Suddenly, I'm drinking herbal tea regularly, instead of just thinking that I should (sweetened herbal tea helps to satiate my 4 p.m. sweet/caffeine craving, without ODing on sugar or staying up all night cause I drank coffee after noon). And I no longer have that annoying situation where I turn the kettle on and by the time it's whistling its heart out on the stove, I'm upstairs elbow-deep in a poopy diaper. Or ensconced in my rocking chair, nursing the baby. Or wrangling Elan, who's throwing a fit, while trying not to wake Emry, who's napping.
This way, after the water's boiled, the kettle just turns itself off. I need more things in my life that turn themselves off automatically. Like the Internet, nightly at 9 p.m. How much sleep I would get if my Internet went off at 9 p.m. Does anyone know how to make it do that (except for special situations like working at night, or writing important blog posts about kitchen gadgets)?
The kettle produces warm water nearly instantly, much faster than running the water in the sink, and without feeling guilty cause you're wasting water (nearly-native Californian that I am). Faster than heating water in the microwave, which always just strikes me as wrong. Mikhail's been using it to help him warm a bottle for Emry in the middle of the night, as we're tapering the baby off his midnight to 3 a.m. feed. Tonight he'll get a half-ounce of breastmilk with an ounce or so of water, out of a bottle. Is it really worth waking up for that, kid, when if you sleep past 3 a.m. you get a nice full meal out of a nice warm, decently well-rested Mama?
I notice that it's past 9 p.m. and I'm getting a little punchy, a signal I should be getting ready for bed and not on my computer. Internet-auto-shutter-offer, where are you?
Anyway, I used the kettle tonight to warm water for my favorite quick peanut sauce. I don't put a lot of recipes on this site - after all, there is the whole food blogosphere out there, with beautifully styled food photos and inspiring true recipe tales. But lately I've been enjoying cooking so much more again, and besides, who doesn't need another idea for an easy dinner?
Quick Peanut Sauce - my go-to sauce to serve with fried tofu, rice or soba noodles, and stir-fried veggies.
3 T unsweetened peanut butter
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 T chopped cilantro (I never put this in, cilantro non-lover that I am)
1 plump garlic clove, minced or put through a press
2 t soy sauce or to taste
1 t brown sugar
1/2 t chile oil
salt (if needed)
Combine all the ingredients except the salt, adding 2-4 T warm water (from an electric kettle!) to make it the consistency you wish. Add additional soy sauce or salt as needed.
Recipe from Deborah Madison's excellent Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.