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!

It’s the Berries

We leave tomorrow, and I’m still choosing which aprons and cloth goods to showcase in the display at the American Sewing Guild’s 2009 gathering. Deciding on a display of hotpads, whether to show just gingham or floral aprons or mix ’em up like a wildflower bouquet… and then there are the berries. I hadn’t realized how many aprons and cloths in my collection are berry themed – certainly enough for a section all to themselves.

July is national blueberry month, and despite the heat, I heat up the kitchen baking with my favorite berry. My easy muffin recipe is in The Kitchen Linens Book and the latest issue of Cooking with Paula Deen (professionally food styled, with melting butter!).

In celebration of my appearance in PD’s July/August mag, #3 of two months of Sunday giveaways is a copy of Humble Pie by Anne Dimock. There are a lot of pie books out there, but Anne’s is special. To enter the giveaways, you just need to sign up for the Apron Memories newsletter.

I photographed the book atop my best pie pan, a huge tin affair I picked up at a second hand store in the early days of marriage. It’s baked a lot of cherry pies (his favorite) and peach pies (my favorite), and of course, blueberry pies in July.

Warm pie a la mode is heaven. But pie for breakfast – is there a better way to start the day?
Tie One On…an apron, of course!