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Casual Aga Cooking by Sarah Whitaker

Sarah Whitaker, author of a number of Aga cookery books, writes with the following news:

My new recipe book will be published on 14th October 2009 - the casual approach to confident cooking on your Aga!

It is a collection of tried and tested recipes from around the world - from curries to custard tart, from salads to soufflés – all finished with a scattering of chopped parsley to show you have made an effort!

Quick and easy to prepare and cook, the finished dishes are impressive, colourful and delicious.

* Over 100 original Aga recipes
* Dozens of alternative recipe ideas
* Aga tips and techniques
* Conventional cooker instructions
* Party menu suggestions
* All recipes give practical tips for cooking for larger numbers

To order a copy, please click here.

Best wishes
Sarah

Hubert's amazing three lid Aga

3 lid Aga
Hubert has sent through some images of an amazing three lid Aga cooker. We had no idea that such a thing existed.

Click here to view his fantastic contribution along with another link to a small image of a similar beast obviously photographed many years ago.

Amy Willcock in the Telegraph

Xanthe Clay writes about Amy Willcock in The Telegraph. It's not about Agas or Aga cookery but its worth a mention as Amy is well known in Aga circles.

How not to cook a pasty in an Aga

Oohh, nasty. This is what happens when you leave a Cornish pasty in an Aga for too long.

Telegraph on Britain's oldest Aga

The Daily Telegraph is carrying an article on the hunt for Britain's oldest Aga.

The very nice Nice Family

I've received a lovely contribution from the Nice Family who live on the west coast of Canada. They've been kind enough to provide Aga Central with photographs of their kitchen along with details and even a recipe for no-knead bread. I'll be putting everything up in the Contributor's Corner as soon as I can.

Thanks to Tracy for taking the time to send everything through.

Historic Aga available

Caroline Rhodes writes on our forums:

We have a rather large Aga H 34 which I believe to have been brought to our house during the Second World War. It was working until 1978 and is solid fuel. The ovens are absolutely huge as are the hotplates. We no longer have room for it and would like to move it on but do not want it scrapped. Does anyone know of an historical house or museum or similar which could make use of it?. We are in Aberdeenshire. Any ideas gratefully received.

If any reader can help Caroline relocate this Aga please contact her in the forum posting linked above.

Aga on USA's CNBC Business News

Here's a Youtube clip of a CNBS Business News item about the Aga cooker:

Eco-ethics and Aga ownership


Caroline Smith of Edwards and Godding has kindly contributed an article on eco-ethics and aga ownership to agacentral.com. Very timely indeed. Thanks for the contribution Caroline!

George Monbiot's campaign against Agas

d3I received an email today from Alice Wyllie, feature writer for the Scotsman newspaper. She was asking for comment on a piece written by George Monbiot in the Guardian yesterday in which he declares a combined class/environmental war against Aga cookers. If you're interested in the Guardian article click here.

The section I was asked to comment on was:

"It would be stupid to claim that environmentalism is never informed by class. Compare, for example, the campaign against patio heaters with the campaign against Agas. Patio heaters are a powerful symbol: heating the atmosphere is not a side-effect, it's their purpose. But to match the fuel consumption of an Aga, a large domestic patio heater would have to run continuously at maximum output for three months a year. Patio heaters burn liquefied petroleum gas, while most Agas use oil, electricity or coal, which produce more CO2. A large Aga running on coal turns out nine tonnes of carbon dioxide per year: five and a half times the total CO2 production of the average UK home. To match that, the patio heater would have to burn for nine months. So where is the campaign against Agas? There isn't one. I've lost count of the number of aspirational middle-class greens I know who own one of these monsters and believe that they are somehow compatible (perhaps because they look good in a country kitchen) with a green lifestyle. The campaign against Agas - which starts here - will divide rich greens down the middle."

Here's the response that I sent Alice:

"Monbiot's main thrust is that compared to a patio heater an Aga is more detrimental to the environment. He's probably right about that but from the environmental perspective we need to look at both products in terms of numbers. I suspect that if we compared the environmental impact of all patio heaters and all Agas the latter would not seem so much of a problem. That is why one could consider a campaign against patio heaters a more urgent issue.

There is also another missing part of Monbiot's puzzle. If an individual decided to end their use of an Aga they would soon find that they needed to replace it with an alternative oven. One would have to subtract the impact of that replacement item on the environment, and its very regular use, from the "benefit" of throwing out the Aga. The Aga might also have been heating the household water, a radiator or two, a towel rail, certainly the kitchen. The home owner will need to continue to do these things using alternative methods. There's another subtraction from the perceived benefit of throwing out an Aga.

Further, an Aga can last decades. The last one we had was over 40 years old and had decades more in it. Monbiot should consider the environmental impact of manufacturing and delivering new non-Aga style cookers on a more regular basis than many, many decades as it is for an Aga. Last we come to the cost of removing an Aga from existence.

I would be very interested to hear Monbiot's figures on the environmental impact of an Aga cooker once the correct cost to the environment is established."

UPDATE:

The Scotsman has their article up here. Agacentral.com gets a brief mention.

William McGrath, chief executive of the Aga Rangemaster Group, replies to Monbiot's article here.

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