Monday, 16 August 2010

Aga paranoia

I have delved the depths of irrelevant middle class angst. I rant against The Big Society (doublespeak for amateurs doing the work of professionals, mostly badly, in the spare minute between the job, the volunteering, the living, the sleeping and the kid's ballet classes), but in my more selfish moments I am in a rant with self.
It's to do with comfort zones, laziness, habits dying hard, practicalities and complete disinterest in shiny and pristine if it means work that I find unnecessary. I've talked about my sluttish ways before. But now, there is a new daily challenge. We have had the top and lids of the Aga re-enamelled.
It looks shiny and new and virtuous and strokeable. But before it was hammered and friendly and easy to live with. Now I can't drop a splotch of tomato sauce or dribble of chicken juices without heading for a j-cloth. Now, I can't balance casseroles, pots or pans on the lids without fishing out a tea towel (is it clean?) to soften the blow. Before I was quick and efficient, sliding heavy pans full of roasted summat out of the oven and onto the top. No jiggery pokery required to lift the joint onto a plate keeping nice and hot before shoving the pan straight onto the hot plate to conjure up gravy. Now I am in a ferment of confusion and fear. I MUST NOT SCRATCH THE NEW TOP. I must keep cork mats and tea towels close at hand. I must learn how to hold heavy pans full of hot things in one hand whilst the other fannies about finding the equivalent of a coaster for big things. And I know I'm going to fail this test of competence.
My mind is on the cooking, not the cleaning, on the ingredients and the process, not the niceties of housekeeping. I HATE housekeeping. I will never fret on my deathbed, no sudden conversion to cleanliness and godliness, wishing I'd been a religious scrubber rather than an atheist slut.
But that altar of the kitchen that was so welcoming and full of promise has turned on me. It has expectations. It has needs. It has had money spent on it. And now I'm not as in love as once I was.
It took seventy years to get to the state where we thought it deserved a facelift. And now the bloody thing will see me out and will shinily reflect my ageing face as it beams back, younger than ever.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Great post. It looks lovely and friendly to me and I'm sure you will soon be comfortable with it again.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Haw! Haw! (correct spelling by the way!) The term "religious scrubber" was previously unknown to me. Would a full definition include reference to Mary Magdalene and Cherie Blair? In addition, could you possibly give us the recipe for "roasted summat"? Sounds delicious. Probably something the butcher deliberately keeps out of sight for special customers only... or customers with special needs such as agaphobics.

Mopsa said...

Thankyou Welshcakes - I do hope so!

YP - I always think of religious zeal as linked to overenthusiastic scrubbing - something to do with hairshirts, self flagellation and general self imposed love of the duster, mop and bucket. And today's roasted summat is different, of course, to tomorrow's.

Anonymous said...

Well, I must say, your 'new' Aga looks fabulous -- just like the pickies in the fancy magazines. And I am in awe of your using one -- I am fainthearted and have never quite figured out how I would use one -- if indeed I actually had one, and not just a more prosaic hob.
So kudos to you and your new/old cooker! Use it and enjoy it and let the devil take the hindmost!
Canadian Chickadee

Flowerpot said...

I hate housework too Mopsa so I can really empathise with you!