Tuesday, August 28, 2007
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.