Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Shiny Box

I opened the cabinet of cookbooks and browsed old favorites of my mother’s: Moosewood, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Betty's Crocker's Cooky Book. Overwhelming large, The Joy of Cooking sat on the bottom shelf. In fact, the cabinet itself was tremendous. More than 70 cookbooks stared menacingly at me.

Martha’s blue colored every third or fourth book. The bottom right corner housed a large silver box, squatting in the middle. Easing the box out between and underneath the books, I admired the ornate M (for Martha, of course) carved on the top.

My mom and I shared an odd fondness for boxes, and naturally, I would be drawn to this one. As a child I stored thread and paperclips in Tic Tac boxes while my mother spent hours meticulously fixing a stitched dragonfly to a stamp box. This box, which held handwritten and computer-printed recipes, would be my starting point. 

I sat down at the dining room table and embarked.

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