Monsterful Monday: in praise of the Great British Bake Off

Yep, I went there. I have knitted in front of a programme about baking, because apparently I’m turning into somebody’s great aunt Margaret or something.

Season 3 is being re-screened on Prime, and I haven’t seen it before so please don’t tell me who wins.

Maybe it’s because of my heritage, but I love how British this particular iteration of the talent reality show is. I love how Mary Berry tries to find something positive to say about each contestant’s efforts. I love how happy people are when Paul Hollywood likes their cooking. I love how they own it when something’s gone a bit wrong, they don’t try and argue about it. I love how the departing contestant each week is given an enormous bear hug from Mel and Sue, the presenters, as well as all the other contestants.

And season 3, oh season 3. Cathryn, who is all of us wanting our baking to turn out well and being nervous. Victoria, who knows what a ‘filip’ is and wears padded vests and I suspect has a couple of dogs and a family tree that goes back to Cromwell, or at least her name on a plaque at a fancy girl’s school. And James, the student from the Shetlands in his array of devastating fair-isle jumpers, who is every hipster crafting girl’s dreamboat. Note, I don’t have a crush on him, though I do wish I had some of his recipes and that I could find out whether he bought the fair-isle jumpers or had them made for him by his Nan. I hope it’s the latter.

There’s actually an impressive number of guys in this season, and I think it’s great seeing men embracing something so ‘domestic’ as baking. I am deliberately not looking up who won Season 3, because that would ruin the fun.

I love the gentle innuendo, “we need to come up with something naughty to say about this week’s challenges. It’s tarts…nope, can’t think of anything.” And my personal favourite, of course, “we all know what makes a great cocktail party: keys in a bowl!”.

And I love all the inspiration it gives me to bake myself- the flavour combinations that make me hungry, the tips and comments from Mary and Paul that help you know what good baking looks like…

All I can say is, I love this show and I actually made choux pastry from scratch last night and turned it into profiteroles, and it’s because I’ve been watching this show.

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