Texts and music about food and drink, with readings by Ben Miles and Emily Joyce. With Dickens, Enid Blyton and Fannie Flagg, plus Martinu, Bernstein and Rodrigo.
A celebration of all things culinary and mixological, from an ancient recipe for chocolate to James Bond's iconic 'Vesper' Martini. Texts come from Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and Fannie Flagg, while music includes morsels by Martinu, Bernstein and Rodrigo. Recipes, factual and fictional, basic and outlandish, read by Ben Miles and Emily Joyce.
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
Verses from Deuteronomy, Luke and Genesis, read by Ben Miles and Emily Joyce
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, read by Ben Miles
Cooking with Fernet Branca, read by Ben Miles
Recipe for Stuffed Camel, read by Emily Joyce
Les Dons de Comus (1758), read by Emily Joyce
Italian Cooking, read by Emily Joyce
Tuscan Scenes and Sketches (1888), read by Emily Joyce
The Magic Faraway Tree, read by Ben Miles
The Two Towers, read by Ben Miles
Casino Royale, read by Ben Miles
Recipe for Christmas Punch, read by Ben Miles
Macbeth, read by Emily Joyce
A Curious Treatise of the Nature and Quality of Chocolate, read by Emily Joyce
Like Water For Chocolate, read by Emily Joyce
Recipe for Gingerbread, read by Emily Joyce
If music be the food of love, read on: Words and Music heads to the kitchen (and the cocktail cabinet!)
Savoury dishes range from the basic to the outlandish. Fannie Flagg's Fried Green Tomatoes (which inspired a feature film with a fine soundtrack by Thomas Newman) could not be simpler or more delicious, while one suspects few will be tempted to try James Hamilton-Paterson’s Otter with Lobster Sauce or a traditional Arabic stuffed camel feast at home! Elizabeth David introduced the very idea of Mediterranean cooking to this country: her evocation of uccelletti, the Italian delicacy of roasted songbirds, feeds on an earlier description from the 19th century.
Enid Blyton meets J.R.R. Tolkien by way of her nephew, composer Carey Blyton: his spiky Little Frog Music gives way to an overture based on Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Further liquid refreshment of the literary sort comes from Ian Fleming’s iconic ‘Vesper’ martini, concocted in Casino Royale by James Bond himself. There’s Charles Dickens’ own recipe for Christmas Punch, while the Witches’ brew from Shakespeare’s Macbeth is evoked by the music of Smetana and Verdi.
Throughout, Martinu’s perky jazz ballet La revue de cuisine makes its presence felt, along with Leonard Bernstein’s La bonne cuisine which sets recipes by Emile Dutoit in Bernstein’s own witty translations. Along the way, we also hear Maurice Jarre’s suitably epic soundtrack for David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un Gentilhombre and the battle of opposing cooks in Britten’s Paul Bunyan arguing the benefits of soup versus beans.
And for dessert…? I hope you left room for some of William Bolcom’s Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise…!