It so happens that my life revolves quite a bit around music. More than a decade involved in the marketing of and almost three decades in the performance place music extraordinarily high on my passion scale. I don’t just listen to it as a passive instance to the soundtrack of my life, it envelopes my being writing about it, creating it, marketing it, etc. Of course, when something is that ingrained in one’s life it has far reaching effects. It can easily both dictate and enhance my mood and manipulate my senses in its entrenchment.
Of course, a recently discovered enjoyment of mine is cooking. Yes, I’ve been experimenting with food for about ten years reading books, watching shows, testing my own ideas (for better or worse) out in the kitchen. The convergence of cooking and music is one that my fellow blogger partner Big Rob and I have discussed many a time.
I noticed in my own cooking and listening habits the intersection of some interesting trends I felt might be interesting to share.
First, what I pass upon during the day of listening has a profound effect on what I cook that evening. I tend to lean toward Delta cooking when I listen to Jazz, in particular big band. There is a lot of regional diversity to Jazz, especially from this era and not all of what puts me in a Delta cooking mood is a derivative of big band, but one Louis Armstrong song can often be enough to peak the interest. Similarly, on a regional association front with music, when i hear blues during the day, I tend to lean to TexMex and Southwestern. All it takes is a Stevie Ray Vaughn song to push me in that direction even though regions of real blues span well beyond the big state’s borders.
Secondly, there’s an association to music I grew up listening to that inherently became associated with food in my personal life. When there are golden oldies from the early rock era on it actually makes me think of breakfast. The wonderful sounds of the hits of 1957 countdown or some CBS Rock, Roll and Remember segment that were bleeding out of an old transistor while breakfast was being cooked. Even when I’m cooking breakfast foods that I didn’t originally associate with the sound, I find myself humming the songs in my head. A good, sturdy classic rock song can do the same thing for me with picnic foods and BBQs and such, because so many times those were the songs that were being broadcast through the backyard during those gatherings. Some punk rock in the vein of Stretch Arm Strong or Rise Against reminds me of great veggie dishes pieced together with meatless friends.
Finally, another association I find that occurs is styles being associated with styles that have nothing to do with anything other than the coincidence of my mind