Another Tuesday, another edition of The Great British Bake Off, but tonight it’s the final. So by the time I finish writing this and post it I shall probably know who the winner is. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell. To be honest I am more worried about my bike light which is not charging than the fate of the bakers’ cream slices. The front light charged perfectly, the rear does one little flash to say it recognises it’s on the charger and then, nothing. I’m going to unplug it and try again later.
It is strange as the days cool and the sun sets shortly after four in the afternoon to see the GBBO tent and the contestants sweltering away during a heat wave in high summer, all blue skies, shorts and sunshine.
More announcements from our unesteemed Prime Minister, B Johnson, about what we can expect to be able to do at Christmas. Without wanting to go all bah humbug it does sound crazy to allow up to three households to mix indoors for five days. Maybe Johnson thinks everyone lives in a big house, doesn’t realise how families cram around the dining table and squeeze into tiny sitting rooms to watch the Queen’s Speech or whatever the blockbuster movie of the day is. It always used to be The Great Escape. I must have seen that film a dozen times with my dad while my mum escaped to the kitchen. I don’t recall my sister watching it either, so she must have sloped off somewhere. If other families do the same that may make the sitting room a bit safer.
I imagine there will be some pretty intense conversations around the country with families trying to decide what’s best. Unless miraculously the infection has dropped massively by late December I think I’ll be doing the one household Christmas Day indoors with the two or three households mixing outside options.
Boxing Day is traditionally when everyone goes out for a walk to do a little towards working off the calories consumed the day before. Maybe this year we could just do long distance walks over the whole of Christmas and the New Year. Just a thought.
I have accidentally invented my own Christmas dessert. I was making apple crumble, a staple chez Isobel et Chat, and wondered if the addition of some dried fruit would be a good idea. I knew I had some, what I didn’t remember was it was soaked in Armagnac. Crumble with a kick. I’ll be making it again. I don’t think you’ll be seeing it on Bake Off though.
When I first watched Bake Off some years ago it was with an arms folded what’s-all-this-fuss-about-cakes attitude. It was the year Nadiya Hussein won and from the first programme I wanted her to win. I love the way you start off watching a bunch of strangers making fancy things and getting emotional about it, and gradually get involved; how one or two of the bakers get under your skin and as the weeks pass you realise you have invested in them, and really you want all of them to win, though sometimes, as with Nadiya, you want one to win that much more than you want the others to win. This final is one where I don’t have a favourite which makes it more relaxing to watch. My favourite bakers have already departed for kitchens new, and I suppose this year there won’t be the big party with all the original bakers and their families. Instead it’s all the crew, the people who have been in the GBBO bubble. I’ll toast the winner and the two runners up with a glass of vegan Côtes du Rhône.
Congratulations bakers. Thank-you.
Stay safe. Keep well. Bake cakes.