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Heard around the house

My son is learning to cook. We started with Ramen noodles. He sets the pot of water on the stove, turns it on and stares at the pot. And this conversations happens:

Me: There’s an old saying that a watched pot never boils.

Number 2: That literally cannot possibly be true.

Me: Well, sure. But it really relays that it seems like water takes a long time to boil when you’re waiting on it.

Number 2: Then just say that.

He’s not wrong.

10 Responses to “Heard around the house”

  1. nk Says:

    Eternity is a state of mind.

  2. SPQR Says:

    The War on Folk Wisdom began in a modest kitchen ….

  3. Old NFO Says:

    LOL, he will learn… 🙂

  4. mariner Says:

    If a covered pot is often uncovered to check it, the water takes longer to boil.

  5. Robert17 Says:

    Have some fun with it. My daughter’s lack of watching for the boiling of l’water resulted in my wife slipping a rubber squeaky toy frog into the pot after “check the ramen water” for the 4th time. Definitely worth it.

  6. mikee Says:

    Microwave a coffee cup of water for about 3 minutes. Remove from microwave oven. Water may be bubbling a bit.
    Drop in a wooden coffee stirrer, and watch the ebullition go crazy. -**!!SCIENCE!!**-

    Even cooler kitchen chemistry is to freeze a bunch of Freeze Pops, pull one out that is very cold but not yet solid, thwack it with your finger and watch the ice crystals form. Cool demonstration of lotsa pretty high level molecular action, plus you get to eat the Freeze Pops.

    And when he is ready, Hollandaise sauce!

  7. JTC Says:

    If you want to keep him occupied for a while, tell him a stopped clock is right twice a day. 24 hours later he can grudgingly tell you that you were right, and you can say “Who’s the smarty pants now?”

  8. kfg Says:

    Watching a pot is a test of patience, but generally speaking a poor use of time.

  9. Hist_ed Says:

    Bravo on one thing: your son uses the word “literally” correctly, unlike most kids, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.

  10. Publius Says:

    But it CAN be true…if the rate at which heat leaves the water into the environment equals or exceeds the rate at which heat flows into the pot, it will never boil. This could be achieved with a heat sink and a sufficiently cold environment, or by using a sufficiently inadequate heat source.

    This all is, of course, independent of whether or not the pot is being watched…