Can I Lick the Bowl? – The Comfort of Watching Cookery Shows


By Emma Grimes

Recently I came down with a bad 24 hour head cold that had me bed-ridden and I decided to start watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix, a series I had never seen before. 

There has always been something so comforting to me about cookery shows. My love of baking stems from a childhood spent in my granny’s house as, sadly, my parents were in and out of hospital with my sister for years. Of course, as much as I missed them, I adored the novelty of staying in a house where my older cousin and aunt also lived and I got to have a part-time cheeky older brother, and of course as grandmothers tend to do, I was given a lot of treats (something we never got at home). 

That time staying with my grandparents sparked a hobby that took up a lot of hours of my adolescence – baking. My granny showed us how to make cakes and buns and icing and my cousin and I would fight over who got to lick the bowl. I loved it so much that I when I got older and was allowed to use an oven myself I would bake cookies and cupcakes and birthday cakes (my specialty was a lemon madeira cake). My late grandad loved flapjacks so I’d often make him his own batch and leave them up in my granny’s kitchen, knowing he’d have them with tea while watching David Attenborough later that evening. 

Watching GBBO, I could relate to the contestants describing the feeling baking gave them; watching your friends and family enjoy something that you’ve made gives you a great sense of achievement. This is probably why I never bake for myself; there’s no point if you’re not sharing your creations with someone and feeling chuffed when they ask for another helping. 

Gary McNair

I have loved watching cookery programmes from a young age too. I don’t think I’ve ever made anything from any of the shows I watched but it’s the next best thing to standing on chair beside my granny or my mam and watching them weigh out the ingredients meticulously so that the flour isn’t one ounce over. It’s like waiting impatiently to lick the sickly sweet mixture from the battered Kenwood chef mixer my parents got as a wedding present in the mid eighties. Delia, Nigella and Jamie; there is something so comforting about watching them.

With Netflix comes new ways to invent the cookery show. I devoured Ugly Delicious and I’m now binge-watching the GBBO and loving every moment of it. It’s the ultimate Sunday afternoon comfort watch. 

We have a home movie where I’m standing in our kitchen making buns aged thirteen and my two younger brothers are both standing on chairs around the counter and every time I turn my back they’re dipping their fingers into the mixture. My sister now does the same thing with her daughter. Some things never change, the tried and tested recipes and fighting over who gets to lick the bowl. 

Love food? Check out Kim’s Dumpling Chronicles parts 1, 2 and 3

3 thoughts on “Can I Lick the Bowl? – The Comfort of Watching Cookery Shows

  1. I absolutely love the Great British Baking Show. My family and I have happily binged that more than once. Not only is it unique in that I’m learning about pastry that I’ve never heard of or seen before, but it also gets me into baking along with them. I usually have to snack on something during this show.

    I also agree that cooking shows are a source of comfort. It definitely takes you back to when you were younger and baking with family. I remember baking so often with my grandma. She always made each recipe effortless, never weighing ingredients and always putting in what felt just right to her. I admired that she seem to have that intuition of always knowing when pies/cakes/cookies were done. It’s a gift I hope I possess someday.

    Thanks for sharing this posting. It makes me nostalgic and I might have to bake something and watch the Great British Baking Show tonight or something…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. So happy you enjoyed the article! Isn’t it funny, my granny was the same, made it all seem effortless. I’m so happy I was able to learn from her and that she’s still alive to enjoy the things I (rarely) bake. You can never watch too much Bake off! It’s keeping me going throughout the World Cup!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. Glad to share my thoughts. I feel the same way when it comes to my grandma; although we don’t bake as much now together as we used to, I do feel blessed that I’ve had so much time with her growing up, learning how to make a lot of different cookie, pie and cake recipes. And here’s to binge watching all the baking shows. Why not? And it’s such a lighthearted show too!

        Liked by 1 person

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