Music and food share many traits in common. They indulge your senses, bring people together, and most importantly, nourish the soul. For the August edition of the collaborative blog, T&E collective members celebrate food and music by pairing songs with various recipes that reflect their ingredients, flavors, and memories.
Some of the most blessed moments in life are when a song perfectly synchronizes with your present moment. The other week, I decided to check out the new Hiatus Kaiyote album, Mood Valiant, while I baked vegan rosewater pistachio cupcakes. Right when I’m measuring out the rosewater, the words “Rose water, pour a little love on me, over me…” come out of my speaker. Damn.
Aside from the literal aspects of the title, this song is a great track to mirror the flavors in these cupcakes. It’s sensually sweet, with these light, fluttering keys that mimic the floral notes that tickle your tongue on each bite.
And I can vouch that these are super easy to make! Great for beginners and experts alike.
Here's another recipe from the same cook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who is easily becoming one of my favorite vegan cooks. It's for a leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits:
It may seem complex, but it's a single pot meal. You're really just throwing in ingredients one at a time and letting the crock pot do all the hard work. It's a great dish for when you're wanting a really dynamic and hearty meal without making things too complicated. Highly recommend for a fall comfort dish to share with friends.
And while there are tons of songs that could go along with this dish (i.e. French music, comfort music, etc.), the first one that came to mind was "Ball and a Biscuit" - The White Stripes. Similar to the song choice above, it's literal but also musically fits the dish real well. It's a slow burner of a track with a basic blues structure that hearkens back to the comfort of this dish. The cassoulet is all about enjoying the process and taking your time, a sentiment that Jack expresses in the song ("Let's have a ball and a biscuit sugar, and take our sweet little time about it"). And yeah the song is actually about sex and drugs -- but food pleasure ain't that different!
And one more hearty one-pot meal from the same cook book:
This recipe requires Creole music. While it's not a genre I'm entirely knowledgeable about, I've always enjoyed watching the few videos of Canray Fontenot that exist, who was known to be the best Creole fiddler players of all time. Similarly to the food, Fontenot's music (and Creole and Cajun music in general) is all about awakening something genuine within our hearts and soul.
Bonus track of a great song celebrating good times, good friends, and good jambalaya:
Lastly, I wanted to share this recipe from my auntie's cookbook. She was the only Iranian I had ever known that went vegetarian until recent years that it's become more trendy. Bless her heart.
This recipe is super easy, fresh, and has some beautifully bold colors. It can be hard to find mushroom pasta, but I also like to sub for black bean noodles if you're looking for an alternative noodle to shake things up:
So many great ways you could pair this song to music...perhaps a Blackmoth Super Rainbow song to pair with the cheery, colorful vegetables and collards, or some sorta snarky song that picks up on the subtle spiciness of the ginger (wow, lot of unintentional alliteration there.) But I gotta end all this off on some good vegan bullshit:
There are tons of vegan/animal rights anthems out there, but no one is more crass and up front about their message than Dystopia. I'd post the lyrics here, but y'all might lose your appetite!
When the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) met in Chicago, the Lumpen people hosted a TransAtlantic Booty Dancing Party at the Buddy Space, when they were still holding it down in Wicker Park. Food Not Bombs served Spicy Pumpkin Soup, and it quickly became one of my favorite dishes.
"Nasty" by Janet Jackson is the one song I can distinctly remember being played at the party, twice actually. Once over the PA, and another time when someone was showing some footage from one of the marches against the TABD when some folks were doing a dance routine to this song.
Honorable mentions to Modest Mouse and Atom and His Package, two acts I first heard Food Not Bombin’ in Clevo, and Frank Zappa, the kind of music that lost me some scene points over the years, but whatever. -- A. Iwasa
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil or other oil
1 Medium Onion White, Yellow or Brown, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic crushed
1 tsp Ginger minced or finely chopped
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (I use rooster sauce or Thai chili paste if I can)
9 cups Pumpkin (2.2lb/1kg) peeled and cubed (usually canned because it's easy to find for free, especially after Thanksgiving)
14 ounce Can Coconut Cream (400ml), Unsweetened▢
1 and 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock/Broth (360ml) (I try to use miso)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add the coconut oil to a pot with the chopped onion, garlic and ginger and sauté.
Then add the thyme and cayenne pepper and sauté until the onions are softened.
Add in the coconut cream and vegetable stock and the pumpkin and bring to the boil. (If I use Miso, I don't boil)
Turn down the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is soft and cooked (around 10 minutes).
Use an immersion blender to blend it smooth inside the pot. If you haven't got an immersion blender, then transfer to a blender jug in stages and blend until smooth. (When I used canned pumpkin, it's already blended enough which is great because I'm kind of lazy!)
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some pumpkin seeds as garnish (optional).
Also, hail Seitan!
I’m lucky to have stumbled upon John Glacier through producer Vegyn (who produced Frank Ocean’s albums Blonde and Endless). The East London rapper’s debut is moody, mellow, and raw. It feels like walking through English streets on an overcast autumn morning. Her combination of intuitive wordplay and soft, simple music creates something sweet on the ears … how would I follow up with anything other than an effortless icing recipe? -- Noa M.
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