Come Dine With Me AGA
Cooking classes with British Chef Katie, at Cornflower Cottage, in the Upstate of South Carolina!
 Experience first hand why  the world has fallen in love with the AGA

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American adventure continued

Posted on February 28, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (1)

As Spring passed and we drifted into the summer it became very clear that an AGA in this climate was just not going to be an visions of my dream country kitchen faded into the heat haze and I had to accept that my new kitchen would have to settle for something else instead, with a heavy heart I did what only a true Brit would do in times such as this I PUT THE KETTLE ON and made a nice cuppa tea and of course had several scrumptious biscuits to dip into said tea! It’s a very English thing....tea and biscuits....speaking of which ' BISCUITS’, who knew that this was something completely different in the USA 

I first discovered the huge difference between a biscuit in England and a biscuit in America when we were at a local popular restaurant for breakfast one day. The friendly server asked “Would you like biscuits or toast Ma’am?” Ma’am? Did she think I was the Queen? The only person I had ever heard referred to as Ma’am up to now, was Her Majesty the Queen, or, perhaps, on occasion a Duchess or Lady here and there. But here in the south I was soon to discover it was a title used frequently and was a sign of good manners and politeness ….one does learn something every day! Anyway I digress…where was I? Oh yes biscuits. “What sort of biscuits do you have?” I asked the server who by now was squinting at me in a funny way as she tried to decipher what I had actually said, “She’ll have some whole wheat toast” my husband suddenly chipped in, the look of relief on the poor girls face was a picture, I could hear her saying to herself, “Thank goodness, a local who speaks the lingo (Note to self, must work on southern accent) So another lesson learnt, biscuits are not biscuits in the South, they are more like what we Brits would call a savory scone, and a biscuit, (the kind we dunk in our tea) is a COOKIE! Most confusing, and this as I was soon to find out was just the tip of the iceberg.

Welcome to a little piece of England in Greer, South Carolina

Posted on February 19, 2016 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

So, after eight long 'AGA-LESS' years, I finally have a new AGA...HOORAH! Why has it taken so long I hear you ask....well I shall explain all. 

Having moved from the chilly climes of old Blighty (England in other words) from the hectic schedule of a Country Estate house Chef, to the sultry, warm humid climes of slow paced South Carolina, I have to say I was in for a bit of shock! First there was the language barrier.....Oh, they were speaking a type of English ;) I just couldn't quite understand it, but that was OK because, no one understood a word I said either! We found a house, in Darlington, SC where my new family hailed from and  I was so thrilled to see the kitchen had the perfect space for an AGA, and started designing my perfect Chefs kitchen.....but alas there was major drawback in the AGA plan.

Burghley House

It was late October, and I stared miserably at my closet after having spent an entire day unpacking, hanging and folding my clothes.

My heavy cotton chef whites, sat redundantly in the corner of the closet, my gorgeous black wool coat I had loved to wear in the cold winter days in England, my fur lined boots, cashmere scarf and gloves stared up at me begging to be worn, my long sleeved warm t-shirts and cozy sweaters nestled alongside. Evening dresses glittered in the back of the closet along with all my other "winter" attire, there was just one teensy weensy problem..IT WAS 85 DEGREES OUTSIDE! What on earth? Where had my Husband bought me to? He never mentioned he lived in the "Tropics"! Now, I am very accustomed to hot weather, after all I had lived in Spain, the Middle East, spent time in Australia, the Greek Islands and lots of other warm sunny places but NOTHING could have prepared for the 'sauna-esq' heat and humidity of South on earth was I going to cope?

Being somewhat hot natured, it very quickly dawned on me that an entire wardrobe change would have to occur, either that or I really would simply melt into a puddle, out with the fur boots in with the ‘Flip Flop’ sweaters would need to be replaced with cotton tops and light weight shirts, shorts, capris and sundresses would replace the heavy evening attire, thick jeans and wool pants, although some were kept and stored under the bed for the THREE DAYS a year it would get cold!

Time for a coffee break (I just could not do the sweet tea that seemed to be the staple in this part of the World) I poured a cup and sat down with one of the many home design magazines I had collected. Flicking through a kitchen design section, there it was staring up at me from the page in all its beautiful enameled glory,  a four oven AGA cooker in dark blue! I was instantly transported back to my Burghley kitchen, warm and toasty, Butlers swishing through with endless tasks to be done, Gardeners bringing me boxes of fresh picked vegetables  and stopping for a quick warm and a hot sausage roll fresh from the baking oven! Happy days

Hot Sausage Rolls

Sausage Roll Recipe:


1 1/2 pounds good quality pork sausage

1 teaspoon dried or fresh chopped sage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (17-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 eggs beaten

How to make

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the sausage,

onion, sage, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste until all the seasonings are well distributed throughout.

Roll out all the puff pastry into one large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Put the

wide side of the rectangle to your left. Form the sausage meat into a log about

1 inch thick and long enough to fit the width of the pastry. Lay this log along the whole edge.

Roll the pastry around the sausage, brush with beaten eggs at the join, and cut so that the

pastry has just enough room to slightly overlap. Repeat the process with the remaining

sausage meat and pastry. Line up all the sausage rolls making sure the seam on each is

at the bottom and not showing. Brush the tops with the eggs and cut the sausage rolls into

either 1 1/2-or 3-inch logs.

Spread about one inch apart on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown and the meat

is cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. You can also freeze the rolls to be cooked later. Serve warm or cold.