, too. I know what you mean about the Kitchenaid 🙂 Just once, I would like to make a decent loaf of bread totally by hand. Heck… I’d like to make a decent loaf using my Kitchenaid! One manual kitchen tool I will always treasure is that rolling pin. I’d run into a burning house to rescue it.

  4. What a wonderful video memory of your grandma making her kolaches! It brings back memories of my own my grandmother…the accent is different since mine was from Alabama…but the actions and attitude are similar. Of course my grandmother would have been making her famous butter pecan pound cake or perhaps a Swedish tea ring. Even the apron seems the same. Perhaps they used the same Simplicity pattern to make those aprons. I know for sure they weren’t “store bought.”

    • Isn’t it wonderful how two people who lived in very different parts of the country lived similar lives and held similar values?! I bet they DID use the same Simplicity pattern! Gotta love it.

  5. Your grandma had an accent? She sounded perfectly normal to me. Thanks for sharing this. It was interesting to see another kolache technique and another dough wielding grandma. 🙂

    • Haha! Yes, she did have an accent, my fellow Wisconsin native. I grew up in WI but have lived elsewhere for the last 17 years. My accent is part Wisconsin and part southern. The people in WI think I sound southern and the people in SC think I sound like I’m from WI. Hmm…

  6. gosh…..I just stumbled upon your blog. It was like watching and listening to my own grandma in Montana when I was growing up. What a lovely memory. I wished I’d made videos of my grandma cooking and baking. My grandma’s family came from Wisconsin and homesteaded in Montana. The sad thing is I fear they don’t make people in this mold any more. Those people who made do and lived between the ground and God.

    • I’m so happy that you found my blog and that it brought back wonderful memories of your grandma! You’re right. They don’t make them like our grandma’s anymore… such beautiful souls 🙂

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