Monday, October 6, 2008

do you wear an apron? would you like a recipe for peanut butter cookies?

so what do those two questions have to do with each other? both aprons and peanut butter cookies remind me of my grandmother...she always wore an apron while cooking or cleaning..and her peanut butter cookies were a family favorite.

my maternal grandmother's name was mildred but everyone called her mim.... she was a fantastic cook..spent most of her days in the kitchen..and always managed to look perfect when sitting down for dinner. she wore the coolest aprons..and there was something special about the moment she took off the apron and sat down with the rest of us at the dinner definition of family. i started collecting vintage aprons a few years ago..and really fell in love with the designs. i hesitated wearing them..they were so beautiful..and i did not want to "mess them up" by staining them while cooking...(and yes, i do understand that misses the point of an apron)..i shared this concern with a fellow collector who told me that vintage aprons have witnessed years of family stories..and that i should add my stories to the rest...i thought this was a really appropriate sentiment.

when i started my eco-friendly company, aprons seemed to be a perfect product offering...but i wanted them to be beautiful, "green", handmade, practical and i wanted them to be worn.
i think i have found the perfect solution..our aprons were designed using a vintage sundress pattern from the 1940's...there was even a receipt in the pattern envelope, dated 1943, where someone bought 2 5/8th yards of gingham for $2.15! the craftsperson, naomi wilson, incorporated all the authentic sundress details..the sweetheart neckline, halter ties, gathered bodice, sewn on patch pockets...yet the open back and long ties provide all the versatility of a well made apron..and they are totally green using repurposed linens.

in true napa farmhouse 1885 style, we most often wear the aprons with our favorite jeans and tank tops..although..for special occasions...they are perfect with a little black dress..mim would be proud. you wear aprons? why? what kind? when? please share your stories in the comments section of this post.

now..for those peanut butter grandmother's version called for vegetable shortening. i have substituted butter...however, the rest of the recipe is from mim...she made these cookies for her children..and her grandchildren..these were my favorite cookies when i was growing up..they still are..and every time i make them, i am reminded of my grandmother, wearing her apron, cooking for her family..defining what family is all about...sharing her love in everything she did...enjoy!!

gran's peanut butter cookies
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter, organic if possible
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
additional granulated sugar for sprinkling

preheat oven to 325 degrees. butter/flour 2 cookie sheets. using an electric mixer, cream butter and peanut butter together until well mixed. add sugars and vanilla and mix well. add egg, beat until thoroughly incorporated. sift together dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients and stir until not over work dough. form dough into balls 2 inches in diameter. place on cookie sheets and flatten with tines of a fork. sprinkle cookie lightly with additional granulated sugar. bake for approx 12 minutes. cookies will be very soft. remove from oven and let cool on sheets on rack for 10 minutes. remove cookies from sheets and place on racks. allow to thoroughly cool.
for additional information regarding our apron collection, please visit our website
napa farmhouse 1885™
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Anonymous said...

I love peanut butter cookies too. Will have to give these a try.

Anonymous said...

I love those aprons. Are they for sale?

Anonymous said...

Doris Day sprang to mind when I saw the first two photos. After reading the text, I can see why.

Seana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seana said...

I love your aprons! I have quite a few aprons myself, although I have to admit to rarely if ever, wearing them! I need to remember to do that; it's a wonderful traditon.
I remember when I first started working in the ICU at Stanford Hospital, most of us nurses wore the smock-type aprons with the three large pockets at the bottom and we carried our hemostats, pens, scissors and notebooks in them. I LOVED them and had several (what I thought) really cute ones. I was sad when they went out of "style" in our little nurse world, LOL. It's amazing how handy they are than just for cooking!

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi annie..please let me know if you tried the cookies..

welcome donna..yes, the aprons are for sale..check out the website for additional info..thanks

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi sally (casalba) you crack me up with the doris day one would ever confuse me with her...

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi seana..and welcome..wear the aprons..this can be the start of reviving a beautiful tradition...

AmazinAlison said...

I too have a grandmother that used to always wear and apron and look fabulous when she sat down! She is now 89 and wears a house jacket instead. lol. I really need to start the apron wearing tradition, as I always discover spots on my pants and shirts when I am out and remaining question is wear to hang them? I need a closet in the I am off to check out your apron site...

Anonymous said...

I just made your cookies for my son. mmmmm, they are delicious! You made me think of my grandmother who wore aprons all the time when I was young. I am now 46 and am lucky enough to pick up the phone and call her. She is 90 and still lives at home by herself. Thanks for reminding me to call. She is amazing!
I enjoyed looking around your website on this first visit (from everyday food). I also live in Napa. What a beautiful day we had today!

Thanks again for the cookie recipe.