Music To Cook By
I love cooking. I love music. I love to combine the two. For me, it is always a great pleasure to have a good chunk of time in my kitchen, preparing supper for friends coming over and putting on music to chop, slice, braise or roast to.
Which is all very well and good, but the choice of music does not always complement the choice of menu. To digress slightly for a moment for illustrative purposes, let's talk taking a shower.
There you are, happily soaping away, humming softly or loudly, as the whimsy may take you and then, of a sudden, you decide what is needed here is a tad more cold water in the mix. So you duly turn the dial and up the ante with the spray and lo, you start soaping faster to keep up with the increased speed of the spray. Am I alone in this?
Now, extrapolate this to music and chopping. If it's a dreamy symphony day, that's fine. I move gracefully twixt stove and worktop. Supper slowly builds and slips on to the table with no effort. But, If it's a bit of rock or heavy metal it can be a different scenario. Fast music requires fast chopping and not being trained in the culinary department I am no Jamie Oliver, knocking seven bells out of an onion in three seconds flat. Food flies off my chopping board and not always into the pan where I want it. I slip and slide across the kitchen as drops of oil spill out of my rocking-on hands. My stir-fry gyrates in time to a Mark Knopfler riff, rice is tossed high in the air as Pink Floyd pounds out 'Another Brick In The Wall' and cream is whipped to the Eagles 'Get Over It'.'
On reflection, it is just as well that I do not interior decorate to music, or exterior come to that. Imagine the paint that could be sloshed about conducting Beethoven's Fifth or playing air guitar along with Eric Clapton. Fortunately for me and my walls, my preference is for the spoken word when wielding a paintbrush. Come spring, when decorating projects hove into view, I raid my local library for talking books and happily spread emulsion and gloss paint about the place whilst listening to a variety of books. Only, if it's a whodunnit and the action is getting a bit tense, I make sure I'm not doing coving, or the lines can get a bit wobbly.
A perennial favourite of mine is 'The Navy lark'. a comedy series produced by BBC Radio in the 1960's and 70's. I just adore the characters and the plots and the whole daftness of it all and it doesn't matter how many times I listen to my old cassettes, (yes, I still have plenty) or CD's, they remain as fresh as the first time for me.
So, if you see a small, blondish gal up and down a ladder, guffawing and snorting with laughter, it's probably me. Don't call the doctor. Just put on another cassette and creep away. I'll carry on painting 'till Christmas then.
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