Sunday, November 06, 2005

Silver Assembly

My Mother-in-law has some splendid silver pieces. She let me use some of the serving pieces for our garden wedding reception in the backyard. Along with my own collection of silver pieces picked up at thrift stores, it was just the back yard event I envisioned it to be. And while Mother-in-law house/pet sat for us while we were honeymooning in Africa, she even polished a few of my old tarnished pieces.
At first I wasn't sure I liked them all silvery sparkly, but they are truly shining now.I'll have to complete the process with the couple that are left to do. She then bestowed upon me a butter dish, a creamer and sugar holder, an elaborate gravy boat and a tea urn. The other day I rearranged my built-in cabinet in the dining room to make them more of an arranged assemblage on the lower shelf that is backed in mirror.
They are so beautiful. I don't know the story behind her silver, where they came from, how she came to own them. I'll have to ask her one day. Maybe at Thanksgiving. We will of coarse be using the silver pieces this Thanksgiving. That ornate gravy boat is going to be full of gravy and the cake tray will be holding a Pumpkin Goat Cheese Cheesecake.This will be the first Thanksgiving that I haven't traveled home since I moved to Southern California in 1986. I cant' ever remember not making that trip. When I first moved to L. A. at 26 my Mom would pay for my flight to Reno and we'd drive up through Susanville. I've made the trip from Redding to Reno and back through Susanville since I was a little girl visiting my Dad and someone would always comment about the town being mine. We'd head over the mountain through the beautiful and snowy Mt. Lassen State Park and down into Redding with it's fall foliage, around the oldtown center and out to the town of Ono, next to Igo, to Grandma and Grandpa's house on the hill overlooking a green valley. Wild turkeys would fly onto the property every year. Grandpa and I would walk out to the Garage and he'd tell me about his tools. Every year. And I can't remember exactly who it was that gave him the anvil. Must have been his Dad's, and his Dad's Dad before him. He had an anvil. He liked red wine and lots of pepper on his turkey.


East Coast Girl said...

Since you are in the silver polishing mode, I thought this would help. Excerpted from the "Penguin Perspectives" blog from Friday, November 11, 2005.

Better Living Through Basic Chemistry

During a legitimately novel-related web search, I came across a basic science project that can double as an easy way to polish silver. So, as we approach Thanksgiving and time to break out the good dishes, teach your kids about electrochemical reactions and knock the tarnish off the flatware at the same time. All you need is a glass dish big enough to hold the silverware, baking soda, a sheet of aluminum foil, and a pot of hot/boiling water (it will work with cooler water, but nowhere near as fast). Put the foil in the dish and set the silver on top of the foil. Mix about a half cup of baking soda per quart of hot water, and pour the water into the dish. Tarnish fizzles right off, even out of deep patterns. A word of warning. Silver is also an excellent conductor of heat, so you'll want to handle your newly-polished items with an oven mitt or other insulating material, as they'll be quite hot.

Basically, the baking soda solution and a small electric charge that runs between the foil and the silver piece transfer the tarnish to the foil. This has the added benefit of leaving more silver attached to your original piece. I just tried it on the silverplate candlesticks we got for our wedding, that haven't been out of the box in the five years we've been married. Shiny as new!

Cinnamon Thoughts said...

Thanks for the tip. (And thanks for hopping over. I recognize you from Will's blog).

East Coast Girl said...

My pleasure. I enjoy your posts as well as Will's. Also, it is a shame you guys were only test driving those Caddies, 'cause you looked like you belonged behind the wheel of that XLR!