25 July 2007

Kitchen Lust

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My precious.
The four oven AGA range makes succulent
roasts, delicious toast, and cures leprosy.


Teresa and I have discovered the most covetable object on Earth: the AGA (pronounced AWW-guh) 4-oven range (pictured above).

Okay, so you're saying, "Buh-whuh-huh? It's a goddamn stove!" Nay, my friend. It is not just a goddamn stove. It is a scientific marvel invented by Gustaf Dalen, an honest-to-Sverige Nobel prize-winning physicist that can - and does - make enchanted toast.

But you're saying, "Right. It's a goddamn stove." Oh ye of little faith in toast. Attend to mine word. For I have been to the Sacred Place (read: Luwa Distributing in Renton) to witness the Miracle of the Checkerboard Toastage (read: product demonstration) and to bask in the countenance of the Blessed Appliance (read: AGA range). So stop your grinnin' and drop your linen whilst I evangelize you with my new found faith.

First of all, t'was none other than Sergeant Rock locked me in the thrall of this Questing Beast of Glazed Cast Iron. He and I went into Sutter Home & Hearth in Ballard because I needed a fireplace screen. As it turns out, they're AGA dealers. As it also turns out, Sgt. Rock is a hardcore AGA enthusiast. I never woulda pegged him for being all ghey for high-end appliances. Nonetheless, he began to witness and was soon joined by Clint The Sales Guy, and soon they were swapping stories, high-fiving, embracing, and weeping openly over the wonders of this appliance.

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When it came to his toast, Nobel prize
winning physicist Gustaf Dalen did not
fuck around. One look at those wicked
shades of his will tell you that.

Of course, you can find out everything I'm about to tell you if you just go to www.aga-range.com, but let me give you the crib notes first. This is what I found to be astounding about the AGA, and why I must have one toot sweet! 1) It has no knobs or dials at all simply because you never have to turn it on or off or set the temperature. Like our life-giving sun, it is always on. 2) Despite the fact that it is always on, it doesn't burn a ton of fuel. It is a super-insulated thermal mass of cast iron, so once it gets up to speed, it remains hot and "coasts" as it were, and doesn't keep sucking down gas. By comparison, standard open-flame gas ranges are unquenchable gas-huffing beasts. If you prepare six meals on a standard gas range, you will have used all the fuel an AGA uses in a month. 3) You can cook right on the burner, just as though it were a flat-top grill. 4) It makes enchanted toast.

And speaking of kitchens, we're planning on redoing ours not just so that it can accommodate a 1,290 pound, ten foot square AGA range, but also so it can accommodate other modern appliances, like a refrigerator and a dishwasher. You know, the little things. As you know, my house was built during the Depression. Apparently people didn't eat during the Depression so they had no use for kitchens. Mine is the size of a mouse's hind teat. Teresa and I resolved that while the rest of the house should be left as it was in that era, the kitchen was going to have to be expanded. The downside is that we really don't have the cash on hand necessary to do a kitchen remodel at the moment. We decided that we should start doing the groundwork and cost estimates anyway so that when the Giant Cash Meteor lands in our yard some day in the future (or more likely when I decide to vampirize my home equity), we'll be ready to start work. We went ahead and met with an architect who told me (much to my surprise) that I could do the plan myself.

Speaking of home equity, we got a notice in the mail telling us that the county has decided that our house has increased $30,000 in value since we bought it on April 30th. How they figure that stuff out, I'll never know. They probably drove by the house the day I set the two dead toilets out front for pickup and figured that I was putting in two new restrooms or a Roman Bath or some goddamn thing.

We got some good news last night. A certified AGA fitter came over to do a free survey and told us that no, the ponderous weight of the AGA will not make our floor joists to snap like a sparrow's leg and cause the stove to crash right through crust of the earth and down to the Mohorovicic discontinuity as we had feared. But he'll have to come back after we get the addition framed in to make sure that he'll be able to install the venting properly.

But anyway, the best news thus far is that our kitchen remodel has cost us nothing but the calories necessary to fuel full-blown kitchen lust. When it starts to cost money, we may have to turn to crime.

Speaking of crime, I have to get to work.