My time spent in people's homes is primarily silent. The music I move to is the sounds produced by hissing pans, popping sauces, the crack of fresh produce. I am vigilant when it comes to what I feed people- it requires full concentration and fine-tuned ears. I may speak to myself every once in a while, but it's only to curse if I've forgotten an ingredient or a piece of equipment or I'm missing something- anything- and I'm put into a panic. This does not happen often. I'm usually quiet for hours on end.
I can tell when it's time to lower the temperature on a reduction ... when the bubbles move too quickly, they get a violent sound to them.
I can tell when the browning on a pork chop or chicken breast is almost done. The sizzle and seer starts to fade, moving toward charcoal instead of caramelization. The sound of food burning has a dull, dead sound. It's almost vacant.
Tomato sauce and stock should have a "blub blub" sound instead of fast paced popping and splashing.
All of this is learned over time, the more you cook the more you can recognize the familiar sounds of the kitchen. So many times I intend to let Pandora carry me to a place of effortless time-travel. When the right music is playing, time is no longer an issue. I could sway in the kitchen for hours, not noticing where the sun sat in the sky. I could only tell time by how many songs have passed and where the bread was at for rising. I suppose there is a worse existence.
Tonight I'm making chicken cordon bleu. We have so much ham in the house from Easter dinner that I have to find some way to use it every day. This seems like a nice use of a few ingredients.
Mark and I rarely ever eat poultry unless it's eggs. We only eat beef because we have a barter system with Miles Smith Farm. Fish is something I can make an exception for every once in a while, but it's once in a great while.
So I'm off to wander in the grocery store. Usually when I go there I have an agenda, a long list to fulfill. There is no room to ramble, but I will take advantage of this open afternoon to make dinner special. Mark goes in for surgery on his wrist tomorrow morning (finally!) and he won't be able to eat after 6pm tonight. I better make every bite count! There will be wine involved.
Since I've spent so much time talking about the music of food, I'll leave you with a handful of videos of songs that have been stuck in my head this week. I hope they lull you into a comfortable place- be it cooking, dancing, or walking through the grocery store.
Happy listening, happy eating. xo