The fact that I am reading this book, in fact received it as a Christmas gift, may imply that I own an Aga. Sadly I do not. So why read a book about the Aga you may ask. Well, I really want an Aga and we plan to up sticks in 4 or 5 years time to a house where I hope to house an Aga, so now seems like a good time to find out about it and maybe stay in a couple of places that have them to try one out. That way, I will be prepared when the time comes.
I don’t think this book is intended to be read cover to cover like a novel, but that’s what I did. I skimmed some of the recipes but the rest was most enlightening. I had no idea that different parts of the Aga settle at different temperatures and that not only do the ovens have different functions, so do the two hot plates, namely a boiling plate and a simmering plate. I think this goes to show how much of a novice I am!
An Aga is a huge investment, a four oven Aga has starting prices at just over £12000. It is possible to get an reconditioned Aga but Richard Maggs in this book has sage warnings over this and is clearly not a fan of second hand. However, a bit of research shows that with the right dealer and properly trained engineers a used Aga is a much cheaper option. It is useful to note the advice in the book to ensure that reconditioning the Aga has not changed its fuel type.
There are lots of hints and tips and covering everything you could possibly want to cook, from cheese on toast for one to pasta for 120! A lot of the cooking tips do centre around meat dishes which as a vegetarian is not really my cup of tea but there is plenty in there to keep me interested and encourage ideas to try out on non-meat dishes.
I have certainly not been put off the idea of an Aga, this book has really whetted my appetite and as and when I am lucky enough to call myself an Aga owner I am sure this book will become very well thumbed!
In the meantime, I need to find some holiday destinations with an Aga to have a little dabble. I may even head to an Aga demonstration one day.