Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Not so TEArrific

As I eluded to in a previous post, Eric and I often buy things that we believe will solve a boat-specific problem or will make living aboard easier or more comfortable. Although all of our ideas make sense in our heads, in reality, they don't always come together as intended. Sometimes, this is because we don't fully understand the situation (like when we made plans to move aboard without ever having lived on a boat), and other times, it is because we are solving a problem that doesn't really exist (I tend to be guilty of these types of purchases). A great example of a solution to a nonexistent problem is the collapsible tea pot I purchased back in February.
 
At the time I bought the teapot, we had already made the decision to retire our electric kettle to the depths of one of our on-board storage spaces because the pleasure I got from drinking a cup of tea every now and then was not greater than my distaste for having our kettle take up space on the counter top. A short time later, my parents happened to mention that they had seen a collapsible teapot in a store. Naturally, I immediately went online in search of this mystical kettle. After all, a collapsible teapot seemed like the perfect device for a small kitchen. Mostly though, I just wanted a collapsible teapot because it sounded cool.

Although I absolutely love our collapsible teapot, it just doesn't work well for our purposes.

For starters, it takes forever to boil the water because the kettle can only be placed over low(ish) heat (which all of the reviews clearly state). Is this a big deal? No, not really, but the combination of this, plus the kettle's lack-of-whistle (also noted in the reviews) resulted in me routinely forgetting that I was boiling water. And, by the time I remembered that I was, I was no longer in the mood for tea.

My main frustration with the kettle though, was that it took forever for it to dry. No matter how many hours I left the teakettle up-side-down in our drying rack, a little bit of water always remained trapped inside. Although I'm sure this had more to do with the humidity in Florida rather than a fatal design flaw of the kettle, the end result was the same. The whole desirability of the teapot was that it could easily be stored after use, but I was reluctant to stash it in a drawer with water trapped inside (I don't actively seek opportunities to introduce mildew into my life). So in an ongoing effort to encourage evaporation, I left the kettle expanded on the stove.

The last reason the teapot didn't work for us was because of something Eric and I hadn't factored into the equation: Helina. A main staple in Helina's diet is instant oatmeal. In fact, there was a time when she was eating it every morning, and I was relying on the microwave to "cook" the oatmeal. This technique resulted in one of two outcomes: (1) a rubbery block of congealed oats or (2) an almost broth-like puddle of mush. Upon witnessing my galley skills in action, Eric said, you know what would be nice? Our electric kettle.

So, we dug it out of its hiding spot and returned it to the counter top.

It's Electric 
With the electric kettle back in the galley, tea consumption has increased, our oatmeal's texture is consistent, and Helina has a great new toy:

Spot of Tea

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