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food and song

food and song

I made chili for dinner last night. The recipe (not really a recipe, but something I made up in my head) called for flank steak and beer and music. Because you cannot cook without music. It's a tricky thing, trying to pick out the right CD for the right recipe. If you make a mistake with your choice of cooking music, it's like putting in the wrong ingredient.

After standing at the counter for a bit, looking over my ingredients and getting into a steak-and-beer-chili frame of mind, I decided on Danzig 4. See, it's not about the lyrics or the genre, it's about the groove you get into. It's about the flow of the music. Danzig 4 is slow and simmering with just the right kick. Perfect chili cooking music.

It's this way every night, no matter who is doing the cooking. Even Natalie gets into the music selection fixation. She may only be making salad and sandwiches when it's her turn, but she already knows that grilled cheese sandwiches call for Less Than Jake but the creation of the perfect caesar salad needs Nsync in the background(yes, we suffer for our food).

We've got it down to a science now. We should really group our cds according to entrees rather than band.

Chicken Francese gets Nick Cave, preferably Boatman's Call. Any kind of stir fry gets Aphex Twin or Front Line Assembly, depending on the ingredients. Porterhouse steak gets Pantera (but only VDOP) while steak fajitas will get Sublime or early Incubus, depending on how spicy the fajitas will be.

Yep, we have it all figured out. Refused for any kind of lunch time cooking. Portishead for stews or homemade soups. Radiohead for anything with red sauce, but only OK Computer or The Bends. Amnesiac and Kid A work well with a decadent dessert.

Sometimes we will work it backwards. If I am thinking about what to make for dinner, I will sometimes choose the music first and let that guide my meal decision. Usually, a compilation CD works here. I put on any Punkorama or Fat Wreck Chords comp, or perhaps a soundtrack, and let the music dictate the menu (note: the Spawn soundtrack should only be played when making a really complicated dessert. Trust me).

It's a very experimental science. Sometimes the combination of the food and the music doesn't work at all. Sometimes I give up halfway through, cry like a baby, dig out the old Tom Chapin tapes I used to play for my kids when they were little, and order out.

(see that license plate up top there? you can make your own)


While YMMV, I find that the soundtrack to Big Night is the most universally perfect cooking music.

You have become my new god.

Danzig 4, track 1: Brand New God.

Cool post, but still wondering what "chili" made by someone from New Jersey would be like ;)
Just kidding - actually the flank steak sounds alright. Cut into cubes, stewed for a few hours with chiles - yes that would be fairly authentic.
I once had chili (so-called) in California that included (among other things) broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini. I mean, I like all those things - just not in my chilie con carne!