Friday Five: Things I Listen To While Cooking.

Once upon a time I was asked to list the needs – the ones that go beyond the physiological category in Maslow’s empire – that I require for happiness, for balance. Never, prior to that question I was paying someone to ask me, had I considered such a thought. The challenge – with the exception of my first answer – proved to be difficult and became homework for my next appointment. What was the glaringly obvious mandate for contentedness in my life? I need to listen to All Things Considered while cooking in my kitchen.

With that preamble, I present: Things I listen to while cooking.

1. All Things Considered

A combination of the voices of Michele Norris, Melissa Block and Robert Siegel paired with slicing, dicing, boiling and broiling is the perfect recipe for letting go of the day’s stresses. A mental note of caution, though: if my time in the kitchen takes too long, I find myself listening to Marketplace, whose stories prompt this marketing director’s thoughts away from heartwarming interview with Chilean miners and back to business.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

This one is, of course, a seasonal choice. But folks may be surprised at how early in the season I bring out Vince. While some complain about Christmas-themed music starting in November, I’m voluntarily playing it in late September and October. Why? In the world of grocery store marketing and designing, December starts before coat weather and something has to get me in the mood.

3. This American Life

My interactive multimedia degree is not reflected in my ability to use my electronics to their fullest. Maya is constantly alerting me to “new” apps and programs that will make my life easier. One I found on my own is the This American Life app. Ira’s witty and touching commentary on everyday life is only interrupted by culinary alarms programmed into the phone, labeled things such as: Turkey done? Rolls ready for baking and Check turnips.

4. Girl Talk

I’m way late to the game here. Girl Talk’s new album (which you can download for free) is 1 hour and 11 minutes long. This continuous upbeat make-you-smile song is perfect for the kitchen. Not only does it make the task of making pie dough a little more lively, but it’s long enough that I don’t have to get my sticky, flour-covered hands all over my electronics in a mid-cooking deejay move.

5. Broken Social Scene


This million-person Canadian band specializes in dramatic finales that, if timed well, can make putting the finishing toppings on a salad or pulling mac and cheese out of the oven a life-changing event.

Welp. There’s my five. What do you listen to?

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6 thoughts on “Friday Five: Things I Listen To While Cooking.

  1. Michelle Isroff says:

    Love it.

  2. Cindy says:

    So funny–ATC is a must for me, too!

  3. ChrisD says:

    Nice list! I’ve been known to play that Vince Guaraldi Trio album even in the middle of the summer because, aside from being the best Christmas album of all time, it happens to be one of the best jazz albums or albums period of all time.

    Aside from that, never would have guessed I’d see anything from NPR on your list ;) Also, got a laugh out of picturing you cooking in your kitchen while listening to Girl Talk!

  4. Bethia says:

    I listen to some NPR but I mainly listen to BBC podcasts

    My favorites are:
    The food program
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/foodprogramme_20070624.shtml
    Friday Night Comedy
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fricomedy
    From our own Correspondent
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fooc

  5. Terri D says:

    I bake to the CD ‘Last Days of Disco’ I may be 41 but I’m a disco queen when I bake. My husband and I save ‘This American Life’ for road trips. Ira’s voice always signifies escaping the city for me.

  6. KnittingKelly says:

    Foo Fighters helps me rock it out in the kitchen;-)

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