Awhile back I stated that I found the sound of a tea kettle whistle to be very annoying. Many of you responded that you find it essential to let you know when the water is boiling. Well, I am now finding myself on your side of things here, at least to a certain extent. It came as quite a surprise to me that, with my sensitivity to extraneous and harsh noises (they drive me up the wall, figuratively speaking), I am now acquiring an ear for that tea kettle whistle. Methinks it’s due to our new living quarters. Funny how a different house can make such a difference in other aspects of daily life.
Recently, our domicilical arrangements have changed (i.e., we moved to a new house — well, not actually new, but new to us as in we never lived in it before). We have found that using the kettle whistle has a distinct advantage for us here where in our previous house it did not. First, I should say that the floorplan of the other house had the “kitchen” opening to the family room where my “office” (a tray table that holds my laptop in front of our La-Z-boy recliner loveseat) was. This arrangement meant that the kitchen never really felt like a kitchen to this rather traditional-minded gal. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great space, especially with the cathedral ceiling in the family room. It just never really had that kitchen-like feeling. The food prep area was U-shaped, with the stove being right in the middle. We found ourselves hanging out there while the water heated in the kettle. Thus were many “Tea Kettle Philosophy” article ideas spawned. (It was either that or thumb-twiddling.)
The floorplan here is from a whole different era. The house was built in 1930 (translation: tiny closets in one bedroom, a “cupboard” style closet in the other bedroom that was added on to and is now my office, and a kitchen totally separate from the dining and complete with a butler’s pantry where the water heater now stands). Oddly enough, this kitchen lends itself more to that “walking away while the water heats” syndrome so common among tea drinkers. It’s a real room, so I have to step out of it fully to get to my “office” (yes, still typing on a tray table). Not quite sure why, but I am more apt to do this here than I was in our former place of residence. Thus, the use of the tea kettle whistle here (hubby always liked it and said it sounds “homey”).
The scenario goes something like this: put water in kettle, put lid on kettle, close whistle down on spout, set kettle on hot plate (we have abandoned even having a stove here since the one we had was expensive and hardly used), turn on hot plate, pop over to laptop to check email/send a tweet/post on Facebook/etc., lose track of time …… TWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Ah, the water is boiling, and yes the teapot is already prepped. Some English Breakfast No. 1 today. We don’t have our new, large toaster oven set up yet, or there would be fresh scones. So, some McVitie’s Digestives will do the trick (gotta order some more of these and those Jaffa Cakes!).
Yes, indeed, my ear is getting used to that tea kettle whistle and, in Pavlovian fashion, my auto response is already being set to “salivate” when I hear it!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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