Sunday, June 14, 2009
Not for me, the current kitchen fad for the newest, shiniest, brightly coloured and expensive kitchen appliances. I have to admit, I'm a retro girl at heart and it totally goes against the grain! Ok, so I DO have a little coffee machine on the bench, but my pride and joy (and perhaps this is more to do with me being a dedicated tea lover) is my Goblin Teasmade circa 1972. How cool is this contraption? I had heard about these, my grandmother had one in England many years ago, so you can imagine how I squealed with delight when I found one at a local garage sale. $15 was all it took, to assume ownership of my new obsession. The idea behind this invention, which has been described as "a peculiar eccentricity of the British", is to set up the teasmade in the evening before you go to bed. It was traditionally placed on the bedside table before retiring for the evening, but from my experience it could be placed in the house next door as the hullaballoo when it goes off would wake the dead! You fill the jug with water and put it on the element, you put some tea-leaves (or bags) into the crockery jug. In the day, the english used to also leave a jug of milk and sugar out for convenience but with our climate, I wouldn't be game. Make sure the clock is on the correct time, set the alarm to when you would like to be woken, and set it on "auto". Then all you need to do is snuggle up and think of of England! A few minutes before the alarm time, the teasmade begins gurgling (this alone may wake you), the water is boiled, and is transferred automatically from the kettle to the jug through a little pipe. Once full, the cut-off switch trips the alarm. Now, as I mentioned this was QUITE LOUD, and to top it all off, that lightbulb also switches on and would illuminate the opera house at night if required! There is NO WAY you could miss your alarm and keep sleeping. Its hilarious! That's it..your tea is made. All you need to do from here is add milk and sugar, and sit in your bed enjoying a perfectly brewed cuppa. Now, the Goblin Teasmade was first made in 1936, but there was gas powered invention as early as 1891 along a similar vein. By the time mine was made (I have a model 844 made in 1972 check out the website www.teawaker.com for the chronology of the models) one million Teasmades had been sold. The company was taken over in 1973 and another 2 million were made and sold in the next few years. Although eccentric, and really quite a cumbersome appliance, its quaint qualities have been quite popular with many over the years. For me it is really more of a novelty than a day-to-day item, but my culinary life would not be the same without it!