Who will put me out of my misery?
Why can’t I find the type of oven I want and desire to take pride of place in my new kitchen (when I can plan and afford one).
As an ex-AGA owner of a brilliant 4-oven AGA, enamelled in a rich British Racing Green (in deference to my father who loved that colour for his cars), I now live in a much smaller house than the one that housed the fore-mentioned AGA. I loved my AGA – I was brought up on an ancient, probably original one that belched fumes when riddled with a long poker. It un-froze me when I came in from a ride or mucking out. It provided me with a warming cup of tea when I needed it, and friend Jane and I learned how (and how not) to make toffee and brilliant Drop Scones which we drizzled with treacle (Golden Syrup to our southern friends). And I was lucky enough to work at The AGA Shop in Beverley almost 20 years ago, and managed to buy my huge 4-oven AGA with Staff Discount when we moved to our previous house.
But our house buyers wanted the AGA, so sadly we had to leave it behind. After having been lucky enough to own and use an AGA for the last 18 years, you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to re-learn how to use the ordinary cooker and hob that we inherited at our Hornsea house – neither of which worked very well and were a bit ancient. (I suppose a bit like Erik and myself, really.)
Our house in Hornsea was built in approximately 1920, and was one of the first to be built with cavity walls. So, with the addition of a small log-burner in the lounge and the gas central heating, ours is a very warm house, with not very high ceilings. So an AGA would be just too much, in heat terms. Even the ones that you can turn on and off by an APP on your mobile phone. And, just another small point that may be extremely relevant, in financial terms we can’t really justify spending all that money on an equivalent size range cooker.
So, Range Cooker – The search is on. Where do we go from here?
Isn’t it funny how your ideas change. The AGA and kitchen in the top photo were exactly what we wanted when we moved from a very cold kitchen that faced north at our previous house. But this time, our ideas have change. We want a mixture of modern and traditional, in probably a silver-grey main colour. Just like the photo above. Our kitchen will stretch from north to full south, with sunshine filtering in through the windows, which will give us a relaxed but stylish kitchen to enjoy doing what we love best – cooking for family and friends. I’ve slightly scared Erik because I’ve told him once or twice that I may consider setting up a pop-up cafe for fun!
But back to the range cooker. I’m a Virgo, so I’m picky. I’m a keen cook, and I love everything and anything to do with cooking and food. I devour magazines and newspapers to see what’s coming out, what’s new. And I know what I want.
But I can’t find it. Not in the UK!
I’m looking for a tough range cooker, with at least two ovens, one of which must have a ‘usable capacity’ of at about 60 litres. I also hanker for a cooker hob with a ‘coup de feu’ – the solid, flat hot-plate that chef’s enjoy using – incredibly hot at the centre but cool enough for simmering on the outer circle, and flat enough to be able to use my 32cm big frying pan, or my 28cm Eva Trio stainless-steel sauté pan, and especially my beautiful Mauviel splayed copper sauté pan. Erik wants a powerful Wok burner, and we both love gas hobs. A ‘Teppanaki’ plate is also on our list, to stir-fry healthy vegetables (or cook a ‘full-English’ breakfast when we have guests for the night).
But none of the range cookers in the UK market seem to tick all the boxes. I’m researching like crazy, and maybe I will find what I want, so watch this space because soon the search for range cookers will, hopefully, be over. And I’ll write about all the different cookers I’ve considered, including some superb designs and companies new to the UK.
Range Cooker: The Search is on …… but it may soon be over!!