Holiday cottages that have an Aga in the kitchen
When you think of pretty little holiday cottages in the countryside your mind may focus upon images of a blazing log fire and you…basking in a cocoon of blissful warmth. If your last holiday cottage didn’t quite step up to the mark and there was a constant nip in the air even when an extra log had been tossed onto your tiny sun for the evening, you might want to rent a cottage which has been equipped with an Aga cooker. This is the most- easy to use, responsive and versatile cooker that you will ever have the good fortune to work with and guess what? It will keep the cottage warm and cosy whatever the weather!
Can you cope with an Aga range in your holiday cottage?
For many, the term Aga conjures up thoughts of a mythical dragon waiting in the kitchen, breathing out red hot fire like a raging beast. No wonder so many quake at the thought of approaching one, especially when planning to use one for the first time on holiday. The real truth is that this mighty monster is really a gentle little soul who wants to nurture you with its tender loving warmth. So think of an Aga cooker as an appliance which is very similar to a conventional electric or gas cooker. The only difference is the design. It boasts four ovens and two hot plates which always stay on. The left hand hot plate is known as the boiling plate. This is large enough to accommodate three medium sized saucepans and has the capacity to heat water faster than an electric kettle. The simmering plate sits to the right of the boiling plate and offers a more refined heat, perfect for making sauces or frying an egg. The roasting oven (top right) is large enough to hold a 28lb bird (13kg), you could almost feed an army on the amount of space available! Think how useful this would be for a Christmas cottage break. It’s all systems go in the bottom right oven as you fill the cottage with a heady aroma of baked cakes, breads and biscuits. You can even take a sneaky peak at their progress during cooking time as the cast iron interior will retain its heat. The top left oven will save you hours of valuable cooking time as it acts as a slow cooker. This is a holiday treat in itself as you will taste meat which is so tender, it will literally fall away from the bone.
Fabulous meals during a self-catering cottage break
Slow cooking is the perfect way to nourish the family without eating into too much of your holiday time. Prepare your favourite ingredients in the morning, toss them into a casserole dish, transfer to the oven and head off to the hills or take a stroll into the nearest market town for some serious browsing. When you return, there will be a beautiful fragrance waiting to welcome you at the entrance to your new abode. Allow those essences to waft up your nose and draw you into the kitchen. Now all you need to do is reach for the serving bowls and enjoy…you will find that each spoonful resounds with a unique and exquisite note. The only problem you may encounter is the fact that two days later you might feel peckish again. Fill the cottage with those age-old favourite dishes that mama used to make and take a trip down memory lane. A country cottage is the perfect place to sample a blast from the past and an Aga cooker will ensure that you eat till your heart’s content. When you have the opportunity, buy some of those pre-prepared cakes, breads and biscuits from the supermarket that you simply unwrap or slice and pop into the oven. Self-catering is easy with a few simple cheats, and everyone appreciates ready-made pizza fresh from an Aga? Now you will understand why top cooks such as Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry and Delia Smith have all succumbed to the charms of an Aga cooker.
The warming oven (bottom left) will keep your dishes succulent and tasty at a gentle 50 degrees without drying them out. Perfect when your fellow holiday makers arrive back at different times. They may be late but the food will still taste great!