Do you have a wise woman in your life that gives you the best advice? Someone who seems to know the perfect this or that that will remedy your every need? Someone whom after sobbing over your lacks, failures and shortcomings will always offer a quick fix statement of, “You know what you need, girl? You need to get yourself a good…” – and then proceeds to tell you the simplest thing that will make you immediately think of 5 reasons why you didn’t think of that? LOL! C’mon, we all have at least one strong, wise sage of a woman in our lives that will tell us like it is and admonish us to, “Get yourself a good…” 😉
In this series of articles I will share those items in my life I can’t imagine living without. Some of them I gleaned through an oracle more advanced than I in the simplistic quality things of life. Some of them I discovered on my own (does that make me a junior oracle?). However I happened upon them, I think it is my responsibility to share it with you. It takes one to know one, right? 😉
I have been through at least 10 tea kettles since I have lived on my own (I moved out when I was 21 so that wasn’t that long ago LOL). I used to think they were the cutest thing. I think I started sort of a collection at some point. I would make an “investment” and buy only those of the finest quality at the finest stores – Crate & Barrel, Carson Pirie Scott, Marshall Fields, etc. I really thought I was doing something. If Crate & Barrel was good enough for Oprah, it was good enough for me! Surely any product these stores would carry had to be the best, right?
Wrong! I did say I’ve been through at least 10 tea kettles, didn’t I? By that, I mean sho’ nuff through LOL! No matter how much I spent, the tea kettles, one-by-one, would fall apart, rust in the weirdest spots or the metal would swell and warp. I grew tired of this after a while. So for about 1 full year, I owned no tea kettle. Sacrilege, right!?!? How was it possible to heat a pot of water and know exactly when it was ready without a tea kettle?? I deferred to the old fashioned method – water, a pot, a stove and my eyes to check for boiling. This method worked quite well, actually. It was slow and time-consuming, but it was cheap and reliable!
And then I had another baby. Heating that water in the middle of the night, with one eye open and the other closed, a crying baby on one hip and shaking a cold bottle in the other was no joyful thing, let me tell ya! It wasn’t until my sister visited me one summer (enter the sage) that I learned of a better alternative. Not only did she gasp that I’d never even known electric tea kettles existed, she purchased one for me and insisted I use it immediately!
This thing was nothing fancy. In fact, at first site of it I was unimpressed. I’d seen prettier kitchen gadgets in my day and they didn’t require voltage! Nonetheless, I reservedly read the instructions (hey, it’s an easy gadget but still electric…I didn’t want to start a fire), cleaned it, filled it with water, turned it on and waited for it to work. I was
surprised in utter shock when the thing turned off automatically after only what seemed a minute or two! Aha!!! I thought…this darn thing doesn’t work…manufacturer malfunction already! I grabbed the handle which was cool to the touch, popped the lid to empty the water and a burst of steam escaped! What the???? Scalding hot water…almost on tap – what a novel concept. 🙂
This was years ago when my second youngest child was a mere babe. She will be starting kindergarten this fall and there are still no signs that I’ll need to replace my electric tea kettle anytime soon – and, again, it’s no fancy big whoop-tee-do brand. If you’re in the market for a gadget that heats water in an instant, doesn’t take up your precious cooking space and won’t rust, get yourself a good electric tea kettle! Here’s what to look for:
- Locking lid – keeps the water from spillage and splatter
- Water level indicator – displays the water level in precise measurements
- Indicator light – lets you know if kettle is on
- Stay-cool handle and base – prevents injury especially if kids are handling
- Safety thermostat or automatic shut-off – turns off kettle when water boils and/or when kettle is empty
NICE TO HAVES:
- Washable filter – great for hard water and eliminating mineral deposits
- Concealed power cord – let’s face it…anything concealed in the kitchen (including the food) is good. It makes for a clean appearance.
- Rotating or swivel base – makes it easier to return the kettle to the base without having to solve a puzzle