Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Top Tips For Christmas Part 7

Like most families, over Christmas, many meals are of the ‘cold collation’ variety [I love that word!] Ham, turkey, cheese, pate and lots of pickles, chutneys and other tracklements.

In an advert to appear a civilised and gracious hostess, I decant the accompaniments out of their jars into small dishes. My tip here is repurpose all the odd spoons at the back of the cutlery drawer.


Dig out your Brasso, in its wonderfully retro tin, and polish up those random items. My list includes…

the forks used by Bob, the girls and myself as babies

my MILs butter knives and jam spoons

an Austrian ‘sugar shovel’ received as a wedding present

and some random ceramic spoons which arrived tied to jars of fancy mustard



They look lovely when polished up [don’t forget to wash them in soapy water and rinse well before use, though!] and will prove a good talking point among the diners



I didn’t know the Austrians played bagpipes!

If you cover the dishes with clingfilm and refrigerate them till the next meal, do remember not to leave the spoons in the dishes – all that vinegar will do dreadful damage, and eat away the plating on EPNS pieces.

Brasso is fabulous stuff [apologies to US friends- that which Reckitt Benckiser sell over the pond is not the same formulation as ours for some legal ‘health and safety’ reasons!!]

People have used Brasso to polish plastics and remove scratches on CDs. It is a mild abrasive. Be careful!!

gadgetcare Very shrewdly, the company introduced a new product this year. Gadgetcare is designed to “polish plastics and metal, leaving an invisible anti-static layer, preventing smears” to keep things looking shiny and new!

Their marketing strategy is headed up by Vera, the Gadget Granny. I believe she has a sister who knits Shreddies. I do not think Suzi Perry or Pollyanna Woodward have anything to worry about here!

I keep my 'little Christmas cutlery’ in a mug on the windowsill [it saves ferreting about in the drawer among the regular spoons]



  1. Wow "cold collation" - must be posh in Essex! In Northamptonshire it was usually termed "pick tea" (as you were allowed to choose from the selection) and in Derbyshire it was "bits 'n' pices". It was, and still is, one of my faovurite parts of Christmas fare.

  2. No Catriona - it isn't that my Essex roots are posh - it's that the family picked up these terms when they were in service to the Landed Gentry!!

  3. Gosh..'cold collation' beats 'leftovers' anyday!I'll use the phrase 'cold collation' and see what Chris says!
    I do not use Brasso but blend water with bicarbonate of soda to make a paste.
    Jane x


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