Strawberry Delights… and a Big Sticky Mess

I love fresh strawberries. LOVE them. So, of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to load up on eight quarts of these sweet treats from the local CSA farm. It’s been a few years since I’ve made strawberry jam, so I was due to get out the water canner and an ungodly amount of sugar and commence the jam making.

Well, lets just say it was a good thing the girls were asleep because I ended up nearly setting fire to my stove when the first batch of jam boiled over while I was attempting to get the second batch started. Talk about a mega mess. It’s been about three years since I last made jam. Funny how I didn’t recall it being so messy and time-consuming. Ah, well, I still might go for a third batch tomorrow. We’ll see how crazy I feel in the morning after I twist open one of the very cool “contemporary” canning jars and spread the yummy contents onto a piece of wheat toast. Man, I hope it tastes good.

lola_front.jpgBut enough about silly jam, we need to move on to more exciting apron news. I know you’ve been wondering when I was finally going to get around to spilling the news of who won the Meg’s new Lola pattern. So here are the winners who were randomly selected by the handy “Random Integer Generator” tool I found online. (The CraftSanity VPs were sleeping and therefore unavailable to do the select the winners.)

Okay here are the winning comments:

# 14 from Sharon: I made my first apron this Christmas for my Mother at her request. I found some really pretty fabric with big, life sized tiger lilies on it. It was so pretty, she wont wear it because she doesnt want to get it dirty! It just hangs in her kitchen.

# 33 from Ruth:I have been enjoying reading all the comments. My grandmother was a marvelous cook and she reigned over the kitchen. Her cooking and baking skills were the ultimate and I would just sit there and watch her everyday. She would allow me to help and I thought I was in heaven. The meals were culinary delights and her baked goods fabulous. She always had a different apron for everyday of the week. They were lovely, totally protected her clothes and she made a big production by laundering them and then ironing them as well. This was in the apron days and I had my mini apron as well. Those days are long gone but I do have photos and fond memories that I still treasure.”

# 15 from Jenna Z: I never knew my great grandmother Ada but when I started searching for pictures and tidbits to put into a geneology scrapbook my mother gave me two aprons she had kept in the linen chest (a huge, locking wooden wagon box from a pioneer wagon) knowing that I loved aprons and that I would cherish them knowing they had belonged to Ada. One was made from poor quality linen (the fabric has many seeds and stems woven into the fabric) and hand sewn and embroidered. But it wasn’t wearable. (see a picture here It had two straps coming off the yoke but no ties around the waist. After asking around a bit I decided to put buttons on the two corners or the skirt and buttonholes in the straps. To wear it, I criss cross the straps behind my back and button them to each corner. I finished it just as it would have been done by my great grandmother, sewing on vintage mother of pearl buttons and hand sewing the buttonholes with aged thread to match what was already there. I pinned a tag inside the pocket stating who it had originally belonged to, her birth and death years and that I finished it and the year. I love wearing it out into the garden! That cheapest of linen fabrics shines in the sun because it hasn’t been forgotten in the linen chest, it gets to see the light and help me with my chores!”

29 from Veronica: “I’ve always loved aprons; especially the vintagey (is that a word?) June Cleaver-era styles. I have a picture of me somewhere of me when I was about five or six and I’m wearing an old-fashioned apron with huge strawberries with faces on them, trying to help my mom wash the dishes. That apron has long since been discarded, but I wish I still had it. Not only was it pretty, but it was a piece of my childhood. My husband thinks it’s weird that I have such a fascination with aprons. To him, they’re just a utility item that you wear to keep your clothes protected. But there’s something about seeing vintage aprons that evoke the romantic notion that you can cook the perfect meal or be the perfect hostess, if only you had just the right apron!”

Congrats ladies! Please email me your mailing addresses ASAP, so Meg and I can your prizes to you! Then you can go forth and wear your Lolas proud and in public! I’m serious. Do it. People will smile at you and you will feel compelled to smile back. Public apron wearing is fun for all involved.

Thanks to all of you who took time to post your apron stories. They were great to read. If you missed those, check out the comments below the episode 80 post.

Okay, one last note about the strawberries. Don’t you love the colors in the photo above?! This is one of my favorite color combinations. So pretty. Maybe I’ll make a Lola out of these colors. Hmm… : )

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