My Kitchen Playlist: Silence ... With a Little Led Zeppelin

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We're sharing our kitchen playlists with you this week and here's mine:  Usually silence unless it's Led Zeppelin.  Let me explain.

My favorite way to cook, especially when I cook alone, is in silence.  I like the sounds of cooking:  the chopping, the sizzling, the thwacking of a wooden spoon against the bowl when I cream butter and sugar.  (I tend to be rather unplugged in my daily cooking, so I'm not talking so much about the whine of a blender or other loud mechanical sounds.)  I enjoy my thought process when I cook and how the task at hand pulls my thinking this way and that.  If things get too noisy internally, if I'm frustrated or bored with my thinking, then I try to shift my attention what's in front of me.  Not just the sounds, but the colors and smells and shapes, too.  It never ceases to inspire.

That said, I occasionally like to get caught up with my podcasts if I have a huge kitchen project.  When those Gabfests and This American Life episodes start to pile up, I plug in the earphones and pick up my knife and get chopping.  But often I give up on the podcasts because I'm just not a good multi-tasker.  I either lose track of the podcast or goof up my recipe because I'm distracted.  So these days I tend to save the podcasts for the cleaning up part.

And that's the way it was until I recently interviewed Karen Solomon for our Expert Essentials series.  When she talked about having a soundtrack for her kitchen, I found myself drawn to that notion.  I don't drive, and I don't have a commute, so there are very few natural opportunities in my life to listen to music.  And I miss it.  So lately, on occasion, I listen to some music when I'm cooking.  Not enough to create a playlist for you here, but enough to remind me that music has an enormous influence over my mood and energy.  When I'm in the kitchen and I need to slow down and focus, I like to listen to simple piano music.  When I need a boost of energy and some enthusiasm, it's Led Zeppelin all the way!

Related:  Do You Play Music at Your Dinner Parties?

(Image: Dana Velden)