I have had it in my head for some time that I needed to polish the Dirilyte.
My original plan was to do that before last Thanksgiving. I am not much of a procrastinator, but apparently I decided that the polishing was really not a big priority.
Much of the Dirilyte set was purchased as an add-on to the original set that my father’s stepmom, Anna Koerner, had made sure that for his wedding gift, he and my mom would have a wonderful cutlery set. The add-ons were purchased after I had the shiny gold utensils, which were originally for dinner for eight, I believe. At some point I realized that there was a missing fork. I went online to e-bay and realized that I could easily purchase replacements at a decent price. The bad part is that many of the replacements were badly tarnished. It is a brass alloy that when shined looks almost gold. Samantha, when she comes over, is so enamored of it that she likes to use it when she eats. The funny thing is that Samantha is right; the weight of the utensils is seemingly perfect when you eat. I am a soupspoon nut, as my wife can attest, and I find that the Dirilyte soupspoons are the best shape, weight, and size, that you can find.
So on Saturday, after a run-around beginning where we had headed out to attend to errands that ended up being unneeded, we came home. I went to the gym as I am trying to get back into the five to seven days a week plan I had had before MK retired. I came home to find one of the Koerner girls at our house. I spent some time with her and then, when she went down for a nap, I hit the polish.
I will say that each time I polish it, it gets easier as the big stains are pretty much gone and I can put my energy into making the entire set look good. With the help of some extremely fine steel wool, I got the nasty spots out with the help of Boyer Brass polish, instead of using the usual professional Dirilyte polish that is still made. I had three different rags to use as I tried to remove the tarnish that turns them black. I used so much elbow grease that I tired myself out and got quite exhausted once the grandgirl had left.
Looking at a few other things that I pulled out to polish and didn’t, like my $5 gold pocket watch my Grandfather had purchased in a South Bend, Indiana bar about one hundred years ago, and the gold chain he brought with him from Hungary. I quickly realized that it was more than I could handle and saved it for another day. I also forgot some Dirilyte: the sugar tongs, two sets of salt and peppershakers, and the small candlesticks. That is for another day.
The title of this event is ‘Channeling a first footman,’ because, as I was doing this and since we have been watching Downton Abbey on Sunday nights, I wondered who on a British Estate would be responsible for the polishing. MK did the research and found that it would be the first Footman and that the silver should be ‘rubbed’ once a day and polished once a week. That is not going to happen here. Today, I am an educator, leaving my footman talents aside, and instead grading my weekly students’ work. So much for polishing…