I love aprons. Looking at the many I have, you would think I collect them. Unknowingly, but I guess I do. They bring me comfort. For me, aprons are like photographs, always reminding me of someone or some recipe I’ve cooked over the years. Of the many aprons in my “collection,” my most cherished is the one I’m wearing. It was hand sewn especially for me by Miss Gloria. Every time I put this simple white apron with ruffles over my head and tie it around my waist, I can feel Miss Gloria with me.
Miss Gloria’s job at The Lady Restaurant was to push the salad cart from table to table putting everything but the kitchen sink in your salad if you liked and mixing up a special dressing to pour over top. She did this all the while visiting, telling charming stories and wearing a crisply ironed white apron exactly like the one she made for me. Our customers loved her so very much for her special attention. I loved her for that and so much more.
She took sick before we moved to the new restaurant but begged to keep working. She had worked all her life and she told me she needed to keep busy. We decided to put a chair outside the restaurant where she would sit each day in the warm sun and rock as long as she felt like it, just smiling and continuing to tell stories to the customers arriving for lunch. This would be her job.
Miss Gloria is no longer with us in body, but she will always be with me in spirit. When I see the now “off white” apron, hanging on a hook in my kitchen–a little thread bare and not so ironed–I think of her. Remembering her flawless skin and the perfectly painted on circle of blush she applied to each cheek before having her picture made makes me smile and tear just a little.
Miss Gloria’s Blue Ranch Dressing
Yield: 2 cups
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried chives
½ teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
dash of hot sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 ounces good quality blue cheese, crumbled
Your favorite salads
In a large ball jar with a screw on lid, combine all ingredients except for the blue cheese. Screw lid on jar and shake until thoroughly mixed. Add extra milk if needed for the correct consistency. Add blue cheese and lightly shake to mix. Pour over your favorite salad. Replace lid and refrigerate.