Old silver

I hosted my first formal dinner on Christmas Eve, complete with one grandmother’s silver and another’s china.

But the silver chest hadn’t been opened in many, many years – probably more than 20. So the silver was a little bit… unpretty. And of course I forgot to buy silver polish and only remembered when I was elbow-deep in the preparation of like 12 different dishes. Of course.

(Home-cured lemon-garlic olives, mulled apple cider, a huge braided egg bread, garlic-butter mushrooms, salad of mixed greens from the garden with candied pecans, cranberries, and bleu cheese, potato-onion gratin, buttercup squash soufflees, and roast vanilla-sugar pears under a salted caramel sauce with a side of homemade ice cream. All followed by two kinds of homemade eggnog. In case you were wondering.)

Luckily I’d been rearranging my housekeeping binder just a few days before and so I remembered there was a little snippet in there (from Stewart of course, who else?!) about how to clean silver. Thought I’d share it with you all because you can see the results for yourself below with two sets of before & after spoons.

It worked amazingly well.

You place the silver in a rimmed aluminum pan – it must be aluminum – and heat a kettle of water to a boil. Liberally sprinkle baking soda over the silverware – I used half a box. Then pour the boiling water over the silver and wait for the reaction to occur. It fizzes and hisses and smells a little unpleasant, and you can watch the tarnish melting away before your eyes.

When the water’s cool enough, rinse the silver in clean water and buff it dry. No scrubbing or polishing at all!

Now if only there was a similar trick for all that china and crystal…

One Response to “Old silver”

  1. Rose Says:

    Mmmm so beautiful!

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