Movies to cook by

I rather like cooking. Most of the time. Like when I'm experimenting with a new recipe. Or trying to make something pretty. Or just winging it.

But, let's face it, cooking is sometimes, well, boring.

Such as when you're
... chop, chop, chopping all those veg (the fun never ends for an almost vegetarian, eh?!)
... knead, knead, kneading that damn dough
... whip, whip, whipping all those egg whites
... and stir, stir, stirring everything else

So I have a portable DVD player in the kitchen to keep me amused in the duller pockets of my cooking time.

The kitchen-worthy movie
Which brings me to the key question of today: How do you decide if a movie is kitchen-worthy? Well, boys and girls, I am here to help with my very own criteria for kitchen-worthy movies.

Judging the kitchen-worthy movie
  • It has to be fun. This is no time for a downer. If you want a tear-jerker, slice an onion.
  • It can’t be subtle. You will miss nuances as you turn from stock pot to sink. I’m sorry, Merchant & Ivory, but you’re simply not invited to the cooks quarters today.
  • It has to be loud. Chop, chop, chop, splash, splash, splash, huh, what’d he say? No way. Go for something that roars over the kitchen noises.
  • It has to work nicely with stop-and-start viewings. Which means buh buh deeply meaningful drama based on the type of literature I read in my university English classes.
  • It has to be something you’ve seen before, yet are happy to see again. And again. And again. Because 365 nights of dinners could equal a lot of movies if I even had the budget for a new movie every night (to say nothing about all the other cooking and baking times when I need a background movie, like when I am baking bread).
  • It also has to be something I've seen before so I am okay with missing rather a lot of screen action as I chop, stir, slurp, and so on. Think of it this way: New movie = Me standing in the middle of the kitchen clutching a wooden spoon, totally enthralled with the screen as the pot over flows onto the floor. Old movie = Me glancing up every so often to catch a key kiss or comment, yet still able to follow the story because I've seen it all before. Therefore, old movie = Good.
So what's good to watch tonight?
Think movies without a lot of depth. With action. Or comedy. Or adventure and the such.

What is in my kitchen movie library
It's an eclectic mix void of the foreign dramas I normally love (I reserve these for the cinema). I do not necessarily recommend this mix to you, only to show you that sci fi can rub up against comedy and survive.
  • Aliens. The entire boxed set. I recommend the third one and the second one, in that order, then the first one (especially the second half) and the first half of the fourth one. Ripley is great. I can use cooking as an excuse not to see the yucky aliens. And the dialogue is fun.
  • Tremors. Kevin Bacon being goofy. Worth a giggle. And good for about ten watchings (ten very spaced out watching - over several years, say, before you get sick of it).
  • Independence Day. I like the dog. He has a brief, but pivotal, scene. And I like animals. And Harry Connick Jr. But I digress.
  • Moulin Rouge. I sing along with the music.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean. Both of them. Johnny Depp. 'Nuff said.
  • Buckaroo Bonzai. Great theme music.
  • The Mummy. I and II. Wonderfully goofy.
  • Kill Bill I and II. The first one is better, but the second one is quite good, too. Tough women. Good for us!
  • The Wizard of Oz. Never grows old. And I can sing along with the songs. All of them. Incessantly. And even without the movie playing. Which I often do.
As for music?
Sure, I love to listen to music as I cook. In fact, I listen to music more often than I watch movies. But it is difficult to provide a list because it changes, depending on the mood. Yesterday I was listening to a Beethoven piece (one of the pastorals; damned if I know which). A week ago my husband went on an opera spree. I was just starting to learn how to sing in languages I didn't even know when the man mysteriously stopped playing it. Wonder why.

Motown always works for me because I can, and heaven help the neighbors, do, sing to it. All of it. Quite loudly. But I have also been known to go on a girl singer streak (Sinead O'Connor, Aimee Mann, Alainis Morissette, and so on) and have even dredged up everything from David Bowie and Ella Fitzgerald to Sinatra, Seal, the Wallflowers, Nirvana, and even the Smashing Pumpkins.

Oh yeah. And I love old show tunes. Certainly you know by now I love anything I can sing to. Loudly. Which means, the next step is to get some old movies. Anyone know where I can score a nice Oklahoma?