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"The Big Family Cooking Showdown" Taught Me How to Cook with My Family - Food TV

From The Kitchn - December 7, 2017

I have fond memories of being in the kitchen with my mom and sister, but I would never think to gather my family for a day of cooking. Usually lines are drawn in the journey from kitchen to table: cooks vs. eaters, hosts vs. guests.

There's something very "We are all in this together! We are a family!" about intentionally coming together in the kitchen to cook a meal. The Big Family Cooking Showdown captures this magic. The show is a spin-off of The Great British Bake Off. Instead of battling for best baker, families compete against each other for best family of cooks. Instructions are yelled. Recipes are recited. Sauces are poured. It's the kind of low-stakes drama that's soothing to watch.

I binge-watched this show the second it was added to Netflix (thanks, wisdom tooth removal). The premise is delightful and it's fun to see Great British Bake Off Season 3 winner Nadiya Hussain be a host instead of a contestant. But mostly, in these pre-holidays weeks, I felt inspired to make a point of cooking with my own family. And watching 12 hours of other families battle it out at the stove provided plenty of pointers.

1. Be kind.

Families that were less snappish with each other tended to do better. And it looked like more fun too. It can get tense in the kitchen. I know I can be a little curt and bossythat I can put on a bit of a drill sergeant act when I want a recipe to go a certain way. Why not have fun instead? Who cares if it's perfectly sauced, whatever that means? Is not the point to be together? It's not like my family is on a cooking competition show. We are just trying to make a meal together.

2. Be focused.

3. Be confident.

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