Testing Stovetop Kettles
Stovetop kettles are simple vessels for heating water. But anyone who’s had a bad one knows how irritating they can be. Poor kettles are apt to whistle too faintly or painfully loudly, rattle and clank on the burner, and be too cumbersome to hoist—or, conversely, too tiny to make a full-size pot of tea. Their handles can get too hot, they can make a splashy mess when pouring, and they can send steam up to scorch your hand. They rust or dent and get grungy living on the stove, where they’re on display for all to see. Still, we had faith that there were good, functional, durable kettles out there—we just had to find them.
French Butter Cake
by Steve Dunn
I first encountered gâteau Breton years ago while living in France, and I was smitten from my first bite. As its name implies, the cake hails from the Brittany region of France, which lies on the western edge of the country, abutting the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a simple yet pretty cake, rich in butter, with a dense, tender crumb that falls somewhere between shortbread cookies and pound cake. Its firm structure allows the cake to be cut into thin wedges for nibbling with an afternoon cup of tea, but in my experience, a portion so small is never enough.