Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Little Silver Teaspoon

Sometimes something as simple as a silver teaspoon can lighten a woman's heart!  This utilitarian culinary tool was designed to be used for stirring or sipping a cup of tea.  But most of us use it for so much more!  We use it for eating cereal or ice cream from a bowl; for serving sauces or dips; or for scooping into a sugar bowl so we can sprinkle sugar on cereal or tea.  Some of us even treasure the lowly teaspoon for the beauty it brings to our home.  Silver teaspoons in a pressed glass pitcher look beautiful on a sideboard or hutch.  A cluster of teaspoons bundled into one stack and tied with a satin ribbon becomes a lovely accessory when set on a lace doily and end table.  Sometimes silver teaspoons are tied with fishing line and are hung from an object to make a kitchen wind chime.  From tea service to home decor, the silver teaspoon serves many purposes as it becomes an object of hospitality.

When setting a tea table with a teaspoon, it requires a quick check in an etiquette book to determine proper placement.  Most entertainers place it next to the knife, but it really belongs with the teacup and saucer.  The cup and saucer belong next to the plate and flatware.  The teacup and saucer are placed to the right when table setting and the teaspoon belongs on the table to the right of the saucer.  All alone without fork or knife, its gracious charm can shine!

Some are reluctant to use silver teaspoons because they think they are too much work to maintain.  Silver tarnishes when exposed to air and over time silver turns from silver to gray and black.  Polishing with silver polish does not take much time, but an even more simple technique is to place silver teaspoons in a sink of warm, soapy water.  Add a foot or two of aluminum foil, all crumpled up, and let the silver soak for a few hours.  Then wash and dry as usual.  The tarnish should wipe right off!

When reviewing guidelines for teaspoon etiquette, one can smile at the comical rules they explain.  I am even reluctant to repeat them, but I think you might enjoy an overview and a smile as well:

*Do not use sweeping circular motions when stirring your tea.  Instead, place your teaspoon at the six o'clock position and fold the liquid towards the twelve o'clock position two or three times.

*Do not leave your teaspoon in your teacup.  Instead, place it on the right side of your saucer.
The lovely little teaspoon.  Utilitarian.  Useful.  Yet a tiny object that brings joy, especially when used to stir a superb cuppa tea!


  1. You always put a smile on my face with your posts... I love the intricate artwork on old silver flatware. Teaspoons are my favorite pieces to collect. They just look so nice with vintage tea cups! Thanks for brightening my morning!


  2. What a gracious ode to the teaspoon! I have a few that are favorites too!

  3. I have a small collection of teaspoons in a stoneware cup next to the coffeepot.

    When used for tea, they are placed in a crystal creamer. :)

    Thanks for the reminder. I need to check out the teaspoon bin at Goodwill off and on.

  4. I have been endowed with the heirloom of my Grandmothers real silver silverware, and have been dreading the "upkeep" job they need to maintain their silver luster. I now will try the dishwater and aluminum foil treatment. Thanks for the tip! I agree, your posts bring a smile to my face, and are like warm fuzzies.

  5. I love this post! What a gorgeous silver teaspoon. I love silver spoons. Thank you for the advice about stirring my tea. I'll have to have a cup today and try it out!

  6. A very pretty teaspoon. A great cleaning tip with the aluminum foil. I haven't heard that one before.

  7. Oh thank heavens I've been stirring my tea properly! :D

    I own some silver teaspoons. They see daylight on the fourth Thursday in November. Maybe I should change that...

  8. I love little spoons and "funny" shaped pieces all in mix and match! Much more interesting!

  9. Oh, oh, looks like I should have read this before we went to tea. Are you terribly embarrassed that I stirred and didn't fold?? :-)

  10. Ah, pretty silver teaspoons! Yes, love them too; I always have a pretty [old] crystal creamer [never a real 'spooner' ] filled with those pretties wherever I have a set up [ everyday ] for coffee or tea.
    another thought: I have collected just enough "coffee spoons" [ about 20 ]to offer coffee spoons.
    It's such an unnecessary thing that I absolutely adore. When you have them for a while you begin to almost consider them ordinary and think everyone should have real "coffee spoons"


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