Thursday, 20 September 2007

Message to the Aga Cookery Support Desk

OK, I know several of you out there have been cooking on/in Aga's for years, so I'm sure you can help here. A good friend of mine moved in with her man a couple of years ago, and found she was in charge of a 2 oven Aga. As far as I know, she's never cooked with anything other than gas or electricity all her life. She's finding the Aga a real challenge, and I wonder whether any of you in the know could offer some guidance.

To be honest, I've not spent that long talking to her about it, but it does sound to me as though she can see the end of her tether. One thing she said was that one oven was blazing hot and the other was tepid and only good for warming plates.

Is there any kind of basic tutorial she could read to outline the fundamentals? I suspect her Aga was already there when her man bought the cottage, so all documentation is likely to have gone the way of all flesh ages ago.

Does an oil-fired (I imagine it's oil-fired) Aga have tubes that need to be cleaned out from time to time? What sort of servicing, if any, does it require?

Is it just that there are only certain combinations of dishes you can cook, so you have to be more careful how you plan your menus?

The impression I get is that she would cheerfully dump it in a skip and install a conventional cooker, which I'm sure you'll agree, would be a real shame.


rilly super said...

hmm, not sure about practical guides but I can send her some Joanna Trollope novels if that would help. She might still not be able to cook anything but she's probably feel less hostile to the aga, because after all, that's gonna be a bloody big skip she'll need

DJ Kirkby said...

What about her googling the word Aga? They are supposed to be amazing to cook with once you've got the hang of it but damned if I can remember where I heard that!

Rob Clack said...

She is so un-nerdy she wouldn't think of googling for anything, so I did it for her and am amazed at the number of events that Aga Rayburn lay on around the country. There must be 50 between now and Christmas!

I have emailed her a number of links about demonstrations in the area, a 3-day residential course and a cook book. As I sent the third or fourth email, I imagined her muttering "For god's sake, Rob, enough already!" I'd better not send any more or I'll just put her off.

Rebecca Taunton said...

Hello. In my parents' previous home, we had an aga. It took my Mum a good year or two to get used to it (before that she was close to throwing it out too), and now she laments its absence. (As do I). She did, however, find it helpful to have a small electric oven as well, but that's not always practical.

There are a number of really good quality aga recipe books on the market.

And, from what I remember, there is supposed to be two different temperature ovens.

I hope your friend finds some useful information on the internet.