© 2009 - All content of this website is Copyright of Martine Y. Moeykens

AGA shop in Dun Laoghaire

The AGA shop in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin in Ireland is a lovely venue for a cooking demo. The spacioucs open-plan kitchen at the back of the shop has a four oven Aga cooker and a worktop island in the midlle of the kitchen. The Aga fridge is to the right and then the double sink. We sat behind the island. The Aga demonstrator was a warmhearted lady who explained everything very clearly. All questions were answered and she inspired me to try out her tips.
There were 6 participants and most of us have an Aga and were just in need of some new tricks and advice for more optimuum usage of our best kitchen tool and friend the Aga .... but for myself it is a Stanley, Brandon 80.
I was pondering on the fact that it sounds a bit like the same difference between being a Mac person or a Windows advocate.
On the whole both kitchen implements are cast iron cookers and have very similar usage methods.

Cooking Tips

  1. Rule 1: Oven 80% - Hotplate 20%
  2. Rule 2: If it needs more then 7 minutes cooking on top, COOK IT IN THE OVEN !
  3. Rule 3: So boil on top then put in the oven, at the back.

Drop Scones Receipe

This is my friend Trish's well used receipe to which I added wholemeal spelt flour.

4 oz plain flour
4 oz wholemeal spelt
1 teaspoon bread soda
2 oz castor sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/2 pint of buttermilk

Mix as for pancake batter. The consistency should be like thick cream.
A tablespoon of the batter is the right size. If you have no buttermilk then use: 1/2 fresh milk + 1/2 natural yoghurt.

AGA - Stanley temperature guide
AGA Stanley
top of simmer oven 170°

- AGA Cooking Tips 1 - Drop Scones - A fry-up the AGA way

* An AGA cooking demo
Saturday, 26th of Sept 2009

I have a few favourite shops in this world and one of them is the AGA shop in Dun Laoghaire, right behind the 'Fired Earth' shop. I have a Stanley Brandon 80 and so the cooking utensils made for the AGA can be used for the Stanley. The methods of cooking are similar.. My AGA kettle stands proudly on my Stanley range in the picture below. Aga kettle on Stanley Brandon 80 range .... For those uninitiated in cookers politics, AGA is a range constructed in Great-Britain and Stanley originates from County Wexford in Ireland. The AGA is a COOKER , the Stanley is an all-round tool (cooking, heating water and radiators). My decision to buy a new Stanley in 2007 was based on having cooked on a solid fuel Stanley for more then 30 years and also the fact that it was heating the radiators and hot water. Well, i hardly put on the radiators even in the winter as the cooker amply heats the house.

My friend Trish & coffees . . .

Trish and myself met in Dun Laoghaire bookshop, yesterday Saturday 26th of September 2009. We went upstairs to the Costa coffee shop and sat right beside the bay window with a view over Marine road to have a chat before we went to the Aga cooking demo.
Our friendship has withstood the test of time and we have had many chats over many coffees with children & without children. The art of homemaking and rearing children with a bit of politics thrown in has been our main focus but the most important one is that we find warmth and genuine concern in our friendship. Cooking and baking with love for our family and ourselves stands at the centre of our togetherness. I might be into web design and learning SQL at the moment but homemaking is an important part of my life. A cosy well run home is the basis of my life and so it is for my best friend Trish.

D Drop Scones .. dropped onto hotplate

When I saw the AGA demo lady take a kitchen tissue, imbibe it with some cooking oil and then proceed to stroke the AGA simmering hotplate with it I nearly could not believe my eyes. It occured to me that if I had done to Ruby (my Stanley cooker) she would have smoked but the secret is out ladies and it is based on a choice of oils. So use sunflower oil as it burns at a higher temperature then olive oil. Also the hotplate of the simmering oven is just hot enough to fry the drop scones.
So i did try this at home and this is how it went. Martine Y. Moeykens - Sept 2009 - Drop scones onto 'Ruby's hotplate - first batch I prepared the first batch, dropped it onto the hotplate and prayed to the gods who watch over our cooking that it would turn out the same as at the demo, but no my hotplate was not hot enough, it too long. When I served them at the table I had two eager testers, my older son and my teenage daughter. The plate was empty in a record of time, Oonagh said 'they are strangely addictive. Did she notice that I used 1/2 spelt flour and 1/2 white? I don't think so!
Anyway I decided to make a second batch after turning up the temperature of my Stanley to 190°, I dropped them onto the range hotplate, talked a bit and then smelled the burn ... but strangely enough those too went down the hatch of my two birds of prey.
Later on when my eldest daughter, Jasmin, my son-in-law and my two grandkids sat down in the sitting-room, I served another batch (with butter and raspberry jam) which disappeared off the plate and went down with lovely fresh coffee.
Conclusion: cooking instruction for the Stanley: temperature of roasting oven should be 170°

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Aga purchase 1: Bake-O-glide

Aga Bake-o-glide Bake-O-glide is a re-usable cooking liner. It can also be put directly onto the hotplate. More about that later on when I have tried it out.

Aga purchase 2: cold plain shelf

The 'cold plain shelf' is part and parcel of the AGA installation as it is being used as a template to build the AGA onsite. The 'cold plain shelf' is used as a heat deflector but also as a full size baking sheet.
The Stanley does not come with a 'cold-shelf' and is delivrered and installed as a finished product. This is the main difference between AGA and Stanley cookers. So the 'cold-shelf' I purchased from the AGA shop does not fit my Stanley who has been baptised 'Ruby' by my eldest daughter. My two eldest children have been used to a solid fuel Stanley and then remember gathering laurel wood to feed the burning chamber.

The AGA 'cold shelf' I purchased was too wide for the Stanley so I asked Neil, my son-in-law to cut it to fit the width of the Stanley oven. In depth it is short only by 2 cm.

Aga Purchase 3: AGA Toaster

AGA toaster
I bought the AGA toaster some time ago and it saves on electricity in this time of recession and global warming.
Tip: heat up the toaster first on the hob then add the bread. Also if you add cheese to your toast place the bake-O-glide sheet on the hob to catch any melted cheese.