Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Great British Bake Off Returns

The scheduling people at PBS may or may not have a wicked or warped sense of humor.It seems almost too coincidental that another season of "The Great British Bake Off  - Season Six" is airing July 4th weekend along with the chaotic stew of Brexit. Either way, it shows the UK at its' idyllic and coziest best.It's all sweetness and Victoria sponge.

This latest season which aired last August 15  is now going to be shown here in the US. Episode One already has been shown, as other PBS stations around the country have given it the Friday 9 PM
slot. Here in the New York metro area, we have  to watch it on Sunday afternoons at four (that is if any of us are around, There are die hard fans who will,but luckily we can catch up on the PBS website later on). The hosts and judges are back, There are the spicy and sweet Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins who offer saucy asides  and comfort to nervous contestants. Check out what they say during the Madeira cake challenge because the cake is known for its' defining crack. (see where this is going). Of course there are the judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. Hollywood is a burly , yet more suave version of Alec Baldwin who lends some asperity and much needed stringency to a contest that can sometimes get a bit too sugary with emotions.Ms. Berry,  a kind of British Betty Crocker, is the sweet yet demanding grandmother who does think your tea scones are scrummy even though they're lacking in appearance. Both are excellent in giving hints and tips.

The one thing about the show is that the contestants represent a wide swath of British society. Some have Southeastern Asian backgrounds, one is Bangladeshi. Most are true blue Britons, coming from
such diverse areas of the island such as Yorkshire, London and Manchester. There is one from Swansea, Wales and another from Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross in Scotland. . The xenophobes who more or less caused the Brexit with the EU could learn valuable lessons from this show and it's not the ones regarding the best icing or the tenderest crumb. Foodies and sweet tooths will love the different contests .As always all sorts of baked goods will be executed and the episodes are divided into three sections : the signature, the technical and the showstopper. The technical is always a recipe from Mr. Hollywood's or Ms Berry's recipe books and a step or two is always omitted to flummox the bakers.I love the showstoppers, This is where contestants get creative and whip up creations that are just breath taking. Everything will be covered this season, from vol au vents to breads to biscuits.

Brexit showed the UK at its' worst. The Great British Bake Off remedies that poisonous hatred and presents us with a contest where people of all colors and religions come together. Yes, it's a contest but its' a fun friendly one.

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