I recently posted about fall baking and included pictures of a couple of my favorite tins that I use for cookie storage. Jeanne Heuer, one-half of another Wisconsin blogging team and a frequent commenter on my blog, suggested that I do a post about my collection of tins. At one time I had quite a few decorative tins for cookie storage as I used to make many varieties at Christmas. But over the years I've cut way back and now make two signature holiday treats, Linzer Hearts and Triple Gingerbread. I've started to give away some of my cookie tins as containers for assorted gifts.
I didn't think I really had enough tins to write about until I realized that I use them for more than cookie storage. When it was easier to find various food items packaged in tins, I always bought them since I knew I'd eventually have a pretty container once I ate the contents. These tins hold cookie cutters. The marshmallow tin belonged to my maternal grandmother and the red one came from my time in the food industry, back in the 70's. I rarely use more than a couple of the cookie cutters but have not yet been able to part with the others, so these tins will keep working for a while longer.
These tins store sugar: the pink one holds confectioner's sugar and the yellow one is for brown sugar. The yellow cannister was sold by Hallmark and celebrates the American Bicentennial in 1976. The crackle finish is original and not related to age. I can't imagine needing enough Colman's dry mustard to store it in a tin this big — a clue that this is a reproduction.
I store seldom-used craft items (yarn, feathers) in these two beautiful containers made by Crabtree & Evelyn and purchased many years ago at the Soap Opera on State St. in Madison. The square one has scenes from London — Albert Hall, Kensington Palace etc. — on its sides.
This tin holds the stapler, photo corners, xacto blades, glue sticks, art supplies — all the tools I like to have within easy reach. It's from my days working in a candy department of a large retail store when I was a college student. They were great favorites of store employees. People always asked me to hold a tin for them when it was empy. The tins held hard candies and were sealed shut with sticky red tape which still adorns the edges.
These biscuit tins were all purchased from Williams Sonoma when it was a catalog company with only one store in S.F. I bought them for the contents but held onto the tins. Now they hold old letters and bits of this and that.
And this tin sits in the midst of all the Christmas-related books on the bookshelves in our library. It holds the cards that I save at the end of the holidays each year. Mainly they are the ones from old friends or that have family photos or something special that makes them worth keeping.
Tins are great because they keep things nice and dry, provide pretty storage in plain sight, keep bugs and mice and humidity out of dry foods — and they're endlessly recyclable. Have you got a special one you treasure?