I use music to motivate me in all kinds of different ways. For example, I took up running a few years ago so I am always on the look out for good cardio songs. And in the mornings during my very short commute I tend to listen to CBC Radio Two because Julie Nesrallah's voice and her mix of 'classic classical' tunes is so soothing and calming after the rush and bustle of getting two little boys out the door for the day. I listen to a lot of classical music when I'm cooking too, but I tend to mix things up a bit depending on my mood and (don't laugh) what I'm cooking. So without further ado (not that you asked) I present my kitchen soundtrack.
1. Pretty Flowers - Steve Martin
It features a banjo. And Dolly Parton. Need I say more? Get out your ingredients, find all of the bowls and spoons and spatulas you need, preheat the oven and by the time you're finished, you'll be humming this song.
2. Settle My Accounts with You - Matthew Barber
I like this song because it suits so many moods. The version I usually listen to is more suited to running; the video I've linked here is much more mellow. A great stirring song. As in 'simmer over medium low heat stirring constantly for 5 minutes'.
3. Casual Viewin' - 54-40
I have a huge crush on 54-40. My brother used to listen to them all the time when we were in high school so this is a band I learned to like listening to them muffled through my bedroom wall. Chopping vegetables always goes faster to a good beat.
Note - the next four videos refused to embed themselves into my post. Life is too short for me to try and figure out why so I just linked them through the titles. Videos will open in a new window.
4. Hello - Martin Solveig and Dragonette
This is another good song for when you have to complete a repetitive task. Like peeling a big pile of potatoes. Just be careful - you will be dancing by the end of this song. Don't stab yourself with a paring knife on my account. Safety first!
5. Wouldn't It Be Loverly - Julie Andrews (My Fair Lady)
I would be remiss if I didn't include at least one tune from Broadway. This track tends to enter the rotation when I'm making soup or roast chicken or macaroni and cheese. It just seems to go well with comfort food dishes.
6. Into Action - Tim Armstrong
This song will always be, for me, a Summer kitchen song. It's one of those tunes that immediately transports me back to a particular time and place. This track was on a friend's iPod up at the cottage, playing out on the deck while I was in the kitchen making potato salad. The first few times I heard it was through a screen door. No matter. Whenever I crave potato salad I also crave 'Into Action'.
7. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
This is my favourite piece of classical music and one that I love to have on in the kitchen when I'm making a dish I haven't made before and I need to focus. It provides a nice bit of background noise without being too distracting.
The last couple of songs are the ones I use to motivate me to clean up the kitchen. Yes, David usually does most of the dirty work but he isn't always around when my urge to bake/cook strikes so I am left to face the music (er - mess) I've managed to accumulate in the kitchen myself.
8. (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) (I Want You To) - Weezer
So if you happen to wander into the kitchen and I'm up to my elbows in suds and you're wondering if I want you to grab a dish towel and help? I want you to.
9.Tightrope - Janelle Monae
I know it's also the backdrop for a car ad so it's kind of everywhere, but this song is so infectious. And who says you can't dance at the sink? Water drumming with wooden spoons is the new air guitar.
So that's it. A few of the songs that I currently have cued up on my kitchen play list.