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In response to Mrs Liveinabin's email regarding the two vital things to look for in a kettle, I would definately add a third: the power of the kettle. If it comes to a toss up between two or more kettles, always pick the one with the higher wattage rating - after all, all a kettle really has to do is boil the water, so the quicker the better, in my humble opinion.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I have just been reading Iain Kay's description of the beverage choices on offer at his place of work. This "place" sounds very much like a large financial based company in Northampton where I worked a few years ago. Shortly before my departure, the vending machines were replaced with new ones (this coincided with a price increase) which looked more impressive but produced even less palatable tea and coffee than their predecessors. Luckily I was in the habit of picking up a cup of cold water on the way to my desk in the morning. The first cup out of the new machine was a murky grey colour and went straight down the sink.
An engineer was called out to clean the machine and the water was still grey on his departure.
Several weeks and several visits from the engineer later, the problem was still not resolved although I was assured that the beverages issued by the machine were perfectly safe to drink.
It was at this point that I decided to bring a flask.
My advice is to avoid the machines and stick to the long walk past the football tables for a proper beverage.
Our work kettle is a round one on a round base (Tefal stainless steel jug-ish thing I think), which I thought was a good idea, because the handle can be placed at any degree of rotation, and it will still boil. Excellent for left-handers, who are probably poorly catered for by the rigid attachment of kettle to base on so many models.
However, the indicator light to show that the kettle is in fact on, is placed only on one side of the kettle, so it's no good for left handers anyway. Any other left handed kettles out there? Also any bi-directional mugs? So many mugs are designed with the logo/picture/slogan assuming right or left handedness.
Chris Thompson (right handed and interested in product design)
|Nicey replies: Splendid I'm glad you raised the whole 'is it on?' issue.
I used to sell kettles after I was made redundant from selling tea by Whittards. The best kettle then was the phillips pirouette. It's one of those round metal ones but is the only one to have the correct distance between the handle and spout so not to scold your hand. It has been discontinued for three years or so but contains the two vital things to look for in a kettle, a concealed element and a scale filter.
As for the recipe from Mr Two Lunches. Cake I say. It has too much butter to be a biscuit.
I like the mugs. TTFN
|Nicey replies: Hoorah! for being the first to christen the fabulous new Kettle icon.
||The item Karl 'Two Lunches' Hughes describes is clearly what is known in Australia as a 'slice'. I'd wondered about the lack of representation of slice on this site before, and come to the conclusion that it must exist only in Australia - though the Kiwi 'tray bake' sounds like the same thing. |
Slice was very popular when I was growing up (the 70s). It can be made from a selection of diverse ingredients mixed and pressed into a tray (and often iced), or from a biscuit recipe cooked in a tray (and often subsequently iced). Sometimed slices are fancy three-layer creations, eg caramel slice (shortbread base, a thick layer of caramel, layer of actual chocolate on top) or peppermint slice (shortbread or chocolate biscuit base, peppermint filling, chocolate layer), or raspberry coconut slice (very crumbly delicious base, raspberry jam, sticky coconut topping). And there are very delicious plainer versions like chocolate slice (chocolate biscuit base, chocolate icing, coconut sprinkled on top) and ginger slice (ginger shortbready biscuit base, plus ginger icing that you cook in a saucepan and which has the unusual quality of making your mouth feel cool when you eat it).
Slice is always made in a shallow, often rectangular tray (a slice tray). You don't see it as often as you used to, though you can often still buy it in cafes and old-fashioned cake shops.
Needless to say, a good accompaniment to tea, though not ideal for dunking.
|Nicey replies: I was going to say 'slice' too but then I didn't. I feel this information is probably of immense importance in helping finally working out phylogeny of such items as flapjack. I'm actually quite excited.|