Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The way to a man's heart

It's not just a myth, you know. Men love for women to cook for them. Even men like my husband, who is an excellent cook himself. And there's something about wearing an apron while I'm cooking that makes me feel especially feminine and flirty.

Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer continues her "Home Is. . . " series today with a party about wearing aprons in the kitchen.



Now, I know that aprons are first and foremost practical. I mean, they're worn by butchers and bricklayers as well as by chefs. And sometimes I wear an apron just to be practical--an ugly, shapeless old thing that serves only to keep splatters off my clothes.

But my favorite aprons are my sweet little over-the-skirt aprons--the ones that tie around my dainty little waist and protect my beautiful skirt while allowing my pearls to show. You know the ones?

Like this red one I found on eBay. Look how cute it is:



And notice the detail on the pocket. All my skirt aprons have one pocket, on the right side. Good thing I'm right-handed.



Or this darling one that my grandmother made for me as a wedding gift, 25 years ago. See how she painstakingly embroidered a design, cross-stitching in just the white squares?



Or this little number. My mother told me that aprons like this were called "hostess aprons," and they weren't intended for day-to-day wear, but to wear when having guests. I found this one at a garage sale. My red-headed self couldn't pass up this Irish cutie.



And look! It's reversible!




Wearing aprons like these makes me want to make my husband something special. The truth is that my husband is actually a better cook than I am. He can create the most delectable culinary masterpieces. But when it comes to desserts--well, that's my department. And I don't suppose there's anything he likes better than pie. Here's the recipe for one of his favorites. The recipe is fairly long, but it's actually pretty simple to follow. And the results? Guaranteed goodness.

Coconut Cream Pie

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 baked pastry shell

Bake a pie shell according to your favorite recipe (or do as I do and use a Pillsbury All-Ready pie crust).

Separate the four eggs. Place whites in mixer bowl; place yolks in a heat-proof bowl.

For filling, combine sugar, flour, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; continue to cook and stir two minutes more (use a timer!). Remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks slightly, then gradually mix about one cup of the hot pudding mixture into the yolks to temper them. Stir egg mixture back into saucepan. Bring pudding to a gentle boil. Cook and stir two minutes more, then remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla extract and 1 cup of the coconut; stir 'til well-combined. Set pan of pudding aside.

Make meringue by mixing egg whites with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar. Beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form (about 1 minute). Gradually (about one spoonful at a time) add 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form (about 4 minutes).

Spread pudding mixture into pie shell. Pudding will be very thick. Spread meringue over pudding mixture. Be sure to spread the meringue all the way to the edge of the crust to prevent shrinkage. Sprinkle remaining coconut over the meringue.

Bake at 350 degrees about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Since the pudding in this pie is very thick, it can be served while still fairly warm, which is the way my hubby likes it.

You can head over to Sandy's to read all the fun apron stories. But first, tell me: do you like to wear aprons yourself?

****Special Announcement: I'll be hosting my VERY FIRST linky party on Friday, May 7. Please come back on Friday to read all about it!!*****

21 comments:

Becky K. said...

My favorite? The one your Grandmother made for you.
It is so special.

Thanks for sharing.
I'll be back to visit again.

Becky K.
Hospitality Lane

Always Nesting said...

So funny, the timing of this post. I've just recently been looking at aprons because they look so feminine, yet practical. Your photos are awesome and I love your collection.

ITA about men and cooking for them. My hubby thinks his world is just about perfect because I cook and bake for him. He loves eating, trying new dishes, and eating his and my leftovers. The only foods he dislikes are beets and chili, and it took him 2 decades of marriage to tell me he didn't like my chili. Now that's love :)

Laura said...

Love those aprons.

My guys like nothing better than to EAT -- it's all about food with my bunch! (I have four sons.)

Great to find your blog -- come on over and see me.

southerninspiration said...

I do have a cute apron, but I forget to wear it.....Love your collection, Richella!
Great post!

Suzanne

Carmen said...

Your aprons are so cute. Isn't it crazy that I've never worn an apron? Maybe in home-ec in 8th grade but not recently. :)

I think I need a cute apron like you have.

Christi Williams said...

I am loving these apron posts. I LOVE vintage aprons. I love your collection!! It makes me happy to find others that get so happy about them too.

Lisa said...

very nice blog. I will be back to visit!

Lauren said...

See, I really want to learn to cook one day and make this amazing food, but with my luck I'll end up marrying a man who can cook a heck of a lot better than me. Lol. Not that I would mind, of course. As long as he didn't make my cooking look bad. ;) And apron your grandmother made you is so beautiful.

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Aprons are back in a big way, that's true. You have some nice ones. If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, what about a man cooking for you? So romantic and just plain nice! My husband and son know that cooking for their wives get them big points.Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate it.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I love that you've got heirloom aprons! How special!

Stopping in from Sandy's to say hi. : )

Sandy said...

Oh my goodness, I love your aprons and I LOVE coconut cream pie.

Fun post today. Oh, and men DO love for us to cook for them. I 3 very thankful men in my home :))

Thanks for linking up today!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Love the aprons!! I have an old apron post I ought to link up, but I know I won't have time to visit any of the other links. :s My favorite is the one your grandmother made for you. It's beautiful!!

Debbie said...

I have several very cute aprons but I'm always forgetting to put them on. I remember after I've prepared a meal.

I do believe the way to a man's heart is through his stomach; lol. At least that's true for my man. When I cook his favorite meals, he loves it. And that makes me smile!

Blessings,
Debbie

Adelle said...

Hey, my husband is a better cook than me too, but like you, desserts are my ball game. Lovely aprons!

Adelle
www.readygogetset.com

Tammy@ A Doctor in the House said...

Aprons and coconut pie. That brings sweet memories of my grandma. Love your apron collection.

Tara G. said...

Love the stories behind the aprons!! I have a friend that says recipes are seasoned with memories- I think she's totally right!

Kirstin said...

I love your aprons. Especially the red and black ones.

Betsy said...

what an adorable post! Your aprons are so cute and I love the thoughts you put down about cooking for your husband. :)

Dawn said...

i love aprons... but only have two! one i made and the other is kinda icky, but it has an ice cream cone on it. i keep thinking i am going to make some more!

i can't wait! tell me about your linky party, please! i wanna be ready!

New Every Morning said...

Coconut cream Pie is my all time FAVORITE pie.
Thanks for the great recipe!!!

Southern Lady said...

Love the aprons. My grandmother used to wear one all of the time. I have several of her old ones. I need to start wearing them. Carla

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