As we have established before, I am not a lifestyle blogger. There is little about my life that is styled, organized, cutting edge, or particularly enviable. However, I have wanted to write an ode to my tea kettle for about 6 months now. Luckily for me, I have recently collected two more kitchen gadgets that deserve their own odes, and now I can make a slightly more complete post.
Electric Tea Kettle: I came to understand around the age of 18 that British people, among others, have electric tea kettles with which to make cups of tea. I had literally never heard of or seen this phenomenon before staying with my friend in her Faversham home that summer. It was nice, but what would I need with one, being a purely soda consuming human? Over the years, I came to appreciate the idea of a tea kettle for easier hot beverage making. In Alaska, it is not uncommon to find electric tea kettles in most classrooms. However, we waited until six or eight months ago to finally buy one. I still thought of it as an unnecessary luxury that would take up kitchen counter space and only be used for the occasional tea or hot cocoa. We were so wrong! It is probably the single most utilized gadget in our kitchen on a weekly basis. Gadgets, for the sake of this post, are all non-lucrative kitchen items. On an average week we use it to: make various cups of hot tea, make pitchers of iced tea, make after school hot cocoa, make ramen noodle snacks, and speed boil water to make quicker dinners in a variety of ways such as softening our rice noodles last night. Just when I think that we have exhausted the ways we will find to use the tea kettle, we find more ways to use the tea kettle. If I am any indication, Americans don’t know what they are missing when it comes to tea kettles. Buy everyone you know an electric tea kettle. Heck, buy me another. I want one for my classroom.
Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker: I have never been satisfied with my coffee making. It just never seemed like it came out quite right. Part of this, I’m sure, is that I prefer milky espresso based drinks when I have the choice. Sergio introduced me to the idea of this stovetop espresso maker. It seemed too simple. When you look up espresso makers and milk steamers, you usually get really complicated and expensive machines that seem hard to clean in your results. This thing! It is so simple! And quick! It is nearly fool-proof! I say nearly because there was that one time that I forgot to put in the espresso ground coffee and just brewed up some water, but I’ve also done that with a regular coffee maker a time or two. I never just drink straight espresso, though, which brings us to the next gadget.
Bialetti Milk Frother: I warm up our milk and then froth it with this little doo dad and then I pretend I’m a really cool barista in my mind. The combination of the espresso maker and milk frother have cut down on our artificial sweetener intake and our trips to the coffee shop. Double score! Sorry, I can’t find a link on that one, but it is the thing that looks like a small immersion blender in the picture below.
Since I am recommending things, let me offer this totally random, non-gadget related activity. If you find that your brand new eight year old is open to new types of movies lately, and you have always known that your spouse somehow missed out on some key childhood Steven Spielberg experiences, sit down on a weekend night and watch E.T. with your family. It’s on Netflix. You won’t regret this decision. Have nice cup of tea, a homemade latte, or some hot cocoa while you do. See how I pulled all of that together right at the end?