That’s the pot calling the kettle black!
Or in this case the saucepan calling the kettle yellow.
Until a trip to the Goodwill a couple of days back, I owned exactly two pans: one small saucepan and one skillet.
And a greeaaaat saucepan it is too.
I’m furnishing my studio from scratch and I’m finding as I build my space that I want items solely of quality.
No particle board furniture.
No items that make me cringe or go “yech” or “I can’t stand looking at this or using that.”
If I don’t love any item — if it doesn’t make my heart thump in joy — it doesn’t enter the apartment. It’s that simple.
I loooove to cook. So no plastic cooking utensils. I’ll hold out for the real deal — for example, the slotted spoon or spatula from grandma’s drawers that were built to outlast us all — and in their absence trust my gifted inner Ms. McGyver who will ALWAYS concoct a workaround.
Now, I’m a girl with p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e.
Plus I’m a girl on a b-u-d-g-e-t.
Hence I frequent the Goodwill in this slow process of creating a studio kitchen from scratch.
When I moved in about 1-1/2 months ago, I owned not even a bed — so that was top priority — or a means to boil water for the morning coffee.
So I did without — admittedly as briefly as possible — until I came upon this grand saucepan at the Goodwill:
It’s 1-1/2 quarts of solid sturdiness. Stamped Revere Ware in Clinton, Illinois, USA. It’s like the pans my mother used. And undoubtedly her mother used:
That’s how I like it. That quality of endurance satisfies both my love of craftsmanship and Germanic nature.
I love my ancient saucepan from the thrift store!
And I love my morning coffee brewed with a single red plastic filter.
There’s something intrinsically gratifying and satisfying about the sound of a whistle — and I do mean from a train! Another post entirely.
I’m referring in this instance to the whistle of a tea kettle.
Can’t explain it. I’m not British so there’s no deep cultural tie or biological mother association with a whistling tea kettle. It just is.
So while my ancient saucepan was doing a superb job of boiling water every morning, it lacked that je ne sais quoi of a kettle.
I’m not referring strictly to occasions where I’d pour the needed amount of water into the saucepan, place the lid and go about my day in the next room and “forget” and return 5 or 10 minutes later to find it way bubbling away.
Again, there’s just something about a tea kettle and the valuable alert of a shrill whistle that a saucepan can’t replicate.
So for about five weeks, I kept eyes peeled for a kettle. After reading this far, shouldn’t surprise you that I wasn’t gonna pick up just any ol’ crappy burnt and half-broken one from the Goodwill.
Ditto a new one (girl on a budget).
So my eyes about popped out when after weeks of scouringboth thrift stores and retail shops for sales, this suddenly appeared on the Goodwill shelf!
First, I’m a colors person. And I just looooooooove this color, particularly in a kitchen! Who can remain depressed in the presence of bright lemon!?!
Secondly, the price. I’d-a been able to take advantage of the 25% senior discount had I left it and returned the next day but I didn’t wanna take the ris of it being gone and it woulda been. So I paid the full Goodwill price: $4.99.
Thirdly, once I got home that night and applied elbow grease, it cleaned it quite nicely I daresay. I celebrated with what else but a cuppa tea. Orange spice to be exact.
A remarkable experience to tend to matters in another room and hear the the beckoning whistle announcing the roiling of water.
Probably sounds very strange to anyone who’s not been deep in lack in life but to me, that whistle’s music to my ears.
It means: I had the money to buy a tea kettle from the Goodwill that I REALLY like. Was worth the 5 weeks of waiting.
It means: I’ve a living space that isn’t on the dirt or in my car.
It means: I’ve a means to boil water on a stove that’s an upgrade from when I had either no means in primitive campsites when homeless or a simple propane can with attachable single burner.
A whistling tea kettle is more than a thing of beauty. It speaks volumes. It speaks of these things and more.
It sings of a place that is mine.
It sings of a place where I need not borrow or rely on a roommate’s kettle for the first time in many years and after (too) many roommates.
It sings not of comfort in any cultural or childhood-environment way, rather of comfort unique to me.
Having a kettle and the means to boil water *and* have it announce itself when done is a gift. It truly speaks to how far I’ve come from sleeping on dirt and in my car (looove my Subaru!).
In a strange way, that kettle’s like a Whistler’s / Whistling Mother, announcing her readiness to dispense maternal comfort in tea or in coffee.
Ah, the humble kettle. And it gets no more cheery than bright yellow.