The Chocolate Box Cottage Shopping Guide

The Chocolate Box Cottage Shopping Guide

Where we spend our money matters. Every dollar is a vote. Let’s vote for locally owned businesses and farmers whenever we can. Our community is our family at large, so let’s take care of each other!

Use this shopping guide in your quest to find bulk organic food, basic and specialty kitchen tools, cookbooks, garden seeds, plants, and more.

I encourage you to look around your house and rummage through your cupboards to find the supplies needed to make the recipes and projects at Chocolate Box Cottage. Most times, “close” is good enough. If you do need something particular, such as a bread pan, sewing machine, or food dehydrator, I recommend looking for a secondhand item first.

Where to Find Secondhand Items

  • Friends and family; ask for what you need. Aunt Martha might be pleased to gift you the 20 boxes of canning jars that are collecting dust in her attic.
  • Yard sales, garage sales, rummage sales, jumble sales, tag sales, moving sales, estate sales, church fundraisers – whatever you call them! Wherever people put their cast-offs out for sale!
  • Thrift shops
  • Join a local “Buy Nothing” Group on Facebook
  • Flea markets
  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace


I am offering this shopping guide to support your quest to obtain the items you need. These are things I use and enjoy and feel good about recommending. As always, do your research and buy what suits your needs and budget. Buy as good quality tools and equipment as possible. They will last longer and save you money (and tears) in the end. Except for books. Books are nearly always best purchased used.

Affiliate disclosure: I have affiliate relationships with a few vendors, including Pleasant Hill Grain Co., Lehman’s, and Amazon. I earn commissions from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay and in all cases, I only recommend products that I like and use or are similar to ones I like and use. Thank you!

* Because my Mom is German-from-Russia and my Dad is Norwegian, these ethnic foodways and cultural traditions are a part of my heritage. I have included resources for both German and Norwegian cooking below.

Bulk Organic Food

Please buy food from locally owned grocery stores rather than the big retail corporations. If possible, buy direct from farm stands and grower’s markets! Here you will find the best, freshest, most nutrient-dense food available. It really makes a difference – in flavor, and in your local economy. Get to know the farmers and shopkeepers in your area. Then, when you are looking for a particular item, ask! Often times they will go to extra effort to grow or stock items you need and want.

If you live in an area with less access to whole foods or bulk foods or organic foods, talk to the farmers and grocery store managers in your town.

If you still aren’t able to find what you need, look into buying through Azure Standard. Azure does not work like a typical online retailer. The way it works is you place an order once a month before a set cut-off date and your items are delivered by truck to a “drop point” in your area for you to pick up.

Click the link below to find out if there is a drop point near you and to get started!

Disclosure: this is my affiliate link. I may receive compensation from Azure, this does not change the amount you pay.

Basic Cooking Tools

Go “yard saling!” Also called tag sales or garage sales in some regions, yard sales offer tremendous finds – sometimes! Be sure to inspect items carefully to ensure they are in good working order and don’t be afraid to negotiate on price if that is acceptable where you live.

Cooking on a Wood Stove

De Silva Pottery

Germans-from-Russia Cooking Tools

Germans-from-Russia Cookbooks and Books

Germans-From-Russia Resources:

Norwegian Cooking Tools

Norwegian Cookbooks

Baking Tools

Food Preservation Tools

Gardening Tools & Supplies

  • Garden Tool Basket – a wine bottle basket with a handle and 4-6 compartments – check local craft stores and thrift shops

Garden Seeds & Plant Nurseries

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
  • Nichol’s Garden Nursery
  • Burpee Seed Company
  • Territorial Seed Company
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  • Seed Saver’s Exchange
  • Strictly Medicinal Seeds

Herbal Apothecary Tools

Where to Find Books & Cookbooks, in or out-of-print

First off, check your LIBRARY website for any book titles that catch your fancy. This is a great way to preview books and decide whether you really want to invest in them.

Ps. Did you know that most libraries offer a “suggest a title” service? Look on the website for an electronic form that allows you to request they purchase a book.

  • Ebay
  • Thriftbooks
  • Etsy
  • Secondhand bookstores
  • Thrift shops
  • Yard sales
  • Library book sales

Quaint, Old-fashioned Cookbooks

  • The Pioneer Lady’s Country Kitchen by Jane Watson Hopping (there are 5 additional books in the series)
  • Mary’s Bread Basket and Soup Kettle by Mary Gubser
  • The Settlement Cookbook by Mrs. Simon Kander
  • Stillroom Cookery by Grace Firth
  • Laurel’s Kitchen Caring by Laurel Robertson

Basic Cooking Skills for Kitchen Beginners

  • The Pantry Cookbook by Michelle Clay
  • Intuitive Cooking by Joanne Saltsman
  • The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini
  • The Complete Make-a-Mix Cookbook by Karine Eliason, Navada Harward and Madeline Westover

Nutrient Dense Cooking

  • Nourishing Traditions by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon
  • Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
  • Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons by Kimberly Harris
  • The Auto Immune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott
  • The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber MS OTR and Sarah Ballantyne PhD
  • The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan

Bread & Baking Books

  • Mary’s Bread Basket and Soup Kettle by Mary Gubser
  • Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart
  • The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
  • Artisan Bread Every Day by Peter Reinhart
  • Whole Grain Sourdough at Home by Elaine Boddy
  • The Larousse Book of Bread by Éric Kayser
  • Wild Bread, Sourdough Reinvented by Mary Jane Butters
  • Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez
  • The Garden Way Bread Book by Ellen Foscue Johnson
  • The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book by Laurel Robertson
  • Bread Illustrated by America’s Test Kitchen

Fermentation Books

  • Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin
  • Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey
  • Traditionally Fermented Foods by Shannon Stronger
  • Home Brewed Vinegar by Kirsten Shockey
  • Wildcrafted Fermentation by Pascal Bauder

Preserving Books

  • Ball Blue Book, recent edition
  • Foolproof Preserving by America’s Test Kitchen
  • Stocking Up III by Rodale Press
  • Root Cellaring by Mike & Nancy Bubel
  • Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry by Cathy Barrow

Gardening Books

  • The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour
  • Four Season Harvest Eliot Coleman
  • Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening by Sal Gilbertson and Larry Sheehan
  • Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth
  • The Grow System by Marjorie Wildcraft
  • Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening by Peter Burke
  • The Intelligent Gardener, Growing Nutrient-Dense Food by Steve Solomon with Erica Reinheimer
  • Joy of Gardening by Dick Raymond
  • Insect, Disease, and Weed ID Guide by Hill Jesiolowski Cebenko and Deborah L. Martin
  • Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties by Carol Deppe
  • Permaculture for the Rest of Us by Jenni Blackmore
  • The Urban Farm by Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichols
  • Plantiful by Kristin Green
  • Betty Crocker’s Kitchen Gardens by Mary Mason Campbell, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
  • Martha Stewart’s Gardening by Martha Stewart
  • Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy

Herb Books

  • Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Forêt
  • Wild Remedies by Rosalee de la Forêt
  • Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride
  • Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung
  • Materia Medica of Western Herbs by Carole Fisher
  • The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by Thomas Easley and Steven Horne
  • The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green
  • Grown Your Own Spices by Tasha Greer
  • Herbal Medicine for Emotional Healing by Tina Sams
  • Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD with Debora Yost


  • What a tremendous Shopping Guide! Thank you. It’ll take me some time to go through it all. Commenting on your first link, Lehman’s Hardware. We’ve shopped there – in store – for many, many years. It’s not a far drive from us and we frequent all the area businesses. Highly recommend.

    • Why thank you! Hopefully you find some gems tucked in here. Lucky you to be close to Lehman’s Hardware!

  • I loved browsing your site and this resource list just now. I have a few questions. One, the pizza stone you refer to is it easy to clean stains of off or do you take it out every time? I need to get a new one because mine cannot be cleaned.
    Additionally are you aware that BedBath and Beyond either is or has closed. So sone of those links no longer work. Btw love your cracker recipe will be making that one today. Did I understand you right that i can use fresh milled hard white wheat ? Trying to switch all to fresh milked flower because of husbands health issues. Thank you. Very nice site.


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