Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Hunt for a Recipe Box

When I think of cooking, I think of my mom's olive green recipe box and her carefully penned white index cards containing centuries of culinary secrets. I know she has shelves of cookbooks, and I know she can be creative to come up with new foods, but that recipe box was the go-to spot for deliciousness. Both of my grandmothers had recipe boxes. Several family friends have recipe boxes. I, on the other hand, do not yet have one.

Early last week, I got it in my head that I needed to get one. I thought of what kind and size I might want, dreamed up pretty colors, even designed my own recipe cards to match. All I wanted was a wooden box about 6.5" wide to hold a 4" x 6" recipe card, wooden so that I could paint and decorate as I pleased. Michael's didn't have large enough wooden boxes--unless I wanted to paint one bigger than a shoebox. Several stores had photo storage boxes, but I don't need a foot-long box. After visiting Michael's, Jo-Anns, Bi-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Fred Meyer, The Inkwell, and Creative Crafts, I'm under the impression that recipe boxes cannot be purchased in this stupid town. I'm holding out hope for K-Mart, much as I dislike that place, but where else can I go? I picked up some $2 crappy recipe boxes made out of thin paperboard at Michael's in the hope of painting them, but acrylics won't stick to the paperboard.

Bi-Mart had a super-cute Hershey's tin recipe box that I'm thinking might end up being mine. I was dead-set on designing my own box or having a plain one, but if nothing else that will work. It also comes with recipe cards and dividers, but I can't decide if the $12 price tag is worth it. *sigh*

I've thought about using a cheap photo album, but those never lay flat and stay open. I thought about using a 3-ring binder and using photo pages, but the orientation for most photo page holders is wrong. I thought about making all of my recipes as full-page cards, but most cookie recipes don't need that much square footage. I've thought about digitizing everything and not using any cards or pages, but I can't really do that with a desktop computer quite a distance from the kitchen.

Cooking, to me, involves that green recipe box. That ugly green box with Mom's handwriting on the blue-lined index cards. The index cards shared from other people. The people we know who have given us some of their family treasures. The green recipe box full of treasures.

I want my box full of treasures too.


Skunk said...

I'll keep an eye out for you up here. Next time you're in the area, you should try The Container Store, though those are more likely to be made of plastic...

I know exactly what you mean. All of my mom's best recipes were keep in this ugly metal box with a back hinge with a 70s-style yellow, orange and green print on it.

mblake58 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.