So Mel’, Sue, Paul and Mary have signed Off on the Great British Bake. Winner Candice Brown is free to live her dream baking fulltime, as ‘Dough Public’ contemplates what Channel 4 will make of the ‘Choc-Buster’ show. But what ingredients made 15 million viewers tune in to see the final last week?
I confess to only catching glimpses of the TV show but I do benefit beneficently from it, for it moves my wife to even more mellifluous peaks of culinary creativity. My two girls have bake-off parties and invite friends around to watch and bake together. I don’t really ‘get it’ but I’m trying.
Is it the ‘back-slapping’ and ‘tear-dabbing’ set in stark contrast to the ‘back-stabbing’ and ‘eye-jabbing’ of other competitive shows like Britain’s ‘The Apprentice’ and America’s equivalent to the ‘GB Bakeoff’ – ‘Cupcake Wars’, which gets thoroughly nasty?
Is it the down-to-earth, unthreatening homeliness of it all, the humble ordinariness of participants and variety of backgrounds represented, which allows viewers to identify more readily with the bakers? I do hope the stories are true of scenes of ‘extreme humiliation’ finding their way onto the cutting room floor, never to be aired in public, due to Mel’ & Sue butting in with sweary words and product names.
Is there something comforting about the wafting aroma that transcends TV, able to morph into an idyllic family / community experience in your own cosy home, where delicious baking is enjoyed over a cuppa, even if we bought, rather than baked, it ourselves?
One of St Paul’s top tips is, “You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
The Danish (originally Norwegian) word ‘hygge’, pronounced “hooga” is a ‘hard to pin down’ word and roughly translates as ‘cosiness’. It’s as ‘Danish as pork roast and cold beer’ and helps to understand the Danish soul. In essence, ‘hygge’ is a bit like the Scots word ‘couthie’, describing ‘a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoyment of the good things in life with good people around you’. The warm glow of candlelight and good cheer of Christmas is ‘hygge’. Friends and family eating, drinking and sitting around the table for hours discussing the big and small things in life is ‘hygge’.
In our world, where so much blood, guts and ugliness attracts our attention, I salute the GB Bakeoff for offering a great big warm hug and promoting ‘Hygge’ – The Great British Hygge-Off?