There's a chill in the air and the decorations are going up. It's the time of year for cosy log fires, mulled wine, time for friends and family, an ab...
It's been a week since The Great British Bake Off final, and a new study from National Accident Helpline shows that one in four people haves been inspired to bake more. But, baking enthusiasts might not be reaching 'star baker' standard every time, as two thirds of people say they've injured themselves whilst baking or cooking.
Taking a step back from the final and looking over the whole of this year's show reveals there is one contestant the viewers have truly taken into their hearts.
I remember my first day in the tent, someone started by giving us instructions on how to use the ovens and hobs but I didn't listen to a thing, being absolutely in awe of the situation. Now though, I look back and see that information could have come in handy.
But there's something that I'd like to create, something I'm already working on. I'd like a world where food isn't wasted. I know there's some appetite, but people need to be hungry for it. So this World Food Day, I'd like people to have the same appetite for preventing food waste that we currently have for baking. So here's my own recipe for change.
Marjoulaine - a mille-feuille wannabe taking three hours to bake (dramatised by a cut to Benjamina whispering 'three hours!', because obviously three hours is an insane amount of time (an insanity completely bypassed for us as we experience two days in 60 minutes...))
For those of you who haven't heard (which if you haven't, the only plausible excuse would be a coma (in which case you're now out of the coma, welcome)) Bake Off has been sold to Channel 4 for one billion-fafillion-zababadabadoo-yen pounds, Mel and Sue are gone, Paul and Mary are likely to follow, and shit has hit the pan and it is caramelising.
What of Love Productions' apparent greed? Well, an independent business, with salaries to pay, overheads to cover, other creative ideas to support, can surely be forgiven for wanting to make hay while the sun shines. And it could easily have gone the other way for them. What if, after six hardworking years, the BBC had said, "Thanks, but no thanks to any more".
The news that the BBC has lost the broadcasting rights to the Great British Bake Off is the worst news I have heard in months. How can a show that is enjoyed by over ten million people per week be taken away from the channel and format that gave birth to it?
And so it was, Mel and Sue were Mel and Sue-less. It felt wrong. It would be like Lennon without McCartney. Jerry without Ben. And within approx. 3.5 minutes we were used to it and would be fine if the BBC were to fire Sue due to cuts.
By releasing headshots early, we were kind of online dating them all. We'd had a week to create preconceptions and imagine what Rav's voice is like or what kind of walk Benjamina has settled on in life, and then we're faced with the real person. Some surprises!
Us Bake Off viewers are wholesome folk. We dismiss consumer-driven ploys, shallow values, and image-obsessed attitudes. On that note, let's judge people from a photographer-directed pose, a stylist-picked outfit, and a (most likely) ghost-written bio.
Lack of clean water and safe sanitation and its direct link to disease is the second biggest killer of children worldwide. That lack of clean water also keeps girls out of school and keeps women away from work, either because they are sick or because they are spending hours each day walking to fetch water leaving many in poverty. World leaders have pledged to end malnutrition and reach everyone everywhere with clean water and basic sanitation by 2030. If by giving children a start in life that includes access to clean water and decent toilets, then we are a step closer to a healthier, happier generation.
This recipe is for delicious, zesty lemon and poppy seed flavoured cakes, which is one of my Dream Tea recipes. They only take around 30 minutes to make and also happen to be gluten free! I like to decorate mine with a sprinkling of crystallised lemon zest but why not try out some other summer themed decorations like flowers or let the children have fun decorating with sprinkles and sweets!
Ant and Dec may have been the big winners on the night - after gathering their 15th gong at the National TV Awards. *Shock* But if you ask me, aside from the loveable Geordie duo, the real winners were some of the extraordinary women who lit up the red carpet on telly's most fabulous night.
Nothing but nothing is prepared and it's almost (gasp) December. This has never happened before. At least, if it has, I have blanked it out. I have a few stocking fillers. I have a list of possible gifts to buy. I have a box of Christmas cards and some silver bells to attach to the presents I haven't bought yet. But that's it. What's wrong with me?