The Great British Bake Off is currently saving my mental health. Whatever ugliness is going on in the world, however terrible the news reports are, no matter what horrific new tragedies of humanity and planet are being perpetrated, it takes only that jaunty opening credit music to help my shoulders descend from around my ears, and my teeth unclench, and my breathing to slow.
If you've been tuning into the most recent season of The Great British Baking Show on PBS, you've been living in a sort of cooking competition time warp. As we pointed out earlier this year, the soothingly good-natured baking series currently airing in the U.S. is actually series three which aired in the U.K. a few years ago.
In the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” a famous line goes, “You like po-tay-to, and I like po-tah-to; you like to-may-to, and I like to-mah-to.” The lyrics poke fun at the idea of dialects, and as an American living in England, it’s something I deal with all the time. Just as Americans and Brits prefer different words for eggplant—for some reason it’s “aubergine” in the U.K.—the two countries also pronounce all sorts of words differently.
One of Edd Kimber's earliest memories is of making mince pies at Christmas with his mother, when the shy, then-6-year-old boy would stand on a kitchen stool happily cutting up pastry at his home in the working class town of Bradford in the north of England. Cooking was something that always brought his family together.