Sometimes, you buy a special purpose item, and find it works really well for something unexpected. Here’s an example from my kitchen.
I bought a plastic butter storage box. I wanted to take a single stick of butter camping with less chance of squishing or greasing every other item in the cooler.*
Here’s a single stick butter storage container on Amazon ($7) that looks like mine. I don’t have a purchase record to confirm this is the same item, but it should serve a similar function.
This little box is the size of an East Coast† stick of butter. It happens to be a wonderful size for sending three wafer cookies in a lunchbox if you’re willing to break the third in half.
These gluten free Schär wafers have a tendency to disintegrate into crumbs anyway, but breaking one to fit the box probably wastes less cookie. Total devastation is wrought by sending them to school in a baggie like I would with a more robust dessert.
The butter box also works great for a skinny wrap sandwich made with a flexible, flour tortilla instead of bread. Peanut butter or a light layer of thinly sliced deli meat only! You’re working with an interior space designed for a 1.25″ x 4.75″ stick of butter.
Perhaps this dish will suit your own favorite long, skinny, delicate cookie. When it comes to dessert, I like to save every crumb for eating. The lunchbox should get none.
It’s easier for me to test spatial relationships by getting my hands on something. I can draw diagrams and take measurements and make pretty good educated guesses about how things will work in the world‡, but I’m not particularly gifted at mentally fitting shapes together.
I wouldn’t have guessed how often I would use a butter box for school lunches until I had one at home to experiment with. In the quest for packed lunches without waste, this is a useful—and uniquely sized—container.
*My cooler tends to be a mess when I go camping, unlike my carefully curated chuck box!
†Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I had no idea there were alternate shapes for cubes of butter. Imagine my surprise upon moving east for college to discover that something I thought was standardized came in a different shape. The outer packaging also differs. On the West Coast, butter comes in fatter cubes packed into a row in a VHS VCR tape sized box. Back East, the sticks are slimmer and longer and they get packed together into a box more akin to a building brick.
When I pointed this out to my mother, she said, “That must be why some sets of dishes have such weird, elongated butter dishes! I always wondered why manufacturers did that.”
Ah, the things you take for granted before you travel!
‡That’s how I IKEA. I’m very good at IKEA. My success is entirely based upon sketched models, however.