When I created Tie One On Day fourteen years ago, I had hopes its essence – that giving from the heart made someone else’s day brighter – would be embraced worldwide. And if ever there were a need for a worldwide hug, it’s now.

A few weeks ago, our little Temple in Pueblo, Colorado, was the proposed target of Nazi hatred. Thankfully, the FBI and local police thwarted his plan. Tho’ the attack did not take place, the idea of such violence against our Jewish community left us shaken. Friends from around America reached out, and in doing so, made us feel safe and loved. That’s kindness.

Thinking kind thoughts is empathizing. Acting on empathy is kindness. #JUSTDOIT

I like most people and enjoy showing them as much, especially with a delivery of a homemade food.

My first Tie One On Day delivery was to an artist. Upon attending a pop up art exhibit by neon artist Scott Young (find him and his talent on instagram @scottyoungstudio), I  was immediately caught up in the excitement of his work and his genuine niceness. It was his description of a hectic schedule through the end of the year that led me to one thought: this man needs the sustenance of a hearty soup.  Yes, that’s how I think.

A reusable wrapping of cloth and a handwritten note are tenants of Tie One On Day

The bean soup recipe I use is easily made in a crock pot. Freezing the soup and delivering in a container that does not need returning is always a good idea. Here we are at the pop-up. That we’re both smiling is the win-win of Tie One On Day, for the giver and recipient.  #JUSTDOIT

Delivering in person is a Tie One On Day bonus


Following the thwarted attack, a neighbor to one of our children gave our Jewish community a gift that required more than the requisite thank you note. For them, I baked Pecan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls…from the latest cookbook by my friend, Eliza Cross.

Whether store-bought or home-baked, a pretty plate will be used later and serve as a                                                                                   reminder of thoughtfulness

Because the delivery was on a Thursday, I chose this days of the week toweling. The note expressing gratitude was tucked beneath.

The rolls were first covered with plastic wrap to prevent sticking

Kindness is taught, not by talking but by example. Accompanying me on her first Tie One On Day delivery, my granddaughter.

There is no age too young to begin teaching kindness

Gestures of kindness during the month of November are especially relevant. With all my heart, thank you for making Tie One On Day a part of your Thanksgiving tradition.

Gratefully, EllynAnne

Cake, I really, really love you!

The occasion was a celebration, with champagne and a dessert, the menu. Only a most fabulous cake creation would do, and within the pages of

“Fruit is not dessert. Cake is dessert.” EllynAnne Geisel

CAKE, I LOVE YOU !, was this confection: a Dark Chocolate-Pudding Banana Cake. Author Jill O’Connor describes this cake’s chocolate pudding frosting as “…almost too decadent.” A chocolate pudding aficionado, I’d found the perfect dessert.

At first glance, this cake’s two-page recipe might intimidate; however, Jill’s talent as a cookbook author shines with straight forward, step-by-step instruction. For encouragement, I constantly referenced the photograph – three tiers of divine sumptuousness.

Bakers of all levels, take heed…if you can read, you can make this cake!

This is a cake completely from scratch. It’s helpful to study the recipe several times before breaking that first egg. Also helpful is noting you will need three cake pans of the same size (a detail I missed, which wasn’t a catastrophe but did have the cake looking a tad “Leaning Tower of Pisa”), and that the pudding must be made a day before use.

The day of, I baked the layers and assembled per the instructions. Minus the chocolate curls’ topping, the cake was a close enough approximation to have me pretty, pretty excited to present and serve.

Chocolate pudding as icing is da bomb!

Almost a week later, what’s left is still moist and delicious. Tonight’s dessert should finish it up, a sad note to what everyone who tasted agrees is the best cake ever!


Now, for some happy news – As a sponsor of Tie One On Day, Jill is giving away two (2) autographed copies of CAKE, I LOVE YOU!


In it’s 12th year, Tie One On Day is an annual opportunity to offer a gesture of kindness before giving thanks at Thanksgiving. Sponsors, like Jill, support TOODay because of the shared belief that through kindness comes change.

Give from the heart on Wednesday, then give thanks on Thursday!

CLICK HERE to be inspired by how others are embracing Tie One On Day and to enter for the giveaways provided by generous sponsors, like Jill O’Connor, the author of my now favorite cake cookbook, CAKE I LOVE YOU!

Thank you for participating in Tie One On Day – and making someone’s day brighter.

Gratefully, EllynAnne


THE APRON BOOK : Podcast #6 – Cristie Coffman


THE APRON BOOK : Podcast #6
Cristie Coffman is a professional caterer, a career that requires apron coverage. But the apron she holds most dear is from her childhood – bright yellow gingham with a flower pot shaped pocket, sewn for her by her doting Grandma Lily.

Cristie Coffman apron

Everyone knows what an apron is and everyone has a story to share!

Contribute your written apron story and pictures at apronmemories.com/stories
Share your apron story recordings and videos at facebook.com/apronmemories
#theapronbook on Instagram & Twitter


» Right-click and download here (9.6MB / 3mins 50secs)

About The Apron Book:

The Apron Book

Warm and inviting, but (like an apron) quite practical, The Apron Book is a celebration of a great American icon. Apron enthusiast Ellynanne Geisel, who curated the traveling exhibit, Apron Chronicles, returns us to hearth and home in this updated edition of the award-winning book. In this paperback edition, EllynAnne reflects on the grassroots movement of apron love in a new introduction, and a new foreword by the former editor of Apronology magazine expounds on EllynAnne’s mantra that aprons don’t hold us back; they take us back because the connection to the past is a strong one.

The Apron Book showcases full-color photos of new and vintage aprons from Geisel’s vast collection, patterns for four basic apron styles and myriad variations, recipes, tips on collecting and preserving vintage aprons, and heart-tugging stories from the traveling apron exhibit. The book also explores the history and heyday of aprons and looks at the various roles aprons still play when worn in the kitchen, around the house, by the backyard grill, on the job, or for a special occasion.

Available To Order:

Order at Amazon.com

Order at Barnes & Noble

Order at Indiebound

Order at Booksamillion.com

Order at Andrews McMeel

a Macaroon Epiphany

Until the gluten free movement put the flavor back into flourless foods, Passover bakery goods tasted like sawdust. For forever, the only Passover-approved cookie available at the grocery was an almond macaroon. Like a beloved family tradition, those icky sweet orbs have been passed off from one generation to the next as the holiday’s go-to sweet. Falling into the ancestral way, I’ve been serving almond nuggets for over 30 years, until this year, when I experienced a macaroon epiphany.

Ever so sick and tired of the packaged cookie, I turned to my cookbooks for a macaroon review.

vintage cookbooks_array

A 1913 recipe for a Cocoanut Macaroon called for 1 grated cocoanut, 1/2 its weight in sugar, and the white of 1 egg. A mixture like a paste was to be worked into balls the size of a nutmeg and baked fifteen to twenty minutes in a slow oven.

While a perusal of recipes from later decades provided a tad more direction, apparent was the macaroon is no newcomer when it comes to the homemade treat scene.

More of a surprise is the simplicity of ingredients that are a modern macaroon.

You’ll Need:  14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

The Mixing Directions:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Using 2 teaspoons, take generous dips into the mixture and drop onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Don’t smooth or compact into neat cookie “balls.” Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool, then store airtight to maintain freshness.

Step it up a notch: After cooling, dip 1/2 of a macaroon into melted dark chocolate; then place on a parchment covered cookie sheet. To harden the chocolate, set sheet in the freezer or refrigerator. Store airtight.

macaroons_chocolate dipped www

The resulting cookie is a Passover game changer. Irresistibly yummy, it’s impossible to eat just one, so smarten up from the get go and double the output.

It would seem no contest between a delectable macaroon and a macaroon with a shelf life

macaroons_in dish www

of two years, but not so, according to my tradition-besotted husband. Each bite of almond, macaroons_cannister in cupboard www

he says, is a sensory memory trigger, taking him back to a time when his parents were alive and as a family, they gathered at the Passover table.

His response gave me pause.

Perhaps when it comes to tradition and our holidays, a tastier macaroon isn’t necessarily better.

xx EllynAnne

Giving from the heart.Then giving thanks

Happy Wednesday, Cyndi Swank!  Via a random number generator, you’ve been selected the first Tie One On Day Giveaway WINNER.

#56  Cyndi Swank says:

I just love sewing aprons, and I just love baking bread. This is a win, win, win (giving) for me! I even have some people I know picked out to give an apron and a loaf of bread to. Some are in need as well as some who give so much to others. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in TOOD, as well as model giving for my children.

TOOD_2013_504x607 79 dpi


The generous sponsors of this first giveaway are: Marula – the Leakey Collection, Chaps, Country Woman Magazine, Eleanor’s NYC, Bernina USA, Simplicity, MyMemories.  For a complete listing of Tie One On Day sponsors and their giveaways, please click here. Without hesitation, sponsors responded to Tie One On Day as consistent with the heart of their companies, and I am extremely appreciative of their support.

Remember, you need only enter/leave a comment once to be eligible for the remaining three giveaways !

TOOD_2013_504x607 79 dpi


MyMemories is also providing its giveaway of the My Memories Suite v4 and two Gift Certificates to four additional randomly selected winners:

#86  Linda Kernodle     #19 Jane Pearson

#42 Patty Phillips       #6 Debra

TOOD_2013_504x607 79 dpi



My Tie One On Day recipients are no longer in charge of their own kitchens, so baking for them is an enjoyment from the past. Imagining myself in their shoes, my offerings always include something sweet. As I’m still deciding just what to bake, I’m playing with the packaging.

Last year, I saved up those plastic food (mushroom) containers, which are perfectly sized for lining with toweling and nestling a small sweetbread loaf, a petite jar of jam and a miniature serving spoon.

Go Vintage Go Green_mushroom containers packaged (Medium)

Another year, I used florist corsage bags to package individual pumpkin pies and old cups (literally a dime a dozen) filled with a cranberry compote. A vintage apron wrapped around an old plate (dime a dozen on these, also) provided stability as well as an eating utility.

packing www

In our rush-about world, though, perhaps more meaningful than the creatively packaged food, was visiting at each delivery. I take that to heart and make the time.

I love reading everyone’s gestures of kindness – thank you for sharing and continuing to spread the word and love of Tie One On Day.

From my heart to your pocket…apron, of course!

xx EllynAnne

Tie One On…Give from the heart…Then give thanks

Peach Pie Worth the Detour

The harvesting of produce is in the final weeks and we decided to take a ride out east of town to shop the farms. At Musso’s, the bounty was so artfully displayed, my sense took its leave and

Peach Pie_Musso farm produce inside [640x480]

was replaced with the desire to buy lots of food in bulk and do something great with it. By the time we wound our way to the checkout, my enthusiasm was waning for the job I was

Peach Pie_Musso corn corner [640x480]

committing to and instead of leaving with a grocery cart of produce, we purchased a bushel of peaches.

Peach Pie_Musso boxes of peaches [640x480]

Driving home and regaling my husband with visions of the peach pies I was about to make and freeze, I made a last second decision to exit the regular routing for a detour on a pastoral, two-lane country road. As I steered the car down the ramp and onto the road, I remarked at the beauty that is just outside our town. And just as those words left my lips, I saw him.

Peach Pie_view in rear view mirror [640x480]

Was there a reason, the officer inquired, why I was speeding at 50 miles an hour in a 40 mph zone? M-m-m-m, because I was coming off the ramp and going down a hill? Orrrrrr, because I was chatting at my husband about the beauty that is nature AND going down a hill?

Peach Pie_officer at window [640x480]

Orrrrrr, because I didn’t see you in time to hit the brakes and was going down a hill?

Tho’ agreeable to my notation that the country is indeed beautiful, and a bit sad that he was about to issue my first driving ticket ever, he nonetheless wrote me up. At 10 miles over the speed limit, that quarter mile was going to be costly. What to say but thank you – I was brought up to be polite, even in the most difficult of circumstance.

Peach Pie_$169 ticket [640x480]

With the peaches a day from turning, I needed to simultaneously dwell and process (which would be me multi-tasking). Step 1

Peach Pie_hot bath [640x480]

Step 2

Peach Pie_cold bath [640x480]

Step 3: I’m always surprised when boiling and a quick cool make peeling a breeze.

Peach Pie_skins slipped off [640x480]

A slicing incident leads to a napkin wrapped with scotch tape, and my concluding that the sign of a house without children is a house without a bandaid box.

Peach Pie_hurt finger [640x480]

Step 4: Six cups of sliced peaches sprinkled with almond extract, several pats of melted butter, quarter cup flour (which I was low on, so I substituted potato starch) and a tablespoon of citrus acid powder

Peach Pie_mixture [640x480]

Step 5: Toasted almonds chopped into smallish bits

Peach Pie_crushing almonds [640x480]

Step 6: Almonds sprinkled onto the bottom layer and topped with sliced peaches mixture. Cover with second crust, free forming the crusts’ edges to meet & crimp. Brush milk over the top crust & sprinkle with sugar; set pan on foil or a baking sheet in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes; then 325 degrees for half an hour.

Peach Pie_almond base [640x480]

Step 7: Serve warmed with a dollop of whipped cream.

Peach Pie_a slice [640x480]

My pie pan is an oldie and sliced up without an eye to leftovers, delivers pie for 10. Given the cost of the peaches ($32.00) + the speeding ticket ($169.50), this was a $20.00 piece of pie, which I savored to the point of licking the plate clean. That detour was costly, but the smiles from friends who joined us for dessert…worth it.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

A Slice of Life

The old cookbooks, like this one from 1941, were close to 900 pages, with chapters covering a range of domestic concerns, like Menu Making, Table Setting, Carving, Spices and Useful Facts about Food. The American Woman cookbook cover 1931_mixer and homemaker

The heft was also attributable to the photographic illustrations. In this cookbook, a List of Illustrations three pages in length is provided at the front. It was while flipping through the illustrations that I came upon this display

A Kitchen Collection to Gladden the Heart of the Most Ardent Gadgeteer

Gagets and gageteer 1941 Am Womans Ckbk [640x480]

Gadgeteer! How fabulously descriptive. Most of the gadgets were familiar; of some, I’m clueless.

I do not lack for gadgets. I’m especially attracted to those with colored handles.

Gadgeteer_3 items [640x480]

These pie crust rollers are among my favorite utilities.

Gadgeteer_pie trimmers faceup [640x480]

On the backside of the green handled one, you can see the company, Vaughn’s, and the descriptive name: Pie Trimmer and Sealer, circa 1930s-40s.

Gadgeteer_piecrust trimmer Vaughn [640x480]

Looking at the pie tools led me to think about pies, and the purity of the recipes of 1941. A pie was made from scratch, and that included the sifting of flour.

These Sifting Sisters from the Fifties have a tiered interior, which sent the flour through a series of three screens and produced ultra fine flour. Sifting seems more fun with a gadget so well designed and adorably adorned.

Sifter Sisters both 1 [640x480]

Baking a pie is a messy production, and domestic armor is a must. My new friend knows this. Meet Beth Howard of The World Needs More Pie.

Beth Howard_wearing Kaen [640x480]

This photo was taken in Beth’s kitchen – can’t you just hear that screen door slamming as Beth shuttles pies down to her roadside stand. Beth lives in Iowa in the American Gothic home. Her journey from LA to this new life through the conduit of pie is chronicled in a book that publishes next spring. Meantime, do visit her website and welcome her to the Apron-Hood.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

National Tie One On Day Girlfriend Gathering

Forever and a day, I’ve been meaning to make the introduction of three particular women friends to one another. But it wasn’t until I was baking batches of sweets and quick breads for my National Tie One On Day deliveries that I was struck with the genius notion of inviting them over for a Tie One On Day girlfriend gathering/goodie packaging/social hour.

The quickie invite for an early afternoon tea repast included tying one on…an apron, of course!

girlfriends in aprons 5301 (Medium)

Outside this picture’s framing is a narrow table where I set out a tea service I inherited from my mother-in-law (which gets little enough use, so any chance is seized), plates, nibblies and little linen fingertip napkins. The napkins have the letter “G’ embroidered in teeny, tight stitches – white on white – so elegant


but at the same time, it’s a napkin, so staining is inevitable. How I’d love to ask the creator what in the world she was thinking!

Home for a late lunch, PC snapped these pictures AND took this video of our gathering.

Hope my gfg inspires!


Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns Grow

My every day life is quite basic and without much distraction. So when I am struck with inspiration, the details are very clear and stay so. For instance, I can describe the exact moment when I considered that aprons held the voices and spirit of the women who’d worn them. So, too, can I recall the second of spontaneity that, in a gesture, became Tie One On Day.

Press Release #2


National Tie One On DayTM a Win-Win

Gesture of Kindness a Win-Win for Participant and Receiver

PUEBLO, Colo. – Four years ago, EllynAnne Geisel was rolling dough for “one more pie” for her Thanksgiving feast, “When I suddenly took stock of the amount of food I’d prepared for the next-day’s holiday meal.” For a dozen guests, Geisel recalls, “there was just too much!” Deciding that her company “absolutely did not need another dessert choice,” she spontaneously wrapped a sweet in a handy piece of cloth…an apron. “Then I wrote Thinking of You on a notecard, and still wearing my own apron, walked out the front door.” Within a block, Geisel was presenting the wrapped treat to a very surprised neighbor, “who I’d heard was experiencing a difficult time.”

Turns out, Geisel was in for a surprise herself. “I hadn’t anticipated that acknowledging my neighbor with a baked good would have me feeling positively buoyant.”

It is that win-win for participant and receiver that Geisel is promoting through her National Tie One On DayTM.. Celebrated on November 25, 2009, Tie One On Day is an opportunity for people throughout the country to put the “give” back in Thanksgiving.

According to Geisel, a store-bought item is as easily wrapped as homemade, “and the cloth can be anything from an apron to a napkin.”

Geisel’s lemon quick bread recipe can be made in advance, wrapped and kept fresh in the refrigerator for Tie One On Day delivery.


A Lovely Lemon Bread

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons lemon extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking power

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup milk

2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

Lemon Glaze

¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed for zestier flavor)

½ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix the butter with the sugar, lemon extract and eggs.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating flour mixture with the milk, stirring each addition just enough to blend.

Fold in the lemon peel.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Use a spatula around the four sides to loosen the loaf from the pan. Remove loaf from the pan onto a cooling rack. With the wooden pick, poke holes in the loaf top.

Drizzle the lemon glaze over the top (Tip: Place rack over a piece of wax paper for easy clean up)

**Wrap the cooled loaf in foil and store in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving

**Plastic or foil wrap will protect the cloth from the syrupy glaze

EllynAnne Geisel is the author of The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort; Apronisms: Pocket Wisdom for Every Day; and The Kitchen Linens Book: Using, Sharing and Cherishing the Fabrics of Our Daily Lives

Additional information about National Tie One On Day can be found on Geisel’s web site, www.apronmemories.com.

Recognized by Chases Calendar of Events, National Tie One On Day is sponsored by Mom Bloggers Club, American Sewing Guild, The Women’s Museum, McCall’s Pattern Company, Stampington & Company, Aunt Martha’s Colonial Patterns, Inc., Simplicity Pattern Company, National Association of Baby Boomer Women, Creative Machine Embroidery, SewNews, Apron-iCity and The Fabric Shop Network.


Easy Entry for National Tie One On Day’s Goodie Bag Giveaway here! Thank you for sharing National Tie One On Day through chit chat, blogging, tweeting, facebooking…the more who participate, the more who will receive.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!