“Watching People Cook”


When I am at the dentist a television hovers over the chair allowing me to distract myself from procedures. I almost always choose cooking shows. Lately instead of watching the news I have been viewing season after season of the “Great British Baking Show” with the original cast pictured above. Why on earth am I spending time looking at other people cook?

After thinking about this question for a while, I still have only a partial answer, but thought I would share what I know right now. Cooking shows are calming. Other people do the heavy lifting of grocery shopping, storage, cutting, dicing, measuring and mixing. I sit back and watch them. I imagine that I have an elf getting everything ready for me and I know I would be an outstanding cook in that situation!

Cooking shows promote a can-do attitude. Although they occasionally make mistakes or cut themselves, the cooks carry on. Curiously it doesn’t translate for me into an “I can cook this same dish.” Rather it seems to increase my general sense of optimism. I certainly need that both at the dentist and in the American political climate.

Cooking shows are utterly predictable. In the case of the “Great British Baking Show,” each week one baker will get the “star baker” award and one will leave the show. At the end of the season the three bakers left will compete for the prize. A grand picnic of family, friends and all the eliminated bakers celebrate as the winner is announced and handed a large bouquet and a glass plate. In other cooking shows each episode ends with a smiling cook and a tempting display of cooked food. I am calmed by this predictability in a country where I never know what will happen next with my “leaders.”

Having binged on cooking shows the only question left is “what’s for dinner?” Take-out maybe?

24 thoughts on ““Watching People Cook”

  1. Even though I’m not much of a cook, one of my favorite TV shows is Chopped. I like the judges, and I also pick up a few tips from the chefs. As far as the dentist goes, I haven’t had one yet with a TV.


  2. When I was younger I did watch cookery shows but for a very long time now I’ve avoided them. Once again it is all about celebrity; the contestants want to be celebrities too! Sorry, not my cup of tea!


  3. I get it. I have nature segments at my dentist. I have to get a crown replaced this week. I think I’ll use headphones and audible this time. Or maybe they’ll switch to different animals. I’ve memorized these.


  4. Baking is very calming, Elizabeth. I bake to relieve my work stress and I remember my mom’s oncologist telling me, while she was having her treatment, that they recommend cooking and baking to cancer patients.


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