The Aga – the word is synonymous with living in the country, these huge cooking beasties are something many long to own. This cumbersome, kindly and benevolent giant lurks in many country kitchens, giving warmth and cooking, character and charm. They press your clothing, heat the room, cook the food, dry the logs, warm baby lambs and other small animals (as long as you don't shut the door), dry your herbs, make great toast – the list is endless. Oh and did l mention that they are hot, bloody hot!
Yesterday l had a bit of a run-in with mine. Usually a mild mannered beastie, it decided to get its own back for all the spills, messes and general lack of care on my part, it bit me.
I was making soup (yes l know, hottest day of the year so far and l was making soup) and moving the pot on to the simmering plate. It was a two handled pot so l was sort of juggling the pot and raising the lid on the simmering plate at the same time. You guessed it, slip of the hand holding the lid handle and the heavy cast iron lid crashes downwards. Now it would have been okay if the pot was directly underneith said lid, unfortunately it wasn't. My hand was holding the handle and was in the line of fire.
If l say it was painful that would be an understatement (and l am never known for that!!) oh no, this was eye wateringly, foot stampingly, huge big swear wordingly, burst manfully into tears type total bloody agony.
Try to rush from the kitchen, but my screaching has excited the cats. They too wish to rush from the kitchen (from me) and as we all head for the door at high speed they win the race and l fall flat on my face over big fat Berti. More big sweary words as l hobble out to HQ to get lavender oil for the burn. Grab the bottle and completely forget that it is a big bottle and not wearing one of those dinky little dropper tops. You're ahead of me aren't you – l wear the lavender oil. Approximately £30 worth all over hand, arm and floor. I smell delightful, am extremely upset and the burn cools down a bit.
Clean up the oil slick l have created in HQ. Head back to house. Discover that in all this chaos l have left the pot on the damn aga and that as half the soup slopped out during the incident the rest has now dried up and welded itself merrily to the pot and surrounding hotplate.
Remove pot with caution, close aga and resist overwhelming urge to kick it.