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'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 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 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'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!