Tuesday, August 28, 2007

St Aga-tha

I am no longer an Aga virgin. I know this for a fact. Firstly, I burnt my chic black and cream Aga oven mits; scorched, singed, crisped at the tip of the right hand. I laid it down on the top to reach over to a pot. I peered into the broccolli and thought: "Mmm, that doesn't smell good." Only to realise the oven glove was smoking. On the upside, I did not have to eat it and the burn does make it look as if I occasionally cook. The Aga, however, I have discovered is a tell-tale. My husband was the one who wanted it. I did not. The cost made me feel bad. More than bad. The cost made me feel sick. I gave in though and I was warming to it up to the moment I put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. Friends came round for supper; I had fed six children then four grown-ups. I had cooked sausages and baked potatoes and beans alongside a vegetarian option. We had eaten in the garden which entailed a fair amount of scurrying backwards and forwards carrying things. The pink kitchen table was on the grass since we do not have any garden furniture. This meant I had one surface too few in the kitchen. Things got moved about. My guests left. I thought: "Before I put the kids to bed, I really want a cup of tea." As I say, I put the kettle on. Now this was not my fault. I told my husband when the Aga arrived that we would have to use it for warmth (tick), for cooking (tick), for drying clothes (tick), for ironing(tick-ish), for making toast (slices of bread pinned in a mesh bat contraption then pressed to death much as a Catholic martyr might have been between the hot plate and the chrome lid: tick) and for boiling the kettle. Well that is what I do. He, however, got the electric kettle out of a packing case and put it on the side. I put it away again. I said: "We have an Aga. Use the Aga kettle. Fill it up and put in on the hot plate. We are wasting enough power as it is without plugging in a kettle." He got it out again. On Saturday, I put it on the Aga. What can I say? It had been a long day. The Aga kettle was not where it normally was. I wanted the tea badly. I looked at the electric kettle as the black plastic started to wrinkle as it sat on the hot plate. I looked at the red switch you use to turn it on. I thought: "That is so not supposed to be there and it is so not supposed to be melting." I wrenched the kettle off a little late for the black toffee bottom and my hot plate which now has the face of a clown imprinted on it. Unless, of course, it is the face of a Catholic martyr.

14 comments:

Rainbow said...

And I thought it was only me that had done this! My stepfather will never let me forget the time I put their electric kettle on the Aga. My defence was that the last time I'd visited they'd had the kind of kettle you did that with - it even whistled - and its replacement was designed to look like an old-fashioned kettle. I was only trying to be helpful...

sunshine said...

Sounds like a very productive evening. The dispute over which kettle will be used has been very effectively settled. There is not one of us who will suggest that you intentionally put the electric kettle on the Aga------- XX

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I've given up with our Aga kettle and bought a nice shiny electric one. People don't have to wait half an hour anymore for a cuppa, I can rid of any unwanted guests sooner.

Crystal xx

Motheratlarge said...

Oh no! Oh Wifey, that's not good news! How frustrating. Hope you'll be able to scrape the plastic off. There must be ways to do that? I hope? And after all your hard work. I do things like that when stressed. Who wouldn't be stressed after all those house moves. Must take ages to get to the point where you automatically know where you are when you wake up.

The aga might really come into its own as autumn draws in, you know, and days get shorter, weather even colder etc. I've such fond memories of gathering round a huge old aga in the kitchen of a school where I worked years and years ago. We used to squabble to bagsy two places on top of it when it got really cold outside.

Agas are fab. The people at the school taught me how to cook on one, it's quite an acquired skill. I take my hat off to you for attempting choux pastry in one - way beyond me!

There's probably someone somewhere who blogs about nothing but how to cook on an aga - and if there isn't, then there ought to be! Tbey make for a great, errr, sa-aga! (blush, sorry, got carried away)

The Rotten Correspondent said...

The important question is did you ever get your cup of tea or did the Aga fully consume the rest of your evening? I'm not too familiar with an Aga, but it seems to do everything from toasting bread to trimming the hedges. You'd think it would have the decency to let you know you'd used the wrong kettle.

Norman said...

Never mind, Hinny. The burnt-on plastic will all melt away/merge into the AGA and become part of the scenery.
Nee bovva, jus' gan wi' it.
(Translation: No problem. Go with the flow!)

Mike said...

Brilliant! I laughed myself sick at this one! Thank you!
We used to warm our clothes in the bottom oven as kids- we needed to, our house had no central heating, and sometimes frost on the inside of the windows. Young ones have no idea of hardship!!!

Almost American said...

I've known a couple of people who had Agas. I seem to remember one had hers in the living room. Don't think she cooked on it though!

Reading about them, one website says: "Boiling Plate: A high heat that can boil water faster than most electric kettles." Apparently it melts them quite efficiently too :-)

Mike said...

Just looking at your previous aga post "it is the nature of things to cling to what is warm" - he, he, he, sorry.

Strickley said...

I have an Aga and an electric kettle (which is hidden away until we need it - a couple of times a year when we service the Aga).
It doesn't take long to boil an Aga kettle, especially if you use hot water (which technically has already been heated by the Aga as it heats the water)

tim relf said...

They're good for reviving cold lambs in, too (that's when the lambs are still alive, rather than cooking them - although of course Agas are good for that too!)

Hilary said...

We once had an old Rayburn(now seems to be part of the Aga empire)which just had one temperature-hot-so we had to be very careful with our cooking!
It didn't heat the water,just our kitchen,but was very reassuring to have in deepest Suffolk during the winter power failures ,especially when the children were young.
Enjoy your Aga !

Mopsa said...

Now he'll HAVE to use the Aga kettle. That toasting contraption thing is not so great - better to buy a sheet of bake-o-glide, put it on the hot plate, then wang on your bread, bagels etc and they toast just fine, or put them straight into the hot oven. You can also break an egg on the bake-o-glide - kids love watching it and it ain't an urban myth unlike the one where you cook an egg on the hot pavement. Piccy of my ancient Aga on yesterday's butchering sausages post.

Nina said...

Oh no, this is funny! We just bought our first electric kettle, which seemed decadent for us--after all as you say, that's what the stove is for, isn't it, heating the pot? I justified it in exchange for the one burned out burner.

But this is everyone's fear. Well described--I know exactly what you mean by the clown face.