Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chemistry in the Kitchen

Over in the US, the Farm Chicks have such an entertaining and useful blog. This week one of Teri's posts got me straight into the kitchen, with silver foil, cutlery and... baking powder?...It was a new way of cleaning silver, of course!
Perhaps you knew about this, but I'd certainly never tried it. You put a layer of tinfoil in the base of a baking tray, put your silver cutlery (and other small silver things) on it, shake baking powder (soda) all over, and then pour boiling water on top!
I had the first go on my own, to see if it worked.
The tureen in the top of the photo hasn't gone in yet, while the one below is in the process...
Everything came up better, and some of it came up really well! I got inspired and started re-arranging the mantelpiece, which had developed more of a 'troc' than a 'broc' look over the summer - lots of things dumped on it as the holidays have gone on!
I decided that if it was going to have summer holiday souvenirs on it, they might as well be properly arranged. Now the tureens have sea-urchin shells in them and the tiny armoire I used at Easter has come back with shells, small stones and sea glass inside.
It all went so well that I wanted to show the family how it worked. We remembered the silver napkin rings, which were looking pretty tarnished when I snapped them earlier in the week...
Thus, between courses at the evening meal, we all trouped off to the kitchen for what turned out to be the best silver-clean of the day!
The photos don't do the new, gleaming look justice! Look where mine came from, in 1924...
'Firenze' is the proper Italian name for Florence, of course, and Floss is usually short for Florence, so...
There we are, two mega-clean silver napkin rings with only a quick rub, no polishing involved. Thanks, Farm Chicks!

14 comments:

Florence and Mary said...

I really want to give this a try now!!

Victoria x

The Curious Cat said...

wow -that is cool! Wish I had some silver to do some science on!!! Glad you also finally got the video issue down - didn't you just love that video? You really have to go to Cropredy if you ever get the chance and you like this kind of music - I can't put it into words but it was one of those experiences that was somewhat life changing - I felt as if time stood still or something the music was so fabulous - esp Richard Thompson. I'm going to write about it in the next coming days hopefully and put up more photos so you can see! xxx

Sophie - Chez Sophie said...

Great top tips, do youb think I could clean my silver jewllery the same way?
Sophie xxxx

Sarah said...

Oh I love using baking soda. You know when it fizzes? Such a lovely sound. Quite sad really, the things that excite me these day! Might just have to try this method out next time. Hate using the stuff in the bottle as it stinks! So do your hands afterwards.

Michela said...

Well done on your silver stuff!
The display of your shells is just lovely! I've got some shells too but I keep them in a basket, this doesn't give justice to their beauty!
Have a nice start to your week!
P.S.Hope you had some good news from your mum :)

Elizabethd said...

Rushing off to collect my silver...

abeachcottage.com said...

wow, I've used it to clean pots and pans but hadn't thought of silver, hmmm and I have a cake slice that needs it...

Sarah

Lucy Pursglove said...

Cheers for the tip on the silver cleaning. Those napkin rings are divine! x

Jackie said...

Floss ~ I bet the boys had a great time helping you do that ~ and a very good job you did too! My kids go back to school on Wednesday, the holidays seem to have really flown by despite the weather. I can't quite believe that they have been off for seven and a half weeks. Needless to say neither of them are looking forward to going back :O)

Mami said...

Oh good idea!!I decided to try it for my oldish silver accessories.Thanks!!

bad penny said...

ooh I am so going to try this !

xx

Kris said...

Thanks for the tip for cleaning silver. Phil cleans the silver at our house and uses store bought cleaner that smells like rotten eggs. This should be a much better solution and won't make my eyes water.

Kris

chandlerguera said...

Ah, Bella! The Firenze napkin rings were the "find of the week." Love them!

Olga said...

That seemed like lots of work, Floss! But the result is worth the efforts - all looks beautiful! I hope you are enjoying your holidays - we are off to Spain tomorrow for 10 days of great weather! 'See' you soon!