Tuesday, January 18

A is for Aga!

Our Kitchen



This is our Aga - we bought it second hand 20 years ago and as far as we know we think it's about 54 years old. It is solid fuel (amthrocite) and we have it on in the cold months - which let's face it is most of the year Generally speaking Jon usually lights it around the end of Septemmber/beginning of October and we keep it going (well Jon does) until warm Spring days. As you look at it - the bottom left door is the door which is opened when the ash pan is taken out. The top right door is the hot oven and the bottom right door is the warm oven. The lids on top shield the hotplates - the left one is the hot one and the right one is the simmering one. The black square box behind the hotplates is the entrance from the flu to the chimney, this means any smells go straight up the chimney - burning food and all! If I put something in the oven I have to use a timer so I don't forget about it!
Needless to say, especially when there is a bit of a wind up, the kitchen is warm, very warm and being the frugal person I am, I like to make the most of it. I ALWAYS wash something after teatime knowing if I hang it on the airer it will all be dry in the morning, so indeed when this is the case I go into Widow Twanky mode and wash everything in sight!
I also like to make the most of the ovens and have something slow cooking all the time, or at least most of the time. In a few days I have cooked enough meals to keep us going for a month!
Over the next few months we are re-modelling parts of our house and the kitchen is one of these parts. I look forward to sharing our progress and thoughts - with lots of pictures!

This is Round 8 of ABC Wednesday and this time I am using our home as a theme and look forward to sharing various possessions, keepsakes and favourite objects over the next few weeks!

51 comments:

  1. Did your Aga come with instructions or did you find out what did what by trial and error? I presume the Aga will be staying in the remodelled kitchen?

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  2. Your Aga is charming and sounds very functional.

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  3. Enjoyed this learning experience especially the handy tips :)

    Wonder if Aga is a modification of the tandoor??

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  4. Never saw an aga before! I do love it when I learn something new and ABC Wednesday is a great place to do just that!! Hope your week is going well! Thanks for the weekly fun, Denise!

    Sylvia
    ABC Team

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  5. Akelamalu

    The Aga "arrived" as a pile of metal sections. Jon put it together with the help of a basic diagram he saw in an information brochure. Once built, it had to be "signed" off by a plummer. It heats hot water + 1 radiator.Yes it will remain when the kitchen is changed round.

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  6. Carver
    It has a will of its own and the temperature can rise accordingly. Fortunately Jon has devised a series of dampers which are used to restrict the air flow.

    Nanka
    Not sure about that.

    Sylvia -
    Thanks so much! Always something going on here! lol!

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  7. SO many British authors say "the Aga" or "the aga" as if the whole world understood. I certainly knew it meant a stove or "cooker" but had no idea what fueled it. Now we have pictures and details galore. I've never heard of amthrocite, although it sounds like coal of some sort. Thank you for showing us this mysterious (to us) appliance, Denise!
    If it has been working well for 54 years, I hope you're not getting rid of it when you update the kitchen!
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  8. The aga is very beautiful and must make your kitchen very cosy!

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  9. WIll you be keeping your Aga when you do your refurb? I dithered about getting one at Railway, where we had masses of room, but knew we would not be staying. No room in our little kitchen at Hillside, but I always fancied one.

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  10. I think I first came across the word aga in James Herriot's books and my small dictionary had no explanation for me, neither had my English teacher (pre-internet times).
    I love them, although I have never cooked on one myself.

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  11. I have always wanted an AGA! Unfortunately I have never been able to live in a house where I could have one - I will carry on dreaming!

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  12. I just love Agas - they really make a kitchen warm and welcoming!

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  13. Looks rustic!
    My grandma had a coal stove. She was a master of its use; me, not so much.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  14. Thanks for the picture and explaination of the AGA. I had read it in James Herriot's books too and ofcouse you mention it often. I realy didn't understand it until now.
    Denise you are the dynamo cooker, baker of all times. I know it will help to have all those meals when you are remodeling. Looking forward to the progress pictures.

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  15. Well now I know what an Aga is. And as someone else said, now when I'm reading a book that uses the Aga I will know what they are talking about. I am planning on reading a James Herriot book in the next week or two.

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  16. They make a place so cosy, I always associate them with lots and lots of cooking. Seems I was right to do so from your post.

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  17. I look forward to seeing your kitchen progress :-)

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  18. Wow a great old one -
    and i read that the AGA is known for its longevity, with many cookers still operating after more than 50 years, Nice to know ;)
    Have a nice day.

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  19. agas are simply amazing -- I wish I had one

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  20. I think that you have had your moneysworth from your aga but I can understand you wanting to keep it in your re-arranged kitchen. Good luck with the work!

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  21. I watch a few real estate shows on BBCCanada and always wondered how an aga worked! Even some of the British people look at the agas and worry about how they work! lol I'm not sure if I'd be able to figure it out, but if I lived there for good, I'd give it a go.

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  22. Love the theme idea the round! My grandmother had an Aga, but we just called it her stove. Whatever you call it, I think they are fascinating.

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  23. Aga! Great scrabble word.

    This thing is fabulous. Is it staying or going when you remodel?

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  24. Your kitchen is so cosy! I used to have a relative in the Lake District who had an Aga many moons ago. It was always on and something or other would be cooking in it.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  25. What a special stove... I had never heard of a Aga, but I'm so totally impressed not only with the stove but how organized you are to take advantage of it.

    Great way to start Round 8

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  26. I have read so often in English novels about Agas, and wondered what they looked like. Now I know! I think it is a wonderful idea to use your home as a theme for this round of ABC Wednesday.

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  27. Wonderful! Your Aga sounds so family friendly. Nice A post - looking forward to your remodelling!

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  28. Oh, I LOVE it!!!!!

    I've seen stoves like that, heard the word Aga, but never put the two together. Now, thanks to you, I'll know in the future. And what a lovely piece - a true conversation piece for the kitchen!

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  29. I love Agas. They make a kitchen seem so much more than a kitchen. Btw, tagged you for a Stylish Blogger Award. Details on my blog :)

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  30. I always fancied an Aga but space didn't allow. I'm wondering if you can use it in the summer months.

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  31. This brings back memories of our first old house with it's Rayburn. I loved using it, would really like another, but no chance now. They are so useful aren't they?

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  32. I would love an aga. I always think they make a house very homely.

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  33. That is considered an antique! mine is only 32 years old and thankfully still working hard for me.

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  34. I had a Rayburn at one house we lived in. It wasn't very good - or I wasn't very good at using it and I couldn't get used to it at all. It looks like you're an expert, though.

    I like your idea of having a theme for your ABC posts. As I started off with A is for Alexander Selkirk I think I may try to theme mine around historical people, but that may be a bit difficult for some letters!

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  35. My dream kitchen has an Aga, I have a picture of an Aga in my current kitchen, which is more of a nightmare than a dream! Funny seeing so many of us reading James Herriot, I am re- re-re- re- re- re- reading his collection at the moment.
    Jane x

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  36. I don't think I ever saw one of these, only read about them... even though the design is Swedish and I'm Swedish!

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  37. I LOVE your Aga! And I'm sure if my hubby saw this he would too! Hmmmm... think I'll have to do some more investigation on this subject.

    Thanks for a great post!

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  38. At the first glance it reminded me the stove my grandma had in her kitchen, it used to heat the whole flat ! and she cooked on it too ! But it was black.

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  39. I am admiring your Aga! It is a pretty awesome little (or maybe not so little) stove. I'd like one in my kitchen.

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  40. I like the idea of smells going up the chimney - that would suit me fine with my great variety of burnt offerings. However, timing things is not one of my great strengths ;-)
    We are finding anthracite great good value in our fires.

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  41. One day I want to be able to warm my bum on an aga!

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  42. Denise, a marvelous post about your AGA, an amazing cooker/heater. And I too like your idea of your home as the inspiration for this Round 8. Wish I had thought of that!!!!
    Helen Mac, ABC Team

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  43. Where would we be without Agas Denise - ours is oil fired and we never let it out. Being able to come in and put something in the over immediately is brilliant. I even have an I love my Aga mug now too.

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  44. I have a question about ABC Wednesday.Do we use your badge to announce the post each week AND have the badge in the sidebar. Or should I be linking somewhere else instead/as well? Hopefully see you next week.....not computer literate...
    Jane x

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  45. Visiting from ABC Wednesday. I also followed your blog. I hope you can visit mine too:

    A is for Angels

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  46. Wow, I had never heard about that brand but I really love the stove. Happy week-end to you Happy New Year too (never too late).

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  47. Read about it, but never seen one.

    As I read your complimentary, I share a funny TV discussion. Do you watch Everyone Loves Raymond? (American)

    Any way, Father in Law Frank offers to fix the radiator, every one complains that it is too hot. except him of course.

    When MIL Marie complain about the heat, he says it's "her time of change " and Marie said, I had that change 10 years ago. Then Frank said, it is a change of personality.

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  48. Wish I had an AGA-stove. Aga is (or was) a Swedish company.

    The AGA cooker was invented by Gustav Dahlen. This is what Wikipedia had on it (plus more, that would not fit into a comment!)

    The AGA cooker is a stored-heat stove and cooker invented in 1929 by the Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist Gustaf Dalén (1869–1937), who was employed first as the chief engineer of the Swedish AGA company (Swedish: Aktiebolaget Svenska Gasaccumolator, English:Joint stock company Swedish Gas Accumulator). The cookers are today manufactured by the Aga Rangemaster Group.

    In 1912 Gustaf Dalen lost his sight in an explosion while developing his earlier invention, a porous substrate for storing gases, Agamassen (AGA). Forced to stay at home, Dalen discovered that his wife was exhausted by cooking. Although blind, he set out to develop a new stove that was capable of a range of culinary techniques and easy to use.

    Adopting the principle of heat storage, he combined a heat source, two large hotplates and two ovens into one unit: the AGA Cooker. The cooker was introduced to England in 1929, and its popularity in certain parts of English society (owners of medium to large country houses) led to the coining of the term "AGA Saga" in the 1990s, referring to a genre of fiction set amongst stereotyical upper-middle class society.

    Aga cookers can also make a contribution to space heating, although it is not true that they can heat an entire house, despite persistent claims to the contrary, presumably arising because the cookers look similar to the many types of central-heating range such as the 'Stanley' or the 'Rayburn' Range, also made by the AGA Rangemaster Group.

    Since 2006, the slump in demand for the cooker has led to severe stock market falls for the company, crashing 25% in one day in November 2008 when the company announced disappointing sales figures across the range.[2] Profits in 2008 were £14.4m but had reduced by 97% to £500,000 in 2009.[3]

    Thank you so much for visiting Sara Cat's blog post about Zarah Leander last week. Sara asked to take this week off, so I am posting for A.

    Best wishes,
    Anna

    Anna's ABC-Wd-A is for Animal-Helpers

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  49. What a lovely stove! I had a wood stove many years ago - but it was dirty, although we were toasty warm.
    have a great weeke!

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  50. Amazing that you have an oven like this. I thought my parents-in-low are the only ones who keep it running.

    Thanks for your comment on my post.

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Thank you for your comments, always nice to know somebody has taken the time to let me know what they think.

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