Hillary Clinton says it takes a village. But first the village has to eat. In my book, it takes a kitchen. Come and discover why food is part of everything we do, and just like romance, is most often enjoyed with and binds us to others. Along the way, I will tease you into discovering the science and philosophy that will help you seduce the lover, impress the boss, build the family and change the community. And we will probably get to share some recipes on this journey...
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Food you can listen to, Music you can eat
When I cook I
prefer to have music on, frequently loud, always something I can sing along
with.And I go out of my way to be sure
that I am loud enough to be heard outside so as to most effectively embarrass my
soon-to-be 11 year old stepdaughter.Isn’t
that part of a parent’s job?Often the
music and smells draw the family into the kitchen and little, impromptu dance
parties develop.It’s a fun, chaotic,
loud, delicious scene.Recently it got
me thinking about music that’s about food.I tried to come up with my favorite songs that feature food and I
discovered that there is actually quite a bit of foodie music.In fact, numerous blogs have already covered the
subject.One webpage (http://www.mixedup.com/foodsongs.htm) has
an exhaustive list organized by food.Alas, I share with you my favorites in the order they came to me and
invite you to share yours.
That's Amore by Dean Martin
– American or not, it makes me feel like I am sitting at a sidewalk café in
Rome enjoying a bowl of pasta, vino rossa, and some sunshine.
Scenes from an Italian
Restaurant by Billy Joel – One of my all-time favorite songs to cook
with.It’s almost long enough to boil
pasta, it tells a great story, and is “told” over a meal.And it’s long enough that my stepdaughter sinks
all the way to bribery to get me to stop singing.
Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
– I read somewhere that misheard lyrics, mondegreens, are most often about
either food or sex.To take the idea a
step further, I would suggest that most often songs that talk about food are
actually talking about sex.This song
has to be one of the best examples of the last 30 years and always gets the
crowd going in the kitchen.My, won’t
they be embarrassed in a few years?
Cherry Pie By Warrant – How
is it that women always get equated with food?See above.I am the last person
you’ll find defending the value of eighties hair bands.I spent most of the eighties listening to
what was then called college rock, now alt. rock.But a few cheesy pop tunes (didn’t eighties
pop include its hair bands?) had to seep into my consciousness.No matter what you thought of this years ago,
doesn’t it make you grin and reach for some hot fruit?
Eat It by Weird Al – I’m
sorry to have to include this, but it cracked me up as a kid and sitting down
to think about food and music brought this to mind immediately.Now I find it disgusting and somewhat
offensive.I don’t sing to this in the
Jailhouse Rap by The Fat Boy’s
– I know The Fat Boys had more than a few other songs that revolved around
food, but this is the one that comes to mind.Motivated by a pizza craving, a crime is committed and he ends up in
prison.Another song that’s a
story.Listening to it, I am struck by
how much I miss the humor, fun and beats of Old Skool hip-hop.
Alice’s Restaurant Massacre
by Arlo Guthrie – When I was a teenager I learned of this song listening to
St. Louis’ KSHE 95 on Thanksgiving Day.Again, I love a song with a story and this is the epitome of storytelling.It’s also a great sample of late sixties
politics and a piece of American history.And since I identify it with Thanksgiving, I also identify it with
eating and cooking.
Sweet Potato Pie by James
Taylor and Ray Charles – My wife brought this song to me and we had it
played at our wedding.Again, we have a
love, a woman, turned into food, but isn’t it wonderful?Simply put, it’s a sweet song.And I don’t even like sweet potatoes!
Sweet Potato by Cracker –
I guess as I was thinking about these the word “sweet” got something
going.I love this band and find so much
of their music catchy and fun.This song
is in my “happy song” category and I can’t help but sing it loud and proud.
Sweet Pea by Amos Lee – If
there’s a perfectly happy, sweet, romantic song this is it.Soulful, bluesy and I can’t stop singing when
I cook.We also had to have this played
during our wedding weekend.
Breakfast in America by
Supertramp – For a guy who loves punk and alt. rock there’s little worse
than Supertramp.Truth is, Supertramp is
one of my guilty pleasures.Breakfast in
our house is a big deal.Rarely do the
kids eat just a simple bowl of cereal more than three days in a row.Now that school has started each weekend will
have at least one breakfast feast.And
this song will roll around in my head while cooking each and every one.
Pulling Mussels from a Shell
by Squeeze – I have no idea what this song is about, but I love it and
virtually everything Squeeze made.As
for mussels – I remember my first ones in Luxembourg as a teen and have loved
them ever since.White wine or a hoppy
beer, shallots, garlic, some herbs to steam them and a good baguette to dip in
the juice and you have the perfect winter meal.And I will hum the song in my head the whole time.
The Pina Colada Song by
Rupert Holmes – Pina Coladas were the first mixed drinks I remember.And this song just gets stuck in your
head.Has anyone had a Pina Colada since
1980 without thinking about this song?
by Adam Sandler – The other night we made sloppy joes from scratch.You have to do this – it is easy and easily
customizeable to family tastes.But I
simply cannot say “sloppy joe” without thinking about this song.I shared this video with the kids after
dinner.They giggled in awe of Chris
Do Fries Go with That Shake
by George Clinton – Food and sexual innuendo – they go together like, well
like fries and a shake!This song and
video is hysterical, and to my wife’s dismay, I sing this to her all the time,
normally with the kids around so they think I am just excited about eating
Cups and Cakes by Spinal Tap
– From one of my favorite movies,
a song about baking, right?Every
birthday celebration we find ourselves making cupcakes or a cake and me humming
Ice Cream Castles by The Time
– Remember Purple Rain?Remember Prince’s rival, Morris Day?I wanted all the music from the movie and
picked up The Time’s album at the same time as Purple Rain and discovered this
Brown Sugar by the Rolling
Stones – Supposedly this song was inspired by one of Ike Turner’s back-up
singers…not food.I can’t help but sing
when I hear this, loving the blues influence and all that soul.
Peaches by The Presidents of
United States of America – I love music that tells a story and has
something substantive to say.Art ought
to get political.It’s okay for art to
be serious.This is none of the above –
this is just silly.But a peach can’t be
eaten without singing this.
Lost in the Supermarket by
The Clash – Everything from The Clash was right up my alley.I loved the politics, the international
influences, the raw aggression in some of their music.But this song makes me smile.And then….listen to the lyrics…this is not
the result of happiness.And it speaks
to a kid’s worst fear, being lost in a large store.But the image sounds great to me as an
adult.The only place I actually enjoy
shopping is the supermarket.
I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow
– I know this is a cover, but I love Bow Wow Wow’s version.The drums make me move.There are some amazing stories about this
band and its underage singer, Annabella Lwin, and the song really irritates lots
of people.Somehow when I was younger I
just knew there was something inappropriate about this song.But I liked it.It might be the most overplayed eighties
retro song after Come On Eileen.My kids love the song because the say its
title all the time!
Red Red Wine by UB40 – This
is another cover song (Neil Diamond wrote it) but this is the version I grew up
with.And for our purposes here today,
at least this really is about wine.
I Want A Little Sugar in My
Bowl by Nina Simone – This is another old song, but I think Simone does it
best.I am pretty sure if you had never
heard the English language then heard this song, you would absolutely know
beyond any doubt that this song is not about food at all.Not sure?Listen carefully to Bessie
Smith’s version.Both of these women
epitomize the raw sexuality of the blues.In fact, if you listen to the blues you know there’s a whole lotta music
Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young
– I love Matthew Sweet’s version, but grew up with Young’s.I often wondered what on earth a cinnamon
girl was, and I still can’t define it, but since meeting my wife, I can say I
know.I sing this to her all the time
and the kids beg me to stop. C is for Cookie by the Cookie
Monster – Bring on the cookies!Isn’t
this everyone’s first food song?!
Eat the Rich by Motorhead
– This band rocks!This is metal…period.Those eighties hair bands got nothing on
Ice Cream Man by Van Halen
– About the same time I was cracking up listening to Eddie Murphy’s Delirious
(The ice cream man is coming!Want some?)
I was also listening to Van Halen.They
rocked, and they had a sense of humor, at least until they thought an inability
to drive 55 was the height of rock 'n' roll rebellion.And what’s better than ice cream in the
summer time listening to your favorite tunes?