The curious case of Gregg Wallace

Dear ladies and gents,

a couple of weeks ago I was in the UK. As we were snacking on Ben and Jerry’s All or Nut-ting (so delish!) and Sainsbury’s Pavlova (OMG SO freaking GOOD!)

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…we watched some TV. For research purposes obvs *cough*

ANYHOW.

We started watching MasterChef: Professionals. I’ll be honest – I’m not a huge fan. Sure they create some wonderful stuff and it’s all fine and dandy, but it just gets a bit repetitive after a while. Oh let’s smear some sauce on the plate! Oh let’s make some chutney/puree (from parsnip of all things! Blech!) Oh let’s stuff something in a blast chiller! Bah.

But what I don’t understand is this guy:

That ladies and gents is Gregg Wallace. He is introduced as a professional diner. Hm ok. I missed that first bit of the episode so I kept asking but who is this guy? Is he a food critic? A cook book writer? If it’s not obvious I am blonde.

So we asked our British friend (waves at Jo :) what the what with this Wallace guy? Who is he? So she patiently explained he was a green grocer and he also hosted Veg Talk. In case you are wondering – it’s a radio show where they talk about vegetables.

Hmm okay.

So this is the sum of his duties:

- makes faces
- calls time
- asks daft questions
- says something is delicious
- says something “doesn’t work for him” (which roughly translates it tastes like sh*t)

Icannoteven.

Anyway – if he decides to leave MasterChef at some point, I swear I will pitch myself to BBC.

I have already started practicing (much to annoyance of my friends).

I keep shouting 20 minutes left at random. Also surely you can say something different than just oh this is delicious or this doesn’t work for me. I thought something along the lines oh this tastes divine or this will give me the poops? Obvs am still working on that. Also – I have hair? A cheap shot? Yes. But also true.

But seriously. SERIOUSLY.

13 things we learned watching the Great British Bake Off

  • It can sometimes happen that yeast can’t reach it’s full potential. Who knew? Obvs it goes without saying – you might be in trouble if it doesn’t.
  • No matter how pissed off you might get do not (I repeat DO NOT!) bin your cake. No matter how messy it might be.
  • Having said that – never ever leave your frozen baked alaska unattended.
  • Also – never ever leave your custard unattended.
  • It is possible to cry over an éclair. And any other baked good for that matter.
  • Make double and triple sure you haven’t mixed up your salt and pepper.
  • That said – the terror of soggy bottom can keep you up at night.
  • Your baked goods might look like a total mess and still taste good (am guilty of that one).
  • That brown stuff? It means your baked goods are burning and you might want to take them out of the oven. Just saying.
  • Look you might want to avoid – the Mary Berry death stare. That said – scrummy, scrumptious, yummy – all good things when coming from Mary Berry.

Image via Adam the Fish

UK shows I love at the mo.

Dear ladies and gents,

UK shows are oddly comforting and soothing to watch. Maybe because I grew up on the stuff and it reminds me of childhood. Maybe it’s because when we are in the UK and we get back to the hotel, there is always something interesting on. Yes, I’m the idiot that finds shows like Dickinson’s Real Deal interesting.

Be as it may… UK shows I’m watching at the moment.

Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows is produced by ITV and it stars Reece Shearsmith as DS Sean Stone. I don’t know what’s ailing Stone, but it’s one of those he’s-brilliant-but-awkward-with-people type of conditions? Anyhow. Stone gets demoted and transferred to the Missing Persons Bureau where he works with Ruth Hattersley (played by Alex Kingston. Who, if you are old enough, you might remember from ER. Anyone?) So Stone sees patterns (will ignore the obvious Sherlock rip off here, don’t let that put you off) and decides one missing girl was in fact abducted by a serial killer. And so it goes… solid crime drama.

Great British Bake Off

Please. It’s Mary Berry (sweet baby Jesus, that lady! I wish I was half as cool when I get to that age. Or even now?). And Paul Hollywood (to get the shallow out of the way, kinda foxy, no? Also stuff that dude can do with dough. Pffffft). And all the tarts, sponges, rolls, cakes and breads you can take. Yes, gimme more of that. Word of caution – you might want to watch it AFTER you’ve eaten. Otherwise you’ll eat everything and the kitchen sink.

Scott and Bailey

In third season now and still good. Another solid crime drama with two strong female leads.

The Trip

Because OMG how come I didn’t watch this before?

So ladies and gents, anyone have any additional recommendations? It would be much obliged.

Things I learned watching the Trip (and the Trip to Italy)

  • Everything can be made better with a Michael Caine impersonation.
  • That said – did you know it’s possible to get into a pissing contest over a Michael Caine impersonation? Men. Sheesh.
  • She was only 16 years old… You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off? That line? I still don’t know which movie it is from.
  • Also? Small man in a box makes everything better.
  • Did you know you are not having sex, but having a summit? Or a congress? Yes, well, there you go.
  • Did you know some old people, not all old people mind, seek aggravation? Anyone who has ever tried to fight them for a seat on the bus/tram/metro can vouch for that. Not that I have. My mum would be displeased. Manners and all.
  • Did you know that between looking like Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond it’s worse to look like Hammond? Also – hm NO (have you seen Clarkson’s pouch lately?)
  • It takes a really confident restaurant to serve something with spew in it.
  • Also conversely – did you know you can be introduced to cheese?
  • Number of thank yous per episode? Round about a million. Same for grazie and grazie mille.
  • I don’t know why this makes me laugh so hard. But it does.

  • Greatest gift for any actor? Sparkling blue eyes.
  • Also conversely – did you know it is possible to be a reasonable villain?
  • I disagree with the statement that anyone over 40 who amuses themselves by doing impressions needs to take a long look in the mirror. Because where would get our funnies otherwise?
  • The correct answer to where do you stand on Michael Bauble would be – on his wind pipe.