Loud music is a rousing cooking companion. Loud music in another language is even better (even when the language and the particular dish are incongruous, as are today’s chansons en français, grâce à Belinda Carlisle, and my current hummus-in-progress). As much as I love cooking with my girls, sometimes a cook just needs to be alone with her KitchenAid — and a little background music (read: not so much background noise).
I figured out a while back that if I want the kids to occupy themselves, or even just to play nicely, all it takes is a little music, a little soundtrack of sorts to accompany their activities. I’ve no clue why it’s an effective diversion, but you might try it. Any type of music seems to do the trick around here—classical on the satellite, Gwen Stefani or Hot Hot Heat, French preschool songs on cassette.
I came across Belinda’s latest release, the entirely in French Voilà, while searching for French music on Amazon. Having been a girl at just that impressionable age when Belinda, safely cool, and the Go-Go’s were “Head over Heels,” nostalgia piqued my curiosity, and I tossed the CD into my virtual shopping cart.
Her accent is just fine—her vibrato and bravery are enough that I’m not going to quibble. It should be pointed out that Belinda sounds nothing like those Go-Go’s days. But could that be more appropriate? She sounds so grown up, and how grown up do I feel, blasting Belinda in the kitchen, an immense pile of parsley on the cutting board, waiting to be finely chopped and scooped up by handfuls on its way into the food processor, where it will mix with garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice and a paste of roasted garlic. (This is my other “calling” of the moment, in addition to that motherhood thing: testing the host of hummus recipes I’ve been hoarding.)
“Ne me quitte pas,” so the song goes, but honestly, if my Quinn is content to do the opposite, just until the hummus is smooth and the counters are wiped clean, that’s fine by me. I think I can handle the momentary rejection.