Once upon a time, back when both of my children still napped, I found myself with a free afternoon. Netflix just happened to recommend a new-to-me show: The Great British Baking Show. I love all cooking shows, but this one hadn’t really caught my eye before. The picture was simple…a beautiful chocolate cake that, I thought, was missing one raspberry. I decided to give it a try, and within minutes, I loved it. As I began to talk with friends, I found that so many of them had been binging it as well! And I THINK I have nailed down some of the reasons that moms are so in love with The Great British Baking Show.
1. Beautifully Simple
I LOVE cooking competitions. Most of the American shows that I watch are in flashy, state of the art kitchens. They all have a very “Lights! Camera! Action” feel. The Great British Baking Show strips away the fancy. The bakers are literally in a big (albeit beautiful) tent in the middle of nowhere. Each of them equipped with a mixer, an oven, and a fridge. I think simplicity invites us to dream about the magic we might whip up in our own kitchens! We have mixers! We have ovens…maybe we could do this!
2. Happy British People
In most competitive shows, there are heavily edited, closed-door interviews of chefs’ discussing their opponents or bragging on their own merits. On TGBBS, in place of the talking head and private interviews, there are quick exchanges between judges, hosts, and competitors. Always lighthearted, always positive. It seems so much more relatable and personal. There are always a few private interviews at the end, but they are always completely humble and kind. The winners and losers of the episodes are always gracious, always thankful. I think moms especially enjoy that positivity.
3. Endearing Hosts and Judges
Hi, Mary Berry? Will you please be my third grandmother??? Seriously. All the heart eyes. And Mel and Sue? Noel and Sandi? Prue? They all seem like the type of people who make you feel they’ve known you forever. They genuinely don’t want to see anyone fail. They cry real tears when contestants leave. They are all just the embodiment of a warm hug. I’m happy to have them in my home! (And if you think for a second I could forget about Paul Hollywood, chill your biscuits, girl. He gets his own paragraph.)
4. We are Always Hungry
Are you pregnant? Then you’re hungry. Nursing? Even hungrier. Forced to share all of your meals and snacks with little people? You. Are. Hungry! Mamas are busy nourishing other humans with their bodies, growing little fingers and toes, and running on coffee and the crusts of our children’s sandwiches. (I might be exaggerating slightly.) Still, the prospect of enjoying something warm, delicious and carefully made from scratch? Don’t touch that dial! If we can’t experience it, we’ll be happy to listen to foodies describe it. It all looks and sounds so yummy. And, again, we are hungry people.
5. Mom-Friendly Viewing
Sure, this is a highly competitive Baking Show, but if -when- you get interrupted, you can pretty much pick it up at any point in the episode or season. Even more importantly, it’s totally kid-friendly, so there are no worries of your little ones overhearing anything inappropriate. (Although mine have picked up on how to critique food. Which isn’t ALWAYS welcome at the dinner table.)
6. We Like Fancy
I mean, my (ahem…grand) caravan might not be the first car that comes to mind when you’re thinking “luxury vehicle”. And maybe my leggings don’t SCREAM “fancy pants”. But. I used to be the shower-every-day type. I love lovely. I love beautiful, and there’s just something inherently fancy about listening to their British accents talk about their croissants and macaroons. This stage of life may feel more messy than fancy for most of us, so it’s nice to have a proper little pick-me-up.
7. The Hollywood Handshake (And, just…Paul Hollywood)
It’s like a competition within the competition. Who will get the coveted Hollywood Handshake? It’s an honor and it just seems so dignified. I love that it pops up out of nowhere. Like when our kids do something amazing and we get this unexpected rewarding moment in parenting. It’s the best. I love watching contestants swoon over his ultimate mark of approval. And Paul…Paul Hollywood is the Great Blue-Eyed British Teddy Bear. He’s the constant presence across the series. This show is full of wonderful personalities, but he’s for sure the icing on the cake!
In short, if you’re a mama who loves The Great British Baking Show, you’re in good company! And if you haven’t seen it yet, dessert your to-do list, and treat yourself to a wonderful show. You’ll be completely whisked away. Really, butter hurry up and watch it. It’s always batter late than never!
(See what I did there? Who doesn’t love a good baking pun?)