“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday, 29 November 2013

Introducing my new best friend...The Aga

I've been asked by many people recently "what is it like to be an Aga owner"? 
Well, until I owned one I never quite understood what all the fuss and stigma was about and why generally Aga owners always seem to be so ecstatic about a cooker! 
Now I totally understand and am devoted to my new best friend. 
I had a terrible week when she had to be switched off to wait for a new burner. 
But then she is over twenty years old after all. 
I think in Aga terms that's positively a baby, but still her burner needed updating. 
I know the feeling...???
(not sure why she's a she but she is...okay I know that's a little sad but at least I haven't named her yet...I say YET!)

There's nothing better than feeling the warmth radiating from the solid chuck of metal at any time of the day or night.
 It's like the heartbeat of the home...always giving out its warmth to anyone who needs it. It's always comforting whenever you pass by, or if you stand leaning against it as I often do...gather my thoughts whilst sipping my cuppa. 
It's perfect for all sorts of things like airing cloths on the top of the simmering oven cover, or drying out newly washed trainers...or drying soggy wet dogs after their walk for that matter. (see photo below)
And that's before we even get to the cooking part! 

If you live in the UK, then you'll know all about the Mary Berry storm that's taking over the UK baking fraternity. 
For those of you that don't know Mary (which is unthinkable but possible I suppose) she is the Queen of Cakes and currently at the tender young age of 78 years old, co-hosting with Paul Hollywood, the incredibly popular TV programme 'The Great British Bake Off
If you like to bake...you'll love this programme, although sadly it's just finished for this season.

Sorry I'm getting a little side-tracked here Emoji

But there is a tenuous link between Mary Berry and my Aga because I found amongst my gigantic, huge, large recipe book collection an old Aga recipe book written by Mary herself, back in 80's (there's no date written in the book, so I can't be sure but I know I've had it since then) You can imagine my delight when I found it. 
It explains how to maximize the benefits of having an Aga and has wonderful recipes plus beautiful watercolour illustrations by David Westwood. 

I thought you might like to see a page out of the book that explains this unique cooker.  
Here's an illustration with a few details. 

She seems to have limitless depths to her ovens and fantastic space of her big Boiling and Simmering Plates, after the confines of an ordinary cooker. 

And here's the real thing...Da dah! 
Isn't she a thing of beauty?

But as I mentioned she did need a little tweak when we returned to the house from our travels. I think she may have gone into shock when we turned up her dial. 
The holiday was over....it was time to get busy. 
She knew I was serious and was going to put her to work! 
So we had to switch her off and let the Engineer do his stuff...unfortunately we had to wait for a whole week for the new part and oh boy did we miss her.
It didn't help that that week we experienced an arctic blast! 

I'm not sure whether she would like to show everyone this intimate photo of her innards! 

It was a tense time and as often the case...hot sweet tea was on hand! 
But she was okay and we fired her up once again.
So on with the cooking...soups, casseroles and baking up a storm. 

(stock on the boil)
I'll hopefully be getting back to posting recipes at some stage...remember the good old days when I used to have time? 
Just to keep you going...here's the first Sunday roast that I produced from the Aga.

Mmmm....that makes me realise it's getting near to dinner time and I'm hungry.

I know that I've posted this photo of McMufftypup warming herself before,o but it just seemed right that she should be included in this post...showing you yet another benefit of having an Aga. 

So as the saying goes..."Does it make toast?" 
The answer is basically "Yes it makes great toast, literally!" 
Amongst a gazillion other things too!
If you'd like to know a little more about the Aga and it's history then click here

Let me know if you think of a good name for her? 
I'd love to hear your suggestions and ideas. 

Have a great weekend everyone. 
Keep cosy and if you're lucky enough, stay near to the Aga!


  1. I'm glad my wife does not see this as she does not read blogs, she has always wanted an Aga I just see something that burns a lot of fuel and does not run the central heating and yes Looked int getting one but I do have an Aga woodburner

    1. I suppose there's a lot to look into before deciding whether or not an Aga works for you and doesn't break the bank.
      Our Aga was in the house when we bought it, so we didn't have a choice.
      I think I would have wanted one anyway, but would have had it work the central heating and water too. There's lots of different models now.
      Ours is a gas burning one and we are conscious of the cost. .
      My heart says I wouldn't be without it though, so I have to make the most of it ;D

      Enjoy your weekend whatever you have planned...have fun! :D

  2. I love it, I have always wanted one, not sure if they can bought here, I wouldn't be able to afford one anyway but one can always wish! Your dinner looks lovely but your doggie looks the best, love her,

    1. Hi Laurie,
      It's amazing how many people have an Aga on their wish list. I know I'm very lucky so will appreciate it for all those people who don't have one ;D
      It's always warm and inviting...just waiting for you to cook the next culinary delight!
      Muffy liked your comment ^..^ hehe

      Have a great weekend and I'll pop across soon xoxo

  3. ok, that is a very cool stove. Puuurrrty!

    1. Hello Jenn,
      Isn't she just. I don't stand a chance around here with cute pooches and puuuurrrrty cookers! hehe
      Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. yummy! that looks delicious! i think your puppy was hoping for some :)

    1. Hehe...yeah a chicken roast dinner certainly gets her attention Alice. Or in fact any kind of chicken ^..^
      Great to see you and I'm looking forward to seeing you in your space soon.
      Enjoy your weekend and thanks for popping by xoxo

  5. You had me with "constantly emanating warm"! McMuffy agrees too I believe. :) I enlarged the pic of Mary's book page and am now more intrigued than ever. I'll be off to read up on it ..thanks for the link. The meal looks yummy even with a few too many veggies for my taste. I do look forward to seeing what and how you cook on it. FL hugs. Oh I've had to get out my long sleeves. I'm a chilly willy. :(

    1. You're right there Nan...she's like a magnet to both the Aga and wood burner.
      All the links are interesting and I plan to reread them once I find a few mins and a cuppa!
      Too many veggies...oh my it's a good job you haven't been for a one of my Christmas dinners. I tend to get carried away and one year I was truly enthusiastic and prepared 11 veg!!! It's been the standard Christmas joke for years ;D

      Poor you having to rug up and hunker down Nan...I'm sorry to hear you're chilly willy (HA!) We'll soon be at our darkest day and then we'll be heading towards the lighter nights and better weather! YEEHA!

      Have a great weekend and I'll pop to see you soon

  6. I feel warm just reading this. I wonder, does she run on wood or coal or ..... I visited a friend in Ireland once who ran hers on peat from their own peat area just up the road from them. 'Aggie' does seem rather obvious, if easy to say, but I suppose it has to be short and snappy.

    1. She has that effect on everyone Jez,
      To answer your question...she runs on gas, which is just as well because I'm not sure where the nearest peat area is to here ;D
      Hey I never thought of Aggie...even if it does seem obvious. I'm not sure she's a short, snappy kind of lady so it may be that we'll have to go with Agnes?
      Which is quite amazing really because my Grandmother was called Agnes and she was the person that most inspired me to cook as a child!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment.
      I'll pop across to you soon...promise!
      In the meantime...have fun and enjoy your weekend :D

  7. Hey, here I am to check out the looks of your new best friend: beautiful, warm and the real thing eh? As an old best friend (i'm sure there are many around the world) I was also happy to hear she was twenty years old (that's ancient) and that she was in need of a bit of tweaking ;) lol Although I can see she is trying hard to make amends that is a pretty fine Sunday roast!
    I hope you'll be very happy together - I really do!!!
    Wren x

    1. Hehe...ALL my friends whether old or new are very special to me Wren. I treasure them all ;D
      She did do well with that Sunday roast.though...and hopefully she'll do the same again today. We're the kind of family that has a roast every Sunday, even when we lived in temperatures of 40 olus!
      Yes I know...mad dogs and Englishmen and all that!

      Enjoy your summer...I see that it's arrived.
      Take care MY FRIEND and don't forget to slip, slap, slop ;D

  8. Me again! Been thinking of a name for your new best friend - thinking Joy would be good?!

    1. Oh hello again,
      Did you sleep on it? Thanks for coming back with a name.
      I agree Joy would be very appropriate, but sorry she's already been christened 'Aggie' by Jez (see above comment).
      I would have waited for entrants, but Aggie or rather Agnes seemed just right because Agnes was my Grandmothers name and she was the person who inspired me to start cooking and baking in the first place.
      Maybe she could be Aggie-Joy?
      I think she'd like to have a double barrel name....she's just that sort really! ;D

      Enjoy your Sunday,,,whatever you get up to have fun.

  9. Love the Aga....I would love to have one of these... But the homes I have lived in are more modern.... I have a couple of friends who have Aga's and they would never part with with their Aggies as they call them...(name choice) Have a happy Sunday.... Hugs May x x x

    1. Well our home is kinda modern and old all at once May.
      I know that sounds a little confusing but the house used to be a cottage and was rebuilt larger using quite a lot of the old materials.
      Yep my Aggie (amazingly that's the name picked) has certainly got her claws into me ;D
      Happy Sunday to you too xoxo

  10. What a wonderful stove. It looks beautiful. I've heard a lot about Aga's. I can see why one would fall in love with such a beautiful stove; especially when you can cook up a feast like your roast dinner.

    1. I think I love the fact that it's always warm to the touch...just sitting there waiting to cook or bake at a moments notice.
      I'm very sporadic and impulsive when it comes to baking so it's just as well really.

      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by ;D

  11. Looks lovely and nice blog... Just had our lovely Rayburn fitted (I've never understood why they dont make an AGA that actually runs the Water/Central Heating like the Rayburns)

    1. I think Aga may have adapted now and that option is available. Well that's what the engineer said.
      Well have to be content with 'Aggy' for now. The wood burner is doing his bit so we are toasty.
      I hope your week is going well...enjoy! :D

  12. I am fascinated by the AGA. As you know, I had googled and got lost reading about her and her relatives. ;) Aggie came to mind right off, of course. Hey--I had an iguana name Gwana so what do you expect--LOL! Agnus would be a bit more formal, but you could switch back and forth from formal to nick-name. :) She is a beauty!

    1. I'm impressed with your diligence Rita ;D
      'Aggy' is a beauty isn't she...although I think I'm a little biased.

      Have a wonderful week although we're already half-way through.
      Take care and keep cosy xoxo

  13. I am positively green with envy - no pun intended. I have wanted an Aga since the first time I saw one. We stayed outside of Bath for a week and I simply fell in love with the magic of Aga. I would love to live in Scotland or England for that matter. I was born to be British I am sure of that!!!! Love this post Honey Child!!


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