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Tents or marquees are pitched near the flowery banks of the river...
a fire is kindled, and live salmon thrown into boiling kettles." Incidentally, the two meanings of the verb 'poach', which are 'steal game' and 'cook by simmering in water', both derive from the French 'pocher', which means 'put in a bag'.
- “Martyn said the moment he saw me he knew I was the girl for him.
As you may have realised, the expression 'a kettle of fish' doesn't refer to tea-kettles but to the long saucepans that have been used for centuries to poach whole salmon, namely fish-kettles.
The noun 'kettle of fish' is listed by several reference works as dating from 1745, although the earliest actual citation of the term in print that I can find is in Thomas Newte's "It is customary for the gentlemen who live near the Tweed to entertain their neighbours and friends with a Fete Champetre, which they call giving 'a kettle of fish'.
See here for the meaning and origin of 'a different kettle of fish'.
Being English, I have a close association with kettles; essential equipment for a custom in which the English can still claim world dominance, the making of 'a nice cup of tea'.