Thursday, September 23, 2010

love, soft as an easy chair

Oh, how I love my Aga Legacy three oven, six burner dual fuel range. I love it so much. It truly makes my life better.

Many people say about fancy ranges, "But how often will you use that?" and "How can it be worth it?" That attitude is no doubt accurate for many homes, but over here, we're using the Aga's special abilities regularly.

A food I make often (but hadn't made for over 3 months while we were stoveless) is frittatas, frittatas of all types. Italians, so talented at so many things, truly invented the perfect omelet variation with frittatas, a sort of cake of eggs and vegetables cooked in a skillet but not stirred. The children like frittatas; the Sober Husband and I like them, and they're fast and easy to make. It's a great way to get everyone eating vegetables, and there's a ton of protein. Even Al, our demented toothless cat, is insane for frittatas. He drags the leftovers off by the broken washing machine and growls in preemptive fear that someone will try to reclaim his little stub of a frittata slice.

A frittata is cooked almost to completion in a skillet, and then it's normally put under a broiler to finish cooking the eggs on top. But with the Aga, my multi-function oven has a browning function, using only the top heat. This finishes a frittata perfectly and removes the fear of overcooking or burning the top, as the browning more gently and perfectly finishes the frittata off than any broiler could. Incidentally in my crappy old oven, the broiler was too shallow to fit a skillet, so I had to finish frittatas in the oven, which meant the already-finished bottom was getting over-cooked as the top was being finished. My frittatas are better now, just right, thanks to my fancy oven's fancy feature.

And all the burners have a very low simmer setting, providing a steady, tiny flame which has been impossible to get on any other gas stove I've ever used. I made a roux-based blue cheese sauce last night, and I was able to leave it on a burner on simmer and completely ignore it while I made the rest of the meal.

The other day I ventured into experimental territory. I made a big pot of Tuscan cannellini with rosemary, and I set the Aga to turn the oven on while I was off picking up the children on and turn it off an hour later. It worked perfectly.

And all the space, with those six burners. I haven't used more than three or four burners simultaneously yet, but I have thoroughly enjoyed having the roomy stovetop. Occasionally the Sober Husband and I both need to use burners; he to make tea or ramen noodles while I make something more complicated, and that has led to jostling and territorial disputes in the past. It's crowded and uncomfortable to share a normal, small four burner stove with another person. But on the Aga, it's just companionable and delightful. He can boil his water down at one end, and I can saute down at my end, and never do we bump into each other. Bliss.

The Aga represents not taking a vacation this year, and combined with my major surgery (which we are still paying for), it was insane to buy it. But I'm so happy, so happy with it, and it raises the value of our house. Every day I use that range, my life is better, easier, and more peaceful. No appliance has ever given me such enjoyment. I'd like to have a sports car (I like driving fast and cornering sharply), but I settle peaceably for a crappy, dented old Volvo. I'm so glad I didn't settle for another crappy little stove like I've had my whole life until now.

Your homework assignment for tonight: Order a fancy double oven, six burner range for yourself. Bonus points if it comes from the same factory in Bordeaux as my Aga and my dream ovens, La Cornue and LaCanche.


Claire M. Johnson said...

I am green with stove envy!

Silliyak said...

I imagine you dancing around the kitchen wearing a pearl necklace and a doily apron, singing and waving wooden spoons as you twirl, stepping on the occasional cat's tail. (Proof that I DO have an imagination)

Yvette said...

I totally get it. I don't have a good stove, mine has one melted knob from a previous electrical mishap, the right front burner doesn't work since I cleaned it. This solidfied my theory about not cleaning it. It is electric, a fact I lament outloud every time I use it. For Christmas I got a new washing machine and my boyfriend was excited and surprised to realize that appliances were an appropriate Christmas gift for me. I get it...totally.

GodsKid said...

But appliances are only an appropriate gift if you've SAID that you want one! And preferably, get to choose it. :)

the Drunken Housewife said...

Silliyak, I wear a big, stiff, apron that covers most of me, not a little, frilly one, but I do sometimes sport a pearl necklace (I have a fabulous one with black & white pearls the Sober Husband got me a few years ago), and I do dance around the kitchen. Usually I put the wooden spoons down first, though.