Polly Put The Kettle On

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Polly Put The Kettle On

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There’s nothing more entertaining than watching bubbles form and rise to the top in a kettle of water coming to a boil. You can do this in a glass electric kettle. Kettles weren’t always made from glass. The history of this well-loved device is rather interesting.

This common kitchen item is documented as far back as ancient Mesopotamia. The word itself comes from the Old Norse word for cauldron, ketill. It’s found in many homes around the world. Here’s the rub. The earliest kettles weren’t used for boiling water. Archaeologists surmise that the earliest kettles were used for filtering rather than boiling water.

The kettles evolution over time has seen modifications that make it useful in a variety of ways. Materials used to make these pots run the gambit of glass, porcelain, iron, plastic and copper. They’ve been adapted for use over an open fire, on the stovetop, with electricity and in the microwave. Their varying shapes include consideration of a number of specific purposes too.

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Image copyright by mrhayata. Used in accordance with Flickr.com license.

One very attractive feature of the kettle is its whistle. Believe it or not it has perplexed scientists for over a hundred years as to what causes it. A recent study has solved this elusive mystery. A Cambridge study details the why of a kettle’s whistle in, How the Kettle Got Its Whistle.

Ross Henrywood, the study’s lead author says, “… Because our study enables us to assess the mechanisms in action, we can potentially make modifications to stop the noise – if we want to ….” The question now is do we want to stifle this happy little homemaker?

Along with the kettle’s happy song, one can now enjoy watching it reach its full pitch. The Ovente glass kettle boils water faster than on the stove and as evenly. Microwaving water for tea is not recommended for reasons discussed in Lifehacker’s, Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Microwave to Make Tea. So boil water in a stove-top kettle or in an electric pot, always.

I received my Ovente glass kettle as a gift and use it all the time for making tea. My Hubpages article, Ovente Glass Electric Kettle, provides more details about this wonderful and attractive device. It can be relaxing to stand there and watch the pot come to a boil.

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Image copyright by Derek A.. Used in accordance with Flickr.com license.




Tanya is a displaced Californian, living in Texas. She has a day job and she dabbles with writing. Along with other Squids, she migrated to Hubpages and continues to post articles there under the pseudonym, Arachnea. Tanya’s virtual life is more exciting than day-to-day-life. There are a few bright spots, however. The local symphony and arts community are two such bright spots and the occasional meet-up with friends makes for a third. Originally from California, she takes life as it comes in her temporary sojourn.


Author: Jackie Jackson

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