I’m doing the A to Z Challenge in April, using the theme of the UK & Ireland.
Today, I’m going to talk about our most-used appliance, unusual for an American household — our electric tea kettle.
You don’t have to watch British TV shows or movies for very long before you’ll hear someone say “I’ll put the kettle on.”
Up until the middle of the 20th century, that meant filling a metal kettle with water and setting it on a stove top burner (or “hob” as the British would say).
In more contemporary times, that means filling an electric kettle and pushing the on button. We bought our first electric kettle after our 2014 trip to England because we enjoyed using the kettles in our hotel rooms during our trip. The first, cheap, one only lasted a few months. We’re now on our second Cuisinart which lasts quite a bit longer, but not forever.
The joke on British sit-coms is that electric kettles are such a popular gift that it’s not unusual to receive more than one for a house-warming or wedding present. Now that we know that well-used kettles only last for a few years, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing — if you’ve got room to store the extras while using up the first one.
I learned from a British cook that you want to put your kettle on when you’re making pasta or any other dish that requires a lot of hot water. If you guessed wrong and didn’t put enough water in the pot, there’s readily available hot water in the kettle. So, the kettle is useful for more than tea.
Do you use an electric tea kettle?