The one roommate whose culinary adventure stands out most in my mind – the guy who had never heard a tea kettle. Despite my lack of cooking prowess, I always preferred boiling water to nuking it in the microwave for a real cup of tea. For all my lack of finesse in the kitchen, there was something about the old fashioned boiled water on the stove approach which calmed me.
I only owned a simple small pot when my roommate and I moved into the apartment. That winter, I received a gift – my first tea kettle. Elevating my kitchen status several rungs, this kettle empowered me to brew a more civilized cup of tea. As I proudly filled it with water, turned the burner on, and walked into the other room as it warmed, the saga of my roommate and the tea kettle commenced.
Because I had filled the tea kettle to capacity, I knew it would take a few minutes until ready. In the interim, I became engrossed in a project and completely forgot about the tea. Suddenly, I heard shrieking from outside my room, jolting me away from the project. Fearing the worst, I stood up to rescue my new tea kettle.
Instead, I discovered the source of the noise was actually my roommate yelling in unison with the tea kettle’s sharp whistle. His down comforter wrapped around him like a cloak, he shouted hysterically: “What is happening?! Is there a fire? Do we need to evacuate?” I reassured him, “that’s just my tea kettle” as I ran into the kitchen to lower the burner. “That is what a tea kettle sounds like?” he asked with the most perplexed expression.
Apparently, along with not knowing how to use a microwave (I taught him), he had never before encountered a tea kettle. He had mistakenly thought the loud screech was a fire engine. As I showed him the new addition to our kitchen was merely a stainless steel kettle replacement to my pot, I decided to think very carefully about my next culinary addition. Afterall, I had no idea what his reaction to the sound of a mix master might be…