Better late (and short) than never, right?
As with ritual, the right music can turn cooking from a chore into a celebration. Not to mention the mood you're in while cooking can influence the outcome--from a strictly mundane perspective, if you're in a bad mood while cooking you're more apt to make mistakes or injure yourself, and from a spiritual perspective, cooking with love and care in your heart means the food will be infused with those emotions.
I generally opt for lively, singable music rather than slow or meditative. Anything that gets me dancing around the kitchen will keep me chopping, kneading, and rocking out for hours. The right soundtrack is even more important for cooking marathons or anything involving multiple cooks--jostling for elbow room doesn't seem to happen nearly so much if everyone's dancing. The music brings everyone's energy into synch in the kitchen just as it does in ritual.
That in mind here is a track list of my favorite music to cook by. If you have trouble getting into the mood to cook for yourself, try making a CD like this one to help you shift your mind to culinary consciousness. It doesn't matter if the songs are about food (how many times can you listen to "Eat It", anyway?) as long as they get you moving, grooving, and stirring.
I've been known to put on my mix of the Beatles, Madonna, a CD of 80s pop, or Pink, but here's a more diverse mix I'm rather fond of.
- The Proclaimers - 500 Miles
- P!nk - Bad Influence
- Alanis Morissette - On the Tequila
- The All-American Rejects - Move Along
- B52s - Love Shack
- Barenaked Ladies - One Week
- Bowling for Soup - Ohio (Come Back to Texas)
- Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On
- India Arie - Private Party
- Indigo Girls - Hammer and a Nail
- Jill Sobule - I Kissed a Girl
- KT Tunstall - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
- Liz Phair - Polyester Bride
- Mary Chapin Carpenter - Down at the Twist and Shout
- Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
- MC Yogi - Ganesh is Fresh
- Nelly Furtado - I'm Like a Bird
- Paul Oakenfold - Starry-Eyed Surprise
- Rihanna - Don't Stop the Music
- Sinead O'Connor - Daddy I'm Fine
- Sophie B. Hawkins - Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover
- Tina Arena - Now I Can Dance
- Weird Al Yankovic - White and Nerdy
(Hey, I never said I was cool. *laugh* I could lie and tell you I like stuff like Death Cab for Cutie or the White Stripes, but I think my mid-90s-inspired dorkdom is quite awesome, thank you.)