It is an old recipe box, perhaps the oldest one

I have ever seen,

made of wood and covered with stains,

with the name KARL L. VONDERAHE

printed in pencil inside the lid.

Many of the recipes are on cards,

yellowed with age,

while clippings crumble and disintegrate

when touched.

One old recipe card, written in ink,

is dated 1938, while

some recipes are, curiously,

written on old cardboard luggage tags.

There are many different recipes for

cakes and pickles, and

jellies and jams–

Oftentimes in different handwritings

which might suggest

the owner of the recipe box requesting

a favorite recipe from a friend.

My niece found this recipe box

at an estate sale in Palm Springs,

leaving me to imagine that

the owner passed away and

no one wanted this fine old

recipe box.

When I carefully go through

the contents of the box,

I imagine the previous owner

going  through it,

searching for a favorite recipe

for pecan pie, or molasses taffy,

Armenian meatballs or

Mabels ham loaf–

it’s all here

in the recipe box.

Sandra Lee Smith

August, 2009

Sandy’s chatter note: The Vonderahe recipe box

is one of the oldest in my collection –yes, now

my recipe boxes are a collection–of more than

200 recipe boxes.–it was a slow progress because

(I surmised) that antique dealers or  estate people,  whoever ends

up with a person ‘s collection of “things” didn’t consider

the contents of a recipe box worth keeping–generally,

whenever we would find a recipe box in an antique store,

it would be empty. It has taken many years to acquire

most of the boxes that contain someone else’s  collection

of recipes. – sls

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