11 September 2015

Carpe Diem. Seize The Day, Boys. Make Your Lives Extraordinary

I’m going to order the Secret Boy Handbook. . . except that it’s a closely-guarded secret, and no one (aside from a boy) knows how to get their hands on the Handbook. It can't be found on Amazon . . . it's not the Scout book. The Secret Handbook contains myriad boy secrets. And I know that they’re closely guarded because Rusty will occasionally reveal a boy secret . . . perhaps after watching me struggle with a task for hours . . . perhaps after struggling for years! For instance: did you know that cleans-up with soap and water refers not merely to skin but to paint brushes? This was a life-changing revelation of what I believe to be a boy-only secret.

Now that the copper pot rack is here and suspended from the laurel-wood ceilings, I can finally polish the copper, which has been sitting in our dishwasher since May. I love polishing copper, as you know. But we’re talking about polishing three (3) sets of copper. The best, largest collection is a hammered set that my darling Adrienne toted back from Villedieu during a French holiday together. Then we have the odds-n-ends picked-up at Sur la Table or Williams-Sonoma; and the pieces that Rusty has accumulated over the years, some of which look pretty when polished but aren’t even intended for cooking. Then there's the new stuff I've had shipped recently. 

Each piece in each set requires varying effort in polishing. Some are easy – slap on the paste and polish it to a mirror finish. Others have had years of polishing though seldom a thorough down-to-the-copper cleaning after someone (we won’t name names) made his famous-but-messy coq au vin five or six times.

So I’m on the ground scrubbing with the little pad of French polish. Nothing! I break out the big guns and go for the tad-more-harsh U.S. copper polish. Slight improvement. Now I know that Rusty has about 10,000 soft pads that somehow attach to a drill gun. Surely I can snag one and buff-out those pesky, remaining dark spots. Kathy, think again.

Not only does Rusty closely guard (read: hide) anything that attaches to his drills (plural), he’s been hiding a secret product known as jeweler’s rouge . . . intended to be rubbed onto a drill’s puffy pad and used to achieve that mirror finish. Thirty years with this guy and I've never heard the words: jeweler's rouge. Good God, man! How long were you going to keep this secret? It’s in the Boy Handbook, Rusty says. But wait. It’s get’s worse.

There’s something called million-grit sandpaper, or perhaps it’s millionth of a grit. Who knows and who cares? In any event, it’s used wet and will remove any particle of grime from copper without scratching. And then one applies this jeweler’s rouge stuff, and then you just buff it out with that powder puff drill attachment. Easy, right? Think again. Holding stationary a copper pot while holding a spinning puff pad is more difficult than you'd imagine. Rusty says we might use a bench vise, but we don't yet have a bench. Bench vise? Another closely guarded boy secret? So it turns out that I'm better equipped to use the million-grit sandpaper and water, while Rusty maintains a tight hold on his power tools, literally.

The Boy Handbook. This is probably where is kept the secrets to rain-gauge water displacement, how to properly apply wood stain, and possibly even the secret to the pecan crack bar dessert.

You just keep your little Secret Boy's Handbook, my pet.

Guess who held a power tool all day and polished several pieces of our copper? Guess who will continue his project later today?

I think that they look great. The large pot wasn't that pretty when it was new. Rusty believes that they still need some buffing work. Go for it, darling. Four nearly done . . . so many yet to be tackled. I believe that I can manage the hammered set alone; but there's likely some boy secret to polishing a hammered surface, so perhaps not. 

Now guess who has to find a way to repay this Herculean the-secret’s-out task? Lo que hay.