Thursday, August 21, 2014

Childhood Memories

Windsor Tea Kettle

Why is it that small things we remember growing up, seems to have such an influence on our taste, as adults ?

My grandma Ciss used a tea kettle on her stove to boil water.
It was a sturdy kettle made from chrome-plated copper, and built with a raised element at the bottom in order to conduct the heat more efficiently from her gas stove.
When the water was at boiling level, it whistled, to let you know it was ready.

It lasted a lifetime, or so it seemed to me.

As soon as I set up housekeeping, I always wished for one of those kettles.
I shopped specialty catalogues endlessly, until one day, I came across the very same kettle, in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Collection. "Imported from England" caught my eye.

My choice was the one made from solid copper, lined with tin, without the element, and more suitable for use with an electric stove top.
It was shipped with a lifetime warranty, and a lovely little keepsake card, telling how it was handcrafted, and the name of the original craftsman, whose talent it took to create it.

It gets used everyday, reminding me of all the times my grandma served pots of tea to family and friends alike.
The local "bobbies" (policemen), walking the neighborhood beat, were a staple around her kitchen table.

I can hear them now, shouting through the front door letterbox......."Put'the kettle on Ciss".


黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

I remember too !

Deb said...

What a fun memory. :)

Nellie said...

What wonderful memories, Jo, and what an amazing kettle!

Terry said...

That's a beautiful kettle! I have a whistling teapot too, but it's not nearly that pretty. I need the whistle so I don't forget it's on, lol.

Patsy said...

I know! that is great you found just the one.

Doc said...

Loved this post

racheld said...

My own Generations-removed-from- England Mammaw had a "kittle" which didn't whistle, but set up a great waft of steam from the spout. On the gas burner of that old Amana stove, it made a little growling sound when the bubbles began to form, and then a seashell-to-the-ear roar as the boil came.

Hers was a big old white enamel one, with a red rim around lid and spout-tip, to match the dishpan, several smaller pans, and even the chamberpot, before the house had a bathroom. That wonderful old teakettle was part of the spell of the Mysterious Magical Teapot, a short, eggplant-coloured McCormick Tea giveaway back in the forties. That pot took four teaspoons of Lipton leaves, a boiling of water to the tip-top, and, though she never strained up the tea into a pitcher with water as our Mothers did, she could go around a big Sunday dinner-table of eight people with those big old heavy frosted-grapevine goblets, pouring straight over ice in the glasses, and then later, around for seconds.

That pot grew in mythological proportions as we grew older and had homes of our own; we never DID figure out her magic for making that pot serve tea to such a crowd. Sis inherited the pot, but not the magic, but the story lives on.

Lovely reminder, and thank you for sharing such sweet memories of your own.


Jenny Woolf said...

I once knew someone who had a kettle very similar to that which was actually electric - a very early one. I must say there is nothing to beat a kettle on a stove, rather than an electric one.

Janice Kay Schaub said...

LOve it. Yes and that reminded me of our village bobby, he would stop in most evening on his way on the country route. He rode a bike and had to go about a mile down the hill to be sure the Red Lion was closed one time. Well when the weather was bad he would stop back after the ride back up the hill. My dad put a drop if whiskey in his tea to keep him warm.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post and beautiful kettle. My mother had a whistling stove-top kettle. Even now, when I hear a kettle whistle, I'm transported back to my childhood kitchen - happy days.

Tash aT