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My Love Affair With a Cream Aga Stove

Updated on April 24, 2016

A Cream Aga Stove

My earliest childhood memories are centered round the cream Aga Stove which stood in the kitchen in my parent’s home. Who could ever forget the smell or taste of the home made bread baked in it.

Aga Stove, warm, homely and perfect.

An Aga Stove, homely and perfect.
An Aga Stove, homely and perfect. | Source

Vintage Aga Stove

Vintage Aga Stove
Vintage Aga Stove | Source
Decorative and Beautiful.
Decorative and Beautiful. | Source

A Voracious Appetite

Our Aga had a voracious appetite for Anthracite. It required feeding, a lot and often! Its diet was supplemented with pages taken from our local Newspaper. The sheets of paper would be rolled into long cylindrical tubes and then wrapped around one hand to form a loose crown with both ends tucked in. They made excellent fire lighters when planted between the coals.

Oats, Mealie Meel or Maltabella Porridge!

Breakfast consisted of Oats, Mealie Meel or Maltabella Porridge. Once the Aga had been lit, the porridge could be prepared and left to simmer until all the family members could all be assembled for breakfast.

Maltabella Porridge

Maltabella porridge was and still is, a trusted family favorite in many South African homes. It has a taste of malted grain – a Sorghum porridge, which at first glance looks just like a smooth chocolate pudding. It tastes nothing like chocolate and it is not smooth either! It fact, it has a slightly grainy texture. It can be difficult to cook well – for it is apt to form rather unpleasant dark lumps if not prepared properly. The dry powder should be mixed into a paste with a small quantity of cold water, before adding it too fast boiling water. It should be stirred until the porridge begins to thicken. Once thickened, it could be left to cook slowly on top of the stove. As it boils, small eruptions will form on the surface of the porridge. These are apt to pop and burst suddenly. One eruption too close to the body can so easily burn your skin! Spooned onto the plate and left for a while, the porridge will quickly form a blanket or skin on the surface. I would eat mine quickly to ensure this did not happen!

Maltabella porridge is high in fiber and low in saturated fat. It is also a very good source of magnesium and iron.

Mealie Meel Porridge

Mealie Meel porridge is by contrast very white in color and it has a very smooth texture. It is perhaps the most humble of the three porridges eaten in our home. It is loaded with carbohydrates, protein, fiber, Vitamin B, niacin, thiamin and riboflavin and potassium. It also contains magnesium and iron, very little fat and almost a nil trace of sodium.

My father sometimes refer to Mealie Meel as ‘skilly’, a reference to it being of a rather thin consistency - usually due to a rather mean portion of the powder having been added to the hot boiling water, by the person making it. I suspect he ate rather a lot of ‘skilly’ whilst he was stationed in Italy during the war.

The taste of Meelie Meel can be improved with a dollop of honey or jam, added to a well in the center of the plate.

Quaker Oats Porridge

Quaker Oats is especially good when cooked with half milk and half water. Add a spoonful of Jam or Honey to a well made in the center of the porridge and it is quite delicious!



A Wooden Clothes Dryer

My father erected a handmade wooden clothes dryer in the kitchen. It could be raised up or lowered with a series of ropes and pulley’s.

Many an anxious mother would call from the village to ask if she could bring her napkins over to dry. It was a pretty ingenious contraption for once brought down to head height; the washing could be hung across the boards and then raised back up into the ceiling. There it would hang, in the ceiling where the hot air from the Aga could get to it. This was particularly useful during long periods of inclement weather.

Hot Water Storage

Alongside the Aga, mounted halfway up the wall was a heavy metal Tank. The water inside was heated by the Aga. If one raised your arms up to touch the tank, you could feel the temperature of the contents within. If they were hot, you were assured of a hot bath! If they were lukewarm, you knew that you were bound to emerge from the bath, shivering with cold.

Custard Tarts

Custard Tarts
Custard Tarts | Source

The Aga Temperature Gauge

If the temperature needle showed up in the cooler zone of the Aga, Mother would have to tailor her cooking to suit the temperature reflected there – that is, unless she could get the Aga to respond quickly to a shovel full of Anthracite, which she would fling through the door.

At worst, crusty hot rolls of bread would have to be replaced by rice pudding or baked custard, sometimes, cooked slowly overnight in the oven while we slept. Leftover egg whites might be whipped up with grainy sugar, to miraculously form wonderful meringues. They would not only turn slightly brown in the oven, but would also split during cooking. These would ooze melted sugar and served with my Mother’s homemade strawberry jam and dollops of fresh cream they were both, sticky, crunchy and very delicious!

Straight from the Cows

 Cow
Cow | Source

Straight from the Cows

Our milk and cream came from a nearby neighbor who kept a few cows. Most times the milk would be carried home by my father. I doubt it ever went through any process of pasteurization for when it arrived home, it was still warm, just as if it had come straight from the cows!

Once cooled, the cream would lay dense on the top of the milk. We could scoop it off with a spoon or our fingers!

Surplus milk would be left to sour and once the curds and whey had separated, Mum would make cottage cheese from it. She would pour the sour mix through a muslin cloth and leave it to drain from a hook mounted on the wooden plate rack over the kitchen sink.

Occasionally she used a washed flour bag for this purpose. It still bore the printed but faded label of the flour company on its side. I can still see her in my mind’s eye, trying to unravel the chain stitches in one long continuous thread from the bag.

Cottage cheese is still not one of my favorite food items today.

Those Blessed Ducks!

Sent on an errand to pick up some milk one day, we Children returned home, with not only the milk but a puppy. The farmer begged us to take him home with us. He told us that he knew that the puppy would be much happier living in our home!

How he got his name I cannot remember - perhaps my parents paid Sixpence for him - but Sixpence he was named. He was to live with us very happily for the next fifteen years – that was until he died when father sadly reversed the car over him. Poor Sixpence, he had grown too deaf to hear the car coming.

On another occasion, my siblings and I were sent on foot to collect some ducks from our neighbor. We arrived home, every one of us, clutching a live duck held very tightly to our chests... Those blessed ducks – they pooped continuously down our clothes. We cried all the way home too, but never once did we let go of those ducks.

A warm place for One and All!

The warming oven of the Aga would sometimes serve to help Incubator newborn chicks. I recall fluffy yellow bundles being hand fed with a warm mix of dampened chicken feed - right there on our kitchen floor.

The family dog and cat would also vie for the warmest spot closest to the stove. Competition could be very stiff.

My Mother would chastise the cat who would sometimes try to do its business in our coal bucket!

Coming in from the cold you were always assured of getting a warm place to put your hands and also a place to warm your backside against the metal doors, that is, until it grew so red hot that you were forced to move yourself quickly away.

Wet socks or towels would often be left to dry on the chrome handle. Wet shoes could be assured of a place against the concrete base. Wet socks and shoes afforded one an opportunity to chatter with visitors or family members whilst you were waiting for the items to dry!

Naartjie's or Tangerine's

Naartjie's or Tangerine's
Naartjie's or Tangerine's | Source

Forbidden Fruit!

On just half an acre, our parents grew almost everything we ate, but there was always one thing missing!

These were Naartjie’s or Tangerines as they are known in the UK. To us children this showed a serious lack of judgment on our parent’s part, for or course, we always wanted what we could not have!

So we hatched a wicked plan which was not without its risks! Our neighbor on the opposite side owned several Naartjie trees, but unfortunately they grew on the far side of his garden and were not easily accessible to us.

Most days he would sit on his back verandah which overlooked the orchard. Good timing was essential if we wanted to reach our prize without being seen. I am not sure why we did not just ask him for the fruit, but for some reason we were more afraid to ask him than we were of being caught!

The occasional foray into his orchard did seem very well worth the risk at the time! The fruit always tasted much better than that which we grew in our garden!

Lettuce

Lettuce
Lettuce | Source

Such an Abundance!

One thing is for sure we had no excuse for our thieving - for we grew Oranges, Grapefruit, Kumquat Paw Paws, Lemons, Guava trees, and even three different varieties of Avocado Pears. One variety was so large that they grew to the size of small footballs. We even cultivated Passion Fruit Vines - their fruit so shiny and purple, cut in half with half a teaspoon of sugar spooned into the center, they were delicious. Added to great bowls of fruit salad it added something special to our fruit salad. Tree Tomatoes were there were for the eating, so too were Strawberries, for eating and Jam making.

Vegetables included Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbages, Lettuce, Radish, Tomatoes, Broad Beans, Peas and Pumpkins.

Later as the tree matured, we even had a small supply of Macadamia Nuts.

My father set about growing Tomatoes in Hydroponic tanks which he installed himself. I cannot remember why, but for some reason the project was abandoned and the tanks filled with good earth, in which my mother grew flowers. These included a few English Bulbs. I clearly remember some red and yellow Ranunculus and also some blue Anemones – perhaps they were a way for my Mother to cling onto some earlier memories of an earlier part of her life spent living in England.

Pickling Onions

Pickling Onions
Pickling Onions | Source

Free Range Poultry

Free Range Poultry
Free Range Poultry | Source

Live Stock

The sound of a bird clucking loudly down the yard would propel us children into action. We would rush down to the bird cages to see if we could be first one to pick up the warm egg. We were never short of eggs.

For a short time my Father tried breeding battery hens. To my relief, this venture was short lived, for all the birds went down with chicken pox.

I do know that he had some bee hives at one time - I can recall the honey appearing on the breakfast table complete with the honeycomb.

At varioustime we bred Ducks, Chickens, Turkeys and even Bantams. The latter lived in a cage which was easily transported from one place to another in the yard.. This was yet another of my father’s creations.

My Mother bred and sold Turkeys every Christmas.

For a short time, my Father tried breeding Rabbits. Us Children loved to feed them carrots through the wire netting, until a stray dog managed to get into their cages. He killed the lot. We were sad when we saw their bodies distributed across the lawn but curiously, we felt a sense of relief at their going, for those bunnies would have ended up our dinner table! We knew that bounty such as that would always find a way to our table.

Free Range Eggs

Free Range Eggs
Free Range Eggs | Source

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The Killing Fields

Sometimes I would see my father appear to walk rather surreptitiously down to the bottom of the garden. Then, I would hear the sound of a bird squawking!

In my mind’s eye, I pictured him killing a chicken, turkey or duck – perhaps even drowning it in a 44 Gallon water drum filled with water! He kept one down in the yard. It was more often used to test out the outboard engine, for a fishing boat he sometimes worked on.

I never wanted to ask him how he killed the birds! Perhaps because I did not want to know how he did it. Once killed; the birds would suddenly appear. hanging upside down by their feet with their heads facing downwards on the verandah.

We children would like to help pluck their feathers. We also liked to route through their crops to try to discover exactly what the birds had eaten the day before!

To our disappointment, we found only grit in them. but sometimes while routing through their dead bodies, we would discover soft unlaid eggs.

My mother would collect and wash the bird’s soft downy feathers to make pillows for our beds...

Free Range Turkey

Free Range Turkey
Free Range Turkey | Source

Those Tantalizing Smells!

The tantalizing smells of food would continuously waft around our home. Sometimes they were accompanied by the sound of a roast cooking in the Aga.

The top of the stove would serve as a griddle. Mum would grease the surface with a piece of printed butter paper and then she would spoon dollops of thick crumpet batter onto the piping hot surface. Dozens of bubbles would quickly grow from the crumpets. Once cooked they would be placed directly onto the plate of a waiting child. Thick homemade butter and honey were then spooned onto the crumpet, just as soon as the crumpet had hit the plate!

Then, another child would take up the unfilled space - waiting for their turn.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes
Tomatoes | Source

Toasted Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches.

Toasted sandwiches were easily made on the top surface of the Aga. Filled with slices of strong cheddar and fresh tomato they were simply delicious. I would encourage the cheese in my own sandwich to drip out over onto the metal surface so that I could scrape it off and taste the hard baked cheese left behind, on the surface of the Aga.

The strong cheddar was of the type which came covered in a thick waxed cloth. I would bite down into it, trying to separate the leftover bits of hard cheese with my teeth.

There were times when the Aga was not hot enough to cook a slice of toast!

In this event we would spike a piece of bread with the Carving Fork and hold it over the open flames with the oven door held open – the result, a curved piece of not very nice tasting toast – almost warm enough to melt a small quantity of butter on it!

Sad Irons!

The sad irons were not only used to do the ironing! They were sometimes used as weights, to press a cooked piece of Topside or an Ox Tongue. Once cooked, my Mother would remove the tough skin from the Tongue and place it into a glass Pyrex bowl with a plate set on top. Onto this would go a sad iron to weigh it down?

Once pressed, my Mother would slice the meat thinly for sandwiches. This was one of my least favorite foods to eat. Coming in a close second to that, was the roasted heart of an ox or cow!

Knowing how to take Control!

My mother was big on steam puddings! They were always cooked in a large pot of boiling water which she would place on the top of the Aga. First she would grease a large Pyrex bowl, and then she would spoon large dollops of Syrup, Honey, Jam or Marmalade into it. On top of that, she would pour the cake mixture and then the pudding would be covered with a muslin cloth. Once tied with string, it would be placed onto an upturned plate in the boiling water. It would then be left to bubble away for a couple of hours with the lid on.

The pudding would emerge, pushed tight up against the bulging cloth. It would be piping hot with steam pouring out from on all sides.

Mother would then cut the string, remove the cloth and then turn the pudding out before the watchful eyes of the family and sometimes friends. Hot jam would scurry down all sides of the pudding. These delicious desserts were served with huge dollops of thick custard and cream with everyone clamoring for a bit of the thick custard 'skin'!

This was my Mum taking control of her Vintage Aga.

Sometimes it was off when she wanted it on - sometimes it was on when she had no need for it. My Mum, she always somehow managed to come up with the goods.

© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 15 months ago from Norfolk

      LaurieNunley517

      Oh goodness, I can almost taste your steamed pudding, I hope it has bitter marmalade at the bottom or perhaps a good dose of golden syrup! Oh yes. that Aga stove has certainly helped shaped my life and my cooking.

      So glad you enjoyed my trip back into memory lane. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Sally

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image

      LaurieNunley517 15 months ago from Deep South

      Wow! That Aga was like a member of the family and what wonderful memories you have of it in your life. I grew up at the beach so I didn't have the joy of farm life. We have some acreage now in middle age. I would have liked my children to have experienced some of the "earthy" things you did living in the country. This was a really enjoyable read and I loved the photos and video! Now I want to steam a pudding!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      annart

      Ann

      It is lovely it is to have life's beautiful memories brought back with just one tantalizing smell or taste. Both of these senses are sufficient to do exactly that. My early life revolved around the old Aga Stove and even now when I smell newly baked bread, it is enough to evoke memories of my mother and the children all kneading bread around the kitchen table. No matter how young we were, we were all handed a piece of dough to make into our own shaped bun. Oh yes, the joy and awkward personality of that stove is etched forever in my mind.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

      Sally

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I've always loved the AGA and knew several people whose household revolved around them in the 50s and 60s. So versatile and yet unpredictable!

      I too love porridge made of oats with a dollop of honey in the middle; we usually have that for breakfast in the winter.

      Anything baked in an AGA seemed to have a special texture and a great taste.

      Superb hub, nostalgic memories and a good snapshot of life way back when. A great read; I loved it.

      Ann

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Lady_E

      Your visit and comment are much appreciated. Who could forget the Pyrex bowl which helped to bring that lovely steamed pudding to the table. I remember the yummy jam or honey oozing down all sides!

      Sally

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 3 years ago from London, UK

      I have never seen one before but it certainly looks unique and must have made a lot of delicious meals. Pyrex bowl... that I can remember. :-)

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      raymondphilippe

      I guess you could say that the Aga stove played a very big role in our household. I think you can safely say that it was the inspiration for many things which went on in our home, not least, cooking, baking and heating the water. I think it is true to say we were was a lot richer for having it. Thank you very much for your comment, I am glad you enjoyed being part of my trip down memory lane.

      Best wishes

      Sally

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 3 years ago from The Netherlands

      I love how you reminisced about your childhood using the Aga stove as a starting point. Very good.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Suzanne Day

      I am sure you will find similar stoves worldwide though I do think that these stoves and their modern counterparts speak for themselves. I like to think that they are in a class all of their own. All my food experiences began in the family kitchen alongside the Aga stove.

      Glad you enjoyed the Hub Suzanne - thank you for the vote up and the great comment.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      This stove reminds me of the rural Turkish stoves, where they were used for heat as well as food. I'm sure many places around the world have a version of them! Your childhood foodie experiences must have been a lot of fun - I bet the food tasted better too! Voted awesome and up, great hub!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      DJ Anderson

      I charming comment! I am so glad you were able to identify with some of some of my childhood memories which remain as fresh as the produce we used to eat. I very much enjoyed sharing a little part of my early life. Thank you for the visit and the vote up - it is much appreciated.

      Sally

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Sally, what an outstanding Hub! You took us through lovely childhood memories on up to your life with a family of your own. I lived on a small

      farm when I was young, so could identify with many of your memories.

      I enjoyed the photos and the video promoting the Aga.

      You have given us a treasure-trove of delightful experiences from your youth. I found your Hub charming and very informative. Voted up

      and beautiful!!

      DJ

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      GmaGoldie

      Never mind, there is an electric or gas version of the splendid Aga cooker - you can have all the mod cons with a look of the vintage one. Hope that changes your opinion now !

      Thank you so much for your very lovely comments - the vote up and the beautiful!

      Sally

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 3 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Living in the United States, I had no idea what this stove was or looked like. So glad I found you on the forums. I wish there was a retro looking stove with all the modern insides - I am creative of comfort and forever fond of technology. So function over aesthetics for me sadly must rule - sounds like a typical American opinion but I must be totally honest.

      I love the feel of this hub you have crafted with the photos and the nostalgia and the background on the stove - very beautiful. Voted up and beautiful!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      CraftytotheCore

      That is so true. The memories we have as children are the ones which are long lasting, the good and the bad - which is why I feel it is so important for us to give every child an opportunity to grow self esteem.

      Thank you for taking a trip down memory lane with me. I am so glad you have some wonderful memories of your own which you can hold onto.

      I so appreciate your comment

      Best wishes

      Sally

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      What wonderful memories. I too grew up on a farm. I have some of those same memories as you do. I came from a family of duck hunters. Not all of the memories are my fondest, but the ones of being at home, helping my grandparents, waiting for chili cooking on the stove on a cold fall day....all of those memories make up who we are today.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Paradise7

      So many memories to treasure. It is a shame to think that they probably cannot be replicated in this modern materialistic world of ours.

      I appreciate your visit and your comments.

      Thank you

      Sally

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      What a great life! We can never fully appreciate it until it changes. These memories really are precious. It's a vanished way of life here in the United States now, though for decades past you and everyone on a farm in the US, which was practically everyone, would have had similar memories.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Jo,

      Glad you enjoyed this read. I would love to have an Aga in my current home but unfortunately it will not happen. I do have some priceless memories though. Thanks for the up+++ and the share - your visits are always very much appreciated Jo.

      Sally

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

      This was an interesting read. I never heard of this kind of stove before. So many things you can do with it! wow. I still prefer the traditional stoves tho. Full of information that is useful, awesome! Up +++ and shared. :-)

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      teaches12345

      Thank you for spending time with me in the kitchen this morning. I am glad you were able to feel the comfort and warmth of the Old Cream Aga. There is nothing quite like the scent of old socks drying over whilst you enjoy a plate of oatmeal at the kitchen table. You are right, Oats cooked over an Aga Stove do taste so much nicer.

      Thank you for the visit and your comment. They are appreciated as always.

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      MsDora

      I am so glad you enjoyed a little trip back into time with me and the Old Cream Aga. It does makes me wonder who is cooking Oats or Maltabella porridge on it this morning. Thanks for the visit and the vote up - I appreciate your visits as always MsDora.

      Sally

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Sally, you have reminded me of the times we used to hang socks over the stove to dry. What a wonderful hub post and it is so comforting to read. I loved oatmeal over the older type stoves, it just tasted to much better.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sally, this is most certainly an education in life as it used to be. The old ad "Calgon, take me away" came to mind. I was taken away, back into the life you described and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Voted Up!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      DDE

      I am sure you miss a few things and I am sure there are a few which you don't miss at all.

      I still make the occasional batch of Koeksisters and also Bobotjie. They are firm favorites with friends here.

      I am so glad you enjoyed going down memory lane with me.

      Sally

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Sally I miss my South African foods and so much more but fine where I am but I still manage to get some stuff over. Thanks for a lovely hub.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      tirelesstraveler

      No, Anthracite was used to fire up this stove - looks like coal but is a lot more refined - sometimes wood was used but it did not give off the same type of heat. Aga's are no longer manufactured to use solid fuel and are now gas or electric. You can still pick up some of the older types on e-bay on local ads.

      I would imagine you one could use pellets too on the vintage ones.

      Glad you enjoyed the hub.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Sally

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Nice, very nice , hub. The kitchen is truly the heart of the kitchen when it has a stove like this. Excuse my ignorance, but is it a wood burning or pellet stove?

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      carter06

      You are very welcome. Nice to know that this Hub has provoked your own memories of food cooked in a combustion stove. It is amazing how often we can trace back these back to our childhood - so glad you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      My dream stove one day Sally!! Used to live in the country & hoping to do so again one day & grew up with a stove like this.. especially remember the flavours of cooking food in a combustion I don't think there is anything quite like the taste of hot buttered toast cooked on the top!! Etc etc..Thank you for this delightful hub Sally a lovely trip down memory lane for some of us! Cheers..

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      FlourishAnyway

      Oh dear - I am so glad you were able to stop by to enjoy the entertainment.! Not so sure that I enjoyed the poop or eating the ox tongue but I definitely remember the experience as it all as if it were yesterday. I also feel incredibly fortunate to have so many rich childhood experiences.

      Thank you so much for the delightfully entertaining comments, vote up and more.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      At first I thought this might be a product hub with the pros and cons and all that, but then as I read this delightful little gem I felt like I was down on the farm with you collecting eggs, having duck poop run down the front of my dress, plucking feathers, and eating ox tongue (OMG). This was thoroughly entertaining with great original photos. Voted up and more!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Jeanne Grunert - the more modern Aga is a beautifully crafted item. It does not have the same characteristics of the vintage one because most of these are either gas or electric fired. They have also come in for a bit of flack because of their excessive use of energy. The vintage Aga is in my eyes still the cream of crop - quite literally - nothing beats a coal or wood fire. Somehow it manages to make one feel very contented and warm. Add a bit of home cooking and you surely have reached heaven!

    • Jeanne Grunert profile image

      Jeanne Grunert 3 years ago from Virginia

      I just finished reading several British novels and the writer always mentions an "Aga" and I had no idea what they looked like. Thank you for sharing this!

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      tillsontitan

      Definitely a homely kitchen with all the comings and goings of people. My mother knew how to make a person feel welcome.

      She would have us all working on own little piece of bread dough while she cooked up a big batch of bread or buns. What a Lady!

      My father was a wonderful man with a heart of gold. I am sure he delighted many people with his little inventions.

      Thank you for the vote up, useful and interesting.

      I very much appreciate your visit as always.

      Sally

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      So homey and family oriented. A life tht has all but disappeared. It was easy to slide into your kitchen and feel the warmth from the stove! What a wonderful life for a child.

      Your father's "contraptions" sounded so very useful and well made. He probably could've patented some of them.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      You are very welcome LongTimeMother - the solar oven sounds great - I don't know anything about those - that might make for an interesting Hub.

      Thanks for your comment,

      Sally

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

      Thanks, Sally. The pudding will have to wait a while longer than my next hub, lol. It is coming into summer now so I'm cooking with my solar oven more often than not. If I get a cold snap I'll put on the fire and give the pudding a go. Hmmm. Maybe I could try it in the solar oven but there's no room for boiling water. I suspect it will have to wait a few months. :)

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      LongTimeMother

      Your family will thank you and I promise, they will never forget a steam pudding with jam or marmalade trickling down the sides -especially with some thick home-made custard there to wash it down! These memories are to treasure.

      My Mother and my Father did an amazing job - with six children to provide for - they were truly inspirational.

      I would love to see how your puddings go in your next Hub. Thanks for the vote.

      Sally

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      LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

      This is precisely the kind of lifestyle my family is actively creating so I loved this hub, sallybea. You've inspired me to start making puddings, lol. Wins my votes. :)

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello DDE -

      I am so glad you were able to relate to some of the food and products which were large part of my life growing up in South Africa. You are so lucky to have 'naartjie's' in your vicinity now - I think that it would be difficult for me not to want to revisit those trees!. Maltabella Porridge is definitely a favorite of mine, I would love to try it again - we have a lot in common - I appreciate your visit as always - thank you.

      Sally

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      My Love Affair With a Cream Aga Stove this is brilliantly presented, the photos are awesome, Naartjie's or Tangerine's got me thinking just the other day I mentioned naartjies and thought when was the last time I use this word. We have lots of it here at the moment. The Maltabella Porridge is my favorite, and always has been great hub with the variety of healthy foods and the stove my grandma had for years.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      tobusiness - The Aga was definitely at the heart of everything which went into our home. So glad you enjoyed the read.

      Thank you so much for your comment. It is appreciated as always. Have a great day.

      Sally

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      This is such a wonderful read! An idyllic childhood with the aga at the very heart of everything. A thoroughly enjoyable hub.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Phyllis Doyle, I am glad you enjoyed an insight into my childhood. I hope that one day you get your Aga. The Clothes Dryer is definitely something which we can all aspire to having, especially if you live in a home with high ceilings.

      I appreciate your visit very much, thank you.

      Sally

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Gordon Hamilton,

      I hope that when you choose one, that you will choose one which can be fed fuel from a shovel. I do hope your dream comes true. I am delighted that you enjoyed the article. Thank you very much.

      Sally

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      NellRose

      I am so glad I was able to take you back memory lane. There really is something special about a Vintage Aga - in a funny kind of way, I believe it helped make me who I am today.

      I appreciate your comment, vote up and share - as always.

      Thank you

      Sally

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      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Sally, I really enjoyed reading this article. I would love to have an Aga stove, and that clothes dryer rack also. Great hub !

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      Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      What a fabulous article and read. I would love to have an aga. I have never even seen one in "real life" - only online and on TV - but am determined that I will someday have one in a kitchen :)

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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi sally, you paint a picture that I want to step into! lol! it brought back memories, not exactly the same but so familiar too. The aga was in my grans kitchen, I used to sit right next to it when we lived with them, I was only two but still remember it, oh and quaker oats! haven't had them in a while either! loved this, voted up and shared!

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Liv,

      Glad you enjoyed it. Custard tarts mmmmnnnn!!!

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      Olivia Simmons 3 years ago

      Great read, loving the sound of the custard tarts x

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      EGamboa - thank you very much. I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Sixpence certainly was one special little Guy and it is true - he lived very happily with his adopted family for the whole of his life.

      Sally

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      Eileen Gamboa 3 years ago from West Palm Beach

      Sixpence…how cute. Reminds me of the beagle we had when we were kids, his name was Hector. Nice article.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Billy,

      It was perhaps the the most difficult Hub I have written to date. I am glad I was able to entertain. That Aga stove was such a big part of all our lives. I am so glad that you felt I had done it justice.

      Thank you Billy.

      Sally

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a wonderful article, Sally! You have managed to capture the essence of old-time farm life, self-sustenance, hardy pioneer spirit and frugal living, all in one article, and while you were at it you entertained us with stories of your past that were captivating. I really loved this article....your best so far.

      bill

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