Monday, December 16, 2013

Stylish notes on silver for a slow and simple Christmas table

Silver Magpies 

I have asked dear friend and silver expert, Nancy Stuckwisch of Silver Magpies, to contribute a piece on silver for the holidays. Below she shares tips, insights, and ideas on how to use and care for your silver for a slow and simple table for Christmas and throughout the year.

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Let your table shine this Christmas. Jessica's series on a slow, simple Christmas has really spoken to me, so when she asked if I'd be interested in guest posting on the Entertaining House about silver, I jumped at the opportunity. Thank you, Jessica! Today, let's focus on some thoughts about using your silver in your slow, simple Christmas. To those of you who don't know me from elsewhere, know that I'm all in favor of using your silver every day. Don't just save it for the best events, because all too often when best rolls around we just don't have the time or energy to dig the silver out of storage, then clean and polish it. Frankly, it's a lot of effort for a once a year event. However, if your silver is in the attic or safe deposit box rather than sitting in the cutlery drawer of your kitchen, don't despair! You can make a plan, include your silver in your celebrations, and best of all, then be able to enjoy your silver all year round.

What, where, and how?

First things first. The best way to start using your silver during your slow, simple Christmas is by making a list. What events will you need it for?
  • Only for a Christmas dinner for 6, 8, or 20?
  • Or for dinner, plus a cocktail party for 50, and another event in between?
What's on your menu or menus?
  • There is no point finding and polishing the soup spoons if you aren't serving soup.
  • Or in serving soup if you have no spoons to eat it with!
How are you going to serve?
  • At a formal table? If possible, set up ahead of time. At the very least, make sure you have all the bits and pieces accounted for silver, linens, plates, glasses, serving dishes and utensils.
  • Buffet style? Again, gather all the items you need - plates, glasses, silverware, napkins. As far in advance as possible, set-up the buffet area.
  • Sticky notes are your friend. Put a sticky note on every serving dish so you know what goes where...often this has saved me from leaving a dish in the oven or fridge!
Silver Magpies 

Wine coaster turned cookie bowl...no one will mind! Have some fun!
  • Feel free to mix and match.
  • Don't be constrained by the name of an item. This wine coaster doubles as a great cookie bowl.

Your plan is made, now for some action.

Once you've figured out exactly what you'll need, now is the time to take a look and what needs to be done with you silver to get it ready for use. If you use your silver on a regular basis, the likelihood is that very little polishing will need to occur. Remember, the more you use your silver the less you need to polish it. In the event it has been in storage for a long time, set aside an hour one night to polish away all the tarnish. It's a job that can be done well in advance. Use a good quality polish that you rub on and can rinse off. Goddards Silver Polish Foam is my favorite. Once the holidays are over, don't put your silver back in its box in the attic. Keep it out. Use and enjoy it every day.

silver magpies

After the holidays, keep your silver out. Use it and make every day best.

Nancy Stuckwisch has had a life-long fascination with silverware. Silver Magpies is where she sells, values, researches and blogs about vintage silver. She believes we should get the silver out of the cupboard, onto the table, and then into the dishwasher. Nancy blogs on her own website, and in addition writes for The Daily Basics, and is a featured columnist for Silver magazine.. Her shop features a large assortment of unique pieces.

3 comments:

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linda said...

Great site- I just bookmarked it- Love beautiful sterling. Thanks Jessica. Thank you Nancy. Great article.
-linda,ny

Silver Magpies said...

Hi Linda.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks!

All the best to you.

Nan