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What's Missing from Season 8 of The Great British Bake Off - Food TV

What's Missing from Season 8 of The Great British Bake Off - Food TV
From The Kitchn - November 8, 2017

Great British Bake Off fans, if I am breaking this news to you I apologize and commend you on your solid internet consumption boundaries. But scrummy Mary Berry and dirty punsters Mel and Sue are not in the newest season, which has been airing in Britain over the past couple months on Channel 4.

The finale of the new season was last week, and intrepid fans can track down many of the episodes on YouTube. If you do not, there's a chance you will never see this new version, kitted out with a new judge, two new hosts, and the same Paul Hollywood. PBS is not sure they will air these new seasons, and may air an old season instead (Americans so far have not had access to a few earlier seasons of the Great British Baking Show; again, you can scoop these up on YouTube).

The new hosts are great. Prue Leith is a gem. The episodes are entertaining and eerily similar. There's a feeling like really nothing has changed: The setting is the same, the cast is full of standout characters, British bon mots and good bakes are still thrown around like so much loose flour.

But still, there's a loss. Change is weird and hard and inevitable. Sometimes you need to reflect on the past to barrel ahead into the present.Before we are handed our fresh hosts and judge, what will we remember of the originals? What have we learned from Mary, Mel, and Sue?

Mary Berry: A Field Guide to Authentic Kindness and Work Ethic

I want to be way, way more like this person.

Work: Baking, particularly in this context, is a process with no shortcuts. Thoughtfulness and time management are critical. You ca not just make a good sponge cake; you must make good use of time, temperature, and attention. Mary Berry's love of a solid work effort is shown through her appreciation of "layers."

Yes, she says the word in a truly scrummy way, but the focus is on being focused. You have to really pay attention to what you are doing; you have to really do it right to get perfect layers.She offers bakers this challenge: I trust that you are not only proficient enough to do this, but proficient enough to do this well. I will be looking for those crisp layers.

Take a lesson from the maestro of British baked goods: Pay attention. Tune in. Have the vulnerability to try to make the perfect layers that you know you are capable of making. Show yourself your power and mastery, and then eat it with your hands.

Kindness:Do you ever think all that motivating with a carrot versus a stick stuff is ridiculous and we would all do well if we wrapped our minds around just being kind human beings? If, instead of manipulating the people around us, we simply took criticism with compassion and our praise with sincerity?

Mel and Sue: Masters of Entertaining

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