23 May 2011

This Is a Time for the FANCY SILVER!

I think the lesson we can take away from this story is the same one that would apply to eating decent ketchup: good things come to those who wait.  

I mentioned a while ago that while we were on spring break, Matt's mom's best friend Kim bestowed upon us quite a few amazing gifts, not the least of which was just a massive box of fancy silver.  You know, like silver silverware.

Like, stuff you'd use when serving the queen.

See, Kim is a champion shopper--for all things, including antiques.  She was even with Sue when they found my Amish Butterprint bowls.  Anyway, way back when, when Matt and I were engaged (and doing everything to avoid calling each other fiance because we were so freaked out by the sound of it and the way it's hard to say it without sounding like a pretentious a-hole), Kim presented me with three different silver patterns that she could find relatively easily, and asked me to pick the one I liked best.

I picked this pattern, Grosvenor, because of its general amazingness.  It was so different and cool, and I loved the detail and the shapes of the different utensils.  For my bridal shower, Kim gave me a box with about a dozen of the pieces, promising to get me the rest in the future.  And then, with all of the hubbub with the wedding and the honeymoon and wine drinking and ninth grader corralling and baking and getting fatter by the minute, I kind of forgot that I had more silver coming my way.

And then over spring break, we had breakfast with Kim and she casually mentioned that she had my silver in the car and that, oh yeah, it was basically enough to host a wedding reception.

She wasn't kidding.

So we got the box down to the lake, and I began to fondle my silver.  And Sue taught me all about silver: about how you're not supposed to use lemony detergent, about how you put it with felt to keep it from tarnishing too quickly, and how you can use this amazing stuff called silver polish to make it all shiny and beautiful. 

So we polished.

And we polished.

And we rinsed.

And we buffed.

And we polished some more.

And then Sue was all, "We should totes refinish the silver box" (except that she didn't say it like a fool like I just did) and so we did.  Because my mother-in-law is not only like the most knowledgeable person about fancy silver, but she's also got a tool collection that would put Tim Taylor to shame.  

So while Matt and his dad went hiking and then Matt retreated to the dock to bury his face in a book, Sue and I got all handy.  

Now I have fancy silver, and a fancy box to put it in.  But I'm not fancy.  Shoot.

BUT!  It still works great for occasions that are less fancy, like when you need to ladle more barbecue sauce onto your ribs. . .

. . .or you need to finish off that piece of cheesecake from TGIFridays.

Works for me.

Do you have fancy silver?  And, if so, when do you use it?


  1. We have a set of fancy silver! It belonged to Ben's grandparents and his mom gave it to us when we got married (uh, I think she didn't use it much after her divorce and all). Anyway, we have a box very similar the one you have. Our pattern is plainer and there is an "R" engraved on all of the pieces (good thing I took his name). I should actually figure out the name of the pattern. I use it when we have family or friends over for dinner or lunch or brunch. Since I can't put it in the dishwasher I don't use it on a regular basis.

  2. I'll take credit for knowing how to refinish the box but everything I know about silver I learned from KIm! Sue

  3. Fancy silver is the most fun! I am not using all of ours regularly for the dishwasher reason, also, but I'm trying to use some of the serving pieces frequently. It seems such a shame to have such beautiful pieces tucked away in a box.

    And many thanks to Kim, goddess of all things silver and antique!

  4. I use it all the time. Why keep it hidden? Enjoy what you have - there's no such thing as a "special" day for using your good silver, your good dishes, etc. What do you have them for - to collect dust??? I get real pleasure out of eating from a fancy dish with fancy silverware and fancy waterford glasses. And if you break one...so what? I would drink orange juice out of my waterford wine glasses.

  5. Sounds ridiculous but I have two sets: 1) very good and 2) everyday set. Both sets were my parents (my Mom always like having twos of everything). The very good set was a 1943 wedding present and the everyday one was found in an antiques store in Santa Cruz CA. I love using the everyday set which goes so lovely with my everyday Lenox. The very good set only comes out for an airing on special occasions like completing your PhD or graduating from Med School. You picked a very beautiful pattern -- ENJOY !!

  6. Oh man! I bet the polishing party was fun!!!
    Thank you for all your kind words!!



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