Put the kettle on.
I cannot wait to get back to the UK and here those four words.
Because in Spain, people don’t have kettles.
There is a kettle in the staffroom at school that only me and the PE teacher use (the other teachers all drink coffee from the coffee maker). After we’ve put the kettle on and are waiting for it to boil, there is usually another teacher who is watching curiously. In the last ten seconds when the kettle starts to shake and some steam comes out of the top, it’s normal for another teacher to run over and say “The water’s boiling, how do I turn this thing off?”, not knowing that it turns off by itself when it’s finished and imagining that the steam will keep coming out and set the school on fire or something. It might sound stupid but that’s because it is stupid that this country has no kettles!!
Simple, everyday things such as:
- Making a hot drink
- Boiling water to cook pasta, potatoes and vegetables
- Filling up a hot water bottle
become painstaking tasks.
- To make a hot drink in Spain (the land of no kettles) you have a few options:
a. Fill your mug with water and microwave it for a couple of minutes – this never actually makes the water boil like a kettle does and when you put the teabag in, instead of the teabag puffing up, it lays flat and limp in the mug.
b. Use a coffee pot – these are very popular in Spain, but still a hassle as you have to measure out the dried coffee, the amount of water and then leave it on the stove whilst losing your patience as this process takes at least 5-6 minutes when it could take two with a kettle!c. Use the hot tap –
probably not the best idea in Spain as much of the water isn’t drinkable for British stomachs…also who wants a lukewarm tea?
d. MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE METHOD Boil a saucepan of water and put the teabag inside the saucepan on the stove – I haven’t tried this one, but it was a great idea from one of my friends. The water boils and you are left with a whole saucepan of tea (at least three mugs) to last you for the whole afternoon.
- Boiling water to use for cooking pasta etc
The only option you have here is to put the pan of water on the stove and wait for it to boil before putting the food in. It takes longer, a lot longer.
- Filling up a hot water bottle
a. Use the hot tap – this is a reasonable option, it’s quick and filling up a hot water bottle from a tap is easy. But unless you’re really lucky, your hot water from the tap won’t be boiling hot and will stay at that lukewarm temperature.
b. Use the saucepan trick – again as in number 2, filling up a saucepan with water and waiting for it to boil takes a long time but at least your water will be hot. The only problem here is how to transfer the water from the pan to the hot water bottle without scolding yourself. Pouring the water into a jug first, then into the hot water bottle is ideal.
Basically, Spain is lacking in the kitchen department. A lot of cooking tasks would be easier with kettles in homes, flats and offices across the country. Although they consume a lot of energy, they are a great invention and create shortcuts when doing things. Less waiting around, hotter water and faster than the methods named above…invest in kettles, ¡por favor!