Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Ballad of the Kettle (A NaNo Tale).

Everyone who has done NaNo before knows that you need a few things in order to be successful. Grit, determination, and a mindless disregard for your own mental well-being are chief among them.

But another thing that is essential? Your inspiring drink of choice.

I dare not assume what that might be for other people, but for me? It's tea. Tea of all kinds. And for a very long time, the only way I could rely on a steady source of tea at all hours of the day or night was my beloved Braun electric kettle. It boiled water within moments, gave a nice CLICK when it was done, and never gave me problems or talked back. For at least three years, we were happy together.

Until a few days ago, when the poor thing started leaking from its base. Suddenly everything changed. It was no longer my loyal companion. And a quick Internet search revealed that OTHER people had experienced the same with THEIR Braun kettles.

I was crushed, but I started the search for a new kettle. I thought I had ended it last night when I bought a black Proctor Silex for a lovely $20--so inexpensive, I thought! But so necessary, right?


I pulled it out of its box and it was...large. Really large. Tall, really. Tower-like. And shiny and black and

I named it Darth Vader, laughed a little, and tried to settle it in on my desk. But it wouldn't settle. I didn't like it. I didn't like the looks it kept giving me. It wasn't friendly, like my Braun. It kept glancing at my laptop, like at the first opportunity it was going to fall over and douse my MacBook with boiling water. Malevolent and angry. I wondered what had been done to it in its past to make it so aggressive.

I resolved that it simply could not stay. This morning I packaged it back up. It snarled at me as I closed the lid on the box, but I was adamant. No more angry kettles in MY room.

After returning the Proctor Silex with no problems, I headed over to the wonderful Land of Target. I perused their offering of kettles, mostly unimpressed. There were some very dignified metal ones, and some happy-go-lucky white ones, and some more aggressive black plastic ones like the Proctor Silex.

And then...oh, then...that's when I saw him.

He was sitting there SO demurely, humbly, just waiting for me to notice him. His cheery red exterior and kettle-shape said, "I'm happy if you're happy!" but his all-stainless steel makeup stated, "I'm very serious about boiling water for you."

His entire appearance, automatic shut-off feature, drip-free spout, cord-free serving, and concealed heating element (plus his meager $35 pricetag) said, "You want me."

And I did. And I do.

To my beloved Braun: Thank you for your wonderful years of service. You have given me tea, soup, hot chocolate, and oatmeal. You showed me that hot water does NOT always come from a stove or a microwave. You opened my eyes, you carried me through.

Welcome, Hamilton Beach. Together we will conquer NaNo 2010...and the world!

Now. Where my tea?

-The GLS


  1. you make me oh so happy! my roommate and I had that very same kettle last year. it's a good one - no complaints.
    tea is my drink of choice also. love to to pieces, dear heart.

  2. What a lovely kettle! It looks like the same shiny red stainless finish as my crockpot, which is friendly and which I love. I wish your kettle and you many happy days together! Good luck with NaNoWriMo, love!