From our partners

thanksgiving to-do: finally polishing grandma’s silverware

We’re getting ready to host our annual Thanksgiving Redux feast at our house, which means dusting off all the serving platters and seasonal trinkets out that have been in our basement for a year. It’s usually around this time that I start to regret never having a formal wedding registry: I loved our low-key wedding, but it didn’t end with us getting a 12-piece china pattern or the flatware of our dreams. Instead, we’ve been slowing acquiring the things we love and truly need step-by-step. Today, while moaning about our lack of elegant flatware, I suddenly remembered a little treasure box that I was given after we cleaned out my grandma’s house a few year’s back. It contains a set of very fancy, yet very tarnished silverware. Inside is an 8-person set complete with soup spoons, pie knife and tiny little oyster forks. The certificate says WM A. Rogers AA and is says that each piece, except knives, is plated overall with pure silver. My grandma was issued this guarantee in 1952. Though the intricate Oneida pattern doesn’t really fit our clean and modern aesthetic, it seems a shame not to use. But how to brighten up? We picked up a tub of Goddard’s Silver Polish and gave it all a good rub. Quickly it started looking bright and clean. Afterwards we ran it through dishwasher, which I thought seemed silly, but this article assured me it that it work. (The key is to NOT mix with stainless-steel flatware, which can cause a chemical reaction and discolor the silver.)

For more silver polishing tips, see this Real Simple story.

Do you have any silver polishing tips to share? Tell me how to do it better next time!

From our partners

field trip: maui’s surfing goat dairy

When one thinks of Maui, usually visions of poetic sunsets, leaping whales and surfers with washboard abs come to mind. None of those are wrong, but what you might not realize is that there is a burgeoning farm-to-table movement happening on the paradise isle, which makes sense since getting stuff there is not exactly easy. We snuck in a pre-holiday season vacation thanks to the wonders of airmiles, and made a stop by the Surfing Goat Dairy. Found on the hills of Halekala, otherwise known as Upcountry, it’s down the road from a vodka distillery and up the road from a lavender farm. Founded about 12 years ago by two German expats, (he a software exec, she a school teacher) they decided to buy a small goat farm and turn it into an organic dairy is that is a gourmand’s dream. One hundred percent sustainable, it now raises Saanen, Alpine and La Mancha goats, and from their milk they make the most delicious cheeses. If you’ve never had the opportunity to pet a kid goat, you are missing out. They are friendly, soft and eager to have the back of their ears rubbed. They’ll also try to eat anything they can get their tongues on, so you do have to be careful. We signed up for a $15 tour and was shown around dairy and farm. Our favorite part was getting a turn to milk the goat moms for ourselves. Though they have machine pumps — which they swear are gentler and kinder than a human touch — we were each allowed to give a “squeeze” and aim for the bucket. The goats seemed grateful.

If you are in Maui, be sure to visit Surfing Goat Dairy. The best time to show up is around 2pm so you’ll be there for the afternoon milking. If you’re really interested in learning more about sustainable, organic goat farming, ask about their volunteer program. A summer in Maui getting close to some goats while perfecting your cheese making skills? Let the fantasies begin. And for those wishing to sample the goods without the jet lag, consider a gift basket for the holiday season.

For more information on the Surfing Goat Dairy, visit their site.

From our partners

thanksgiving roundup 2013! our favorite posts on the best meal of the year

Did you look the calendar today? Thanksgiving is next week! If you’re schedule is like ours this baby is creeping up on you fast. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving posts from years past that may be of use this holiday season.

Above, the most yummy Brussels sprouts, ever.

More Thansgsiving help from Shelterrific:

What we learned hosting Thanksgiving last year.

How do you cook your bird?

How do you take your cranberry sauce?


Leftover ideas: sweet potato pancakes

What to do with leftover pumpkin

Brendon’s pecan pie

Leftover love


Prize-winning pumpkin pie

Domino’s One Hour Thanksgiving

Bourbon sweet potato Bundt cake

Cider glazed sunchokes and carrots

Chilewich’s lovely chargers

Super smart apron

From our partners

add to holiday wish list: see-through toaster

Even though I consider myself a pretty good cook, sometimes the simplest of tasks seem quarrelsome for me. Take for example, making toast — I either scorch it, don’t notice that it’s popped, or am so timid with temperature that it takes me several “pops” before reaching my desired golden brownness. I think I preferred the way we did back when I lived in England in the early ’90s — which is basically broiling the pieces of bread one side at a time. Oh the joys of one sided toast! Well, all those bad experiences could be toast if I had one of these beauties: A Magimix see-through toaster. Its viewing window lets you watch the toasting in action. Press the pop up button when your toast is just browned enough. (Of course you can make it pop of automatically if you like.). $200 at Williams-Sonoma.

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