A few months ago, I wrote about finding a unique cast iron casserole dish in a consignment shop near my home. I carefully cleaned it up and have put it into rotation with the rest of my cookware and it's gradually developing a beautiful patina and cooking better and better each time I use it. I love finding treasures in other people's "junk."
A week or two later, I had the opportunity to spend some more time rummaging through the same shop. It's a rather large place and the smaller items, like cookware, are often hidden behind picture frames or inside hutches in remote areas like the basement. During this trip, I happened upon a couple of silver bowls that were all black and tarnished.
I'm a huge fan of The Barefoot Contessa and one of Ina's favorite service pieces that she uses on the show is a pair of silver bowls that she found at an antique shop and had refurbished by a jeweler. They're very simple silver bowls with no ornate details, which is why I like them. She often puts dips, nuts, and other items in them. When I spotted two silver bowls for $2 and $3 respectively, I couldn't pass-up the challenge to see if if I could bring a respectable shine back to their well-worn surfaces.
After some time spent with chemical tarnish remover and some silver polishing cream, I'm very happy with the results. We even used them at the holiday dinner table this year!
What I love the most about these bowls is that they're not perfect and they have a story behind them. I may not know what that story is, but I know that someone else owned them, loved or at least liked them, and used them. The signs of use are just plain obvious. It's my hope that I can use and love them too and maybe pass them onto someone else some day.
The other beauty of these bowls is that they're reused, making them an earth-friendly choice of service-ware that I could never get in a department store.