A Four Letter Word -Off

Now I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do watch the news at certain times of the day, and more often than not I am sceptical about some of the reporting. However, I must be gullible too, as I believed every word of one report this morning. Now, let me try and give you the gist of what was said.

Apparently EVERYBODY in the country (please now interpret that as EVERYBODYminusOne) has been following the GBBO. To the uninitiated (I was one until this morning) this is the Great British Bake Off, or (because four words are more than the average person can apparently understand) ‘Bake Off’. It would appear that people have been enthralled by watching people tackle a variety of recipes. I thought that maybe the cooked items were hurled at the other contestants to make it more exciting, but no, it is based around watching a cake rise. Last night a winner was chosen and certain ‘delectable delights’ were baked, all being illustrative of the competition

Photo courtesy of and linked to the BBC

This picture might fill you with desire. It might start your mouth watering, and you may well try the recipe from which the picture was taken. As far as I’m concerned, however it evokes unpleasant memories of childhood teatime and is the dreaded ‘stuff’ of which ‘Scottish’ High Tea is made. (High Tea is a meal served in late afternoon or very early evening. It isn’t ‘tea’ and it isn’t ‘dinner’ it’s somewhere between the two. It is served in several parts of the UK, including Scotland. It often consists of a cooked main course followed by a selection of cakes, and the ones that I remember most vividly were served at a particular place in Scotland.)

Home baking was the policy when I was a child. Grandmother, who lived close by, had a baking day, and so too did my mother. We still cook many of the recipes that were handed down, and, of course, they are all delicious. Not all families followed the same principle, however, and shop cakes were available for those that did not bake. Visiting friends for tea was often a bit of an adventure, and one of the things that sometimes took pride of place on the table was a plate of ‘Fondant Fancies’. These were usually either pink or yellow, and I hated them. Not only were they covered in the sickliest icing imaginable, but horror of horrors, there was a blob of butter icing to contend with too. Reading the recipe linked above I see that these too are made in that fashion. I really can’t believe that they were part of such a competition. In fact, I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t written this post as I’m already beginning to feel queasy at the thought of them. The worst thing of all was that they were even served for tea at the Ritz. An that was a tremendous let down.

I’d be interested to know what you all think. I’m willing to bet that I’m in the minority, but actually, I don’t even think that the above items look appetising. This post isn’t in response to this post, but it does fit in with the theme (food), so I’m linking with it. If you write on the same subject this week let me know and I’ll pop over and visit.

12 thoughts on “A Four Letter Word -Off

  1. “it is based around watching a cake rise” – I’ve heard of things that are as exciting as watching grass grow or watching paint dry, but this sounds even worse! And fondant, ugh. It’s become very fashionable with some people because it can be sculpted into such pretty shapes, but as food, it’s disgusting.


  2. I’m glad you agree. I think the same company is doing a similar thing with stitching next. I have a feeling that might be as interesting as unpicking a hem…….


    1. I’m sure they made other things too, it was just the sight of them on TV this morning that made me remember them. As usual, the reporting was so ‘dumbed down’ it was almost insulting.

      Is that wrinkled old lady really Mary Berry? She must be over 80. Have to admit I thought she was dead. Oh dear.


  3. I am a horrible baker and not too sure I like the above(as in taste). Now show me some ice-cream and I’m in! We don’t see that show here in the States..


  4. Good post with a little bit of history thrown in. Not seen the TV show, in fact do not see any tv when we are on the road, but that show sounds Boring with a capital B


  5. Not a minority insofar as I’m concerned. My mother was very proud of her ‘scratch’ cakes though we never had a tradition like ‘high tea’. To this day I cannot stand icing and rudely scrape it off every piece of cake I eat (store bought or not). Mom always lathered every cake with mounds of boiled icing … talk about slick and blobs! My tongue feels furry just writing this. A sprinkle of icing sugar or a light drizzle of melted jelly are the most I can stand. Most of the time I eat my cake plain.


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