One of the more unusual things that I have in my kitchen is a latin jazz band. They’re not a permanent fixture you understand, but they have what you might call a semi-permanent residency in my house. With the full complement of band members present, it means 7 tuneful souls (plus instruments) packed into the kitchen-cum-dining area, and me. (I do feel obliged to add, by way of explanation, that I am actually related to one of the members, so you can scotch any thoughts that I might have a predilection for stray musicians right there!)
Yesterday’s rehearsal session saw a bit of merengue on the menu – for the uninitiated, that’s merengue the musical style, as opposed to a similarly named dessert involving rather more in the way of egg whites. The two are related though. One theory has it that some (clearly egg-headed) individual thought that people dancing the merengue looked like egg whisks in action, which doesn’t quite fit with the usual image of steamy latin dancing. I mean, I don’t know about you, but picturing one’s dancing partner as an over-sized egg whisk doesn’t quite do it for me! In fact, you’ve got to wonder what the deal is with meringue-based desserts and dancing. I’m quite partial to a bit of pavlova, but now I’m wondering whether Anna Pavlova, the Russian dancer after whom it was named, didn’t have some balletic moves in common with the humble whisk…
Still, regardless of the style or egg content, it’s positively decadent to have live musical accompaniment to the making of one’s lunch. It’s hard not to start chopping in time to the beat, though I hasten to add that I stop short of trying to imitate an egg beater or any other kitchen utensil for that matter! And though I may manage to chop in tune, it still doesn’t mean that I necessarily know my rumba from my merengue from my cha cha cha. However, I generally manage to operate in my culinary capacity whilst not upsetting the rhythm, apart, perhaps, from the occasional mis-timed microwave ‘bing’, which only serves to remind us all why it is that I mainly stick to the audience side of these musical affairs!