Thursday, 5 August 2010

Music while you work


Do you like music while you work? It was in the dark days of 1940 that the BBC instituted 'Music While You Work', following a Government suggestion that morale in industry would be improved if there were daily broadcasts of cheerful music piped into the factories. The theory (which turned out to be right) was that improved morale would lead to better production. I find music in the kitchen makes me twice as productive. I was brought up in the 50´s on a diet of radio broadcasts. We relied on the " wireless" for all our at home entertainment.
My mother always used to be switched to Two way family favourites while she prepared our Sunday Lunch
-The time in Britain is twelve noon, in Germany it's one o'clock, but home and away it's time for "Two-Way Family Favourites" ...with Jean Metcalfe in London and Cliff Michelmore in Germany. Nowadays On a Sunday morning when I am cooking I enjoy listening to Rufus Wainwright - Want One or Want Two, but more often than not, the one that I want is Release the Stars. I find classical piano music very soothing when one wants to get lost in ones own culinary world, concentrating on the task at hand which may involve complicated baking formulas, and for this task I select Ludovico Einaudi, I Giorni or Divenire.
When I am on my own in the kitchen, I very often use it as a chance to give our extensive back catalogue of CD´s an airing. I make the selection and don´t have to consider anyone else!! lets just call it housewives choice.
Different types of music might suit different styles of cooking. For me a Kasbian anthem like `Fire´ is the perfect choice for flattening saltimbocca with a rolling pin. I definitely enjoy a good aria while making spag bol? God forbid, La Traviata might encourage consumption in the kitchen!!! and while on the subject of opera I have recently become quite partial to having Emma Shaplin, accompany my kitchen duties. `Popera´ can be a great partner to creating a modern take on a traditional cuisine. The Fear by Lily Allen, makes me stir to a frenzy, and Wire to Wire, Johnny Borrell, brings me back to slicing juliennes of carrot. Rodrigo Leao´s Alma mater and Cinema are high on my `most played while cooking´ list. The fast rythms of Rodrigo y Gabriela kept Elena and my spirits high and our hands on deck for a fast day of prepping for a recent wedding catered. That brings me finally to showtunes, the overture to Follies, Sondheim and Sweeney Todd , the devil´s apprentice intoxicating the food, Devils food cake perhaps, but I start to feel I dont like these pies I´m baking any more. I feel the Beatles should have been in here somewhere, I grew up on the Beatles music, but their food related titles like Octopus´s garden and Mean Mr Mustard, do nothing for me. When I play Beatles it is usually a complete medley. The long and winding road must end here.

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