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The Blake & Bull Journal

Blake and bull kitchen ware cookware textiles bakeware laundry racks drying racks linens refurbishment spares cleaning re-enamelling services for range cookersAga range cookers should have plastic washers between the door hinge and the hinge bracket on the front of the cooker. They serve three purposes.
"Love my chef's pads, they are so attractive, subtle pattern and colour, perfect blue for my kitchen. Especially keen on the fact they will attach easily to the handles, great design feature. On most other companies pads the loops are too small and totally useless. I can highly recommend Blake and Bull." March, 2020 
Underneath this lot of washed pet beds, blankets and bedding is a rather splendid and very well looked after 4 oven Standard Aga range cooker, clearly much loved by its owner Kathy. Who uses it now more than ever! Two puppies in lockdown, Kathy's story..

Easter Stay At Home Style! How To Make Hot Cross Buns In An Aga Range Cooker

You can watch Alice 'LIVE' on facebook or Instagram. If you miss it, you can watch it back later! 

This recipe is perfect for our fits on runners baking tray or our heavy duty baking sheet. Pop a non-stick liner on your tray, line up a trivet to receive your plump buns from the oven - and your all set! 

Some good scraping results here! Reviving the enamel and revealing the shine beneath. This task is very satisfying, I had great fun when I gave it a go for the first time. 

This week has felt a little like a perpetual weekend, even with work to do and homeschooling 2 kids, routines get blurred and it is a little disorientating! On Thursday I had to check what day of the week it was! 

So to get us all back on track, here are some proper Sunday vibes, woof style! 

"I am absolutely delighted with this tray which was kindly gifted. The fact that it fits on the runners means that you save so much space in the oven - ideal when cooking a big roast. Obviously, it is ideal for making Yorkshire puddings but it is also the ideal tray for cupcakes, muffins, mini pies etc... The non-stick coating is excellent - I had run out of cupcake liners and so followed the batter straight into the tray. The cakes slipped straight out - no greasing required. My Yorkshire puddings also lifted out easily - nothing stuck to the tray. I know this will prove to be one of my most-used and loved trays - the quality and design are excellent." Antonia, 'The Aga Diaries'.

"So pleased with my drying rail plus top airer. Customer service department was excellent went the extra mile too, thanks so much 😊" Amanda, Feb 2020. < Save money by turning off your tumble dryer, when the weather is inclement, turn to your rack! 

"Could have done with this 27 years ago to help with the washing from four children! Has been great though, helping my daughter prepare for the birth of first grandchild!! Was put to use straight away and will be well used in the future!" 

Can you beat John's 6 pups? What a cosy canine crowd!

Home has never been more important than now. For those who are staying within its boundaries and for those key workers who return to its comfort to rest. 

What makes your home 'home'; now more than ever? 

..courtesy of @moorlandcottage, this is an old Scottish recipe that she uses, they keep for a few days and a super fluffy! Pop on over to Jane's instagram and there is a sweet video of these delicious cakes cooking, straight on the hotplate!

Living with an Aga range cooker is like always having a hug to hand, eating a cake from an Aga range cooker when you are 'staying home' therefor must be like having 50 hugs! Add to that a good brew, your companions and a bit of spring sun streaming through the window and I reckon you'll get through this just fine! 

This is Clare's Bake, and it is a good one! The recipe has been generously gifted to us to share by Amy Willcock. Do share your bake when you have made it! Thank you so much Amy!

@rachaellucas - "So they said they were moving house to a new place with an Aga range cooker, and I said well, that’s all very good but I’m going to need somewhere to sit because you can’t expect me to lie on a rug beside it like a common or garden dog, because I’m a Basset. Anyway, the next thing I knew they’d been to the shop and bought me this snazzy little leather number which suits perfectly. It even matches the Aga. Well done, humans."
Rachel is an author and you might want to check out her books, great to cosy up in a chair a bit like this with!
She also rather likes our drying racks! I asked her how her red lady was treating her, "@blakeandbull Oh, amazingly. Next stop is one of your amazing shelves with the cut outs! The drying racks and rail have been a lifesaver!"
"..quite a few of you were interested in seeing 'after' photos of the Aga range cooker after its 'restoration Sunday'. I didn't realise people would be that invested in it 😂🤷😂. So here she is! It took 8 hours in total but I think it was worth it! It's so clean and shiny and almost looks blue, it's pewter. However it looked the same colour as the top before. Anyone with an Aga range cooker I really recommend trying the @blakeandbull deep cleaning kit, it's done a fantastic job and has saved us from buying a new Aga!!! £26 Vs £ brainer really!!!" 

We ran a little competition over the weekend on our Facebook page. The brief was simple, send us a pic of your cooker to make us all smile. The picture that raises the biggest smile wins a box of 'Lovehearts' sweets and one of our new pot grabs! 

The winning pic is of Blossom below, she just loves coming in the house! Thank you to Camilla for this wonderful pic!

We love our new range of Beeswax Wraps and Vegan Food Wraps. No more single use cling film to keep our food fresh!

They are handmade in the Cotswold’s using locally sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, natural pine resin and organic GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton. There are even Vegan friendly versions.

We recommend refreshing your wrap every few months to keep them feeling new and sticky. If you notice that your wraps have started to crack, it’s time to give them a refresh. It’s really easy, super quick and can be done in your Aga Range cooker. 

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology Sue, our customer happiness manager, is able to work from home right now like so many others. She answers your phone calls and emails from her canal boat in the Wiltshire countryside with the aid of a 4G dongle and much tea! 
Here is a puuuurfect way to keep your feet warm! 

Reviews like this for our non-stick liners still make me smile - a Blake & Bull original!

"We recently replaced lid liners and door liners with the non stick version and we are very pleased with the results, they are a lot easier to clean and so easy to do, we would definitely recommend them to others, especially with an electric conversion like ours! It isn’t on all the time so doesn’t burn off the grease and food spills, and it can be difficult to keep clean but not anymore!"

This is the first in a series of longer more detailed video explainers of the basics of cooking with an Aga range cooker. Antonia is relatively new to Blake & Bull (she has been creating recipes for us!) but clearly a star in the making!
Our drying racks are super efficient at drying your laundry, & can save you money too! There are a number of other uses for them. What do you use yours for?

Hot plates can become pitted, if rust is left unchecked. The pesky divots that form reduce contact with your pan, and heat transfer. Making the hotplates less efficient and more expensive to run. Rust occurs for different reasons, but most commonly when the cooker is turned off. If rust has appeared without your range having been turned off, you may need to do some troubleshooting. 

You can clean them up easily at home if the rust is light, with a good wire brush set, a cloth and some olive oil! 

But if you have pitting the best plan of action is to put in a shot blasted one! They weigh a fair bit! But we do post them, really we do! And yes, shot blasted cast really can look amazing! 

A great tip from Ali on the 'simple breakfasts' theme! "At 5am, I measure one-third of a cup of simple muesli into a bowl, add some dried mixed spice and sultanas plus one cup of milk and put into bottom/simmering oven.....

If pizza is a firm family favourite in your home, we can heartily recommend our cast iron tray that fits directly on the oven runners! Perfect if you run a busy home, and need to produce a speedy supper after the children's school run, scout pick up, ballet lesson, & piano exam!!