Unfortunately, there’s been an issue with the water where I live. I received an email letting me know – thank goodness for citywide email alerts – and our life without constantly available hot and cold running water began. It’s amazing to me how much we rely on having clean, safe water available at our fingertips.
When the wee one went upstairs after breakfast to brush their teeth, I quickly realized that oh wait… we can’t just wet our toothbrushes with the water from the sink, nor can we wash them off afterwards. Sending them their lunches meant that I had to pour bottled water (thank goodness I just hosted a First Communion party and had some!) into their water bottles for school. I couldn’t cook anymore because washing dishes then letting them soak in a bleach solution to make them safe sort of grossed me out – and unfortunately our dishwasher does not have a functioning sanitizer cycle.
Needless to say, putting on water to boil was the first thing on my to do list; the recommendation for us was to boil water for five minutes for it to be safe, adding a little pinch of salt if it tastes off. Needless to say, I poured the boiled water over the toothbrushes to clean them, and I used this same water for many of the other functions we routinely take for granted. Fortunately, we were still able to take showers, flush toilets, and wash our hands.
But I learned something completely useless during this boil order. Did you know that there’s a max fill line on your teapot? I didn’t. I do now. And I know why there is one.
If you fill your teapot too full, when it boils, it will start to sputter. If you make the mistake – and I did – of opening the spout portion where it whistles to help let more steam escape, that isn’t all that escapes. The pressure and everything else instead forces gushes of boiling water out the spout and onto the stove, way more than enough to douse the flames on the burner.
Yeah. Oops. Fortunately, it is mostly safe to remove the top lid of the teapot to release some of that excess pressure. So did you not know why teapots have a max fill line, or is it just me? Either way… learn from my folly.