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The news that keeps us Onward On!
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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

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Jams with Jam

Kate Ferenchak ’26 talks about some of the ways food and music come together to make formative memories. Picture by the author.

You know when you want to find the perfect song to listen to while you eat your food but you spend so much time finding that song that– OOPSIE– it’s been an hour and your food gets cold or your ice cream melts? Yeah, I hate that too! It’s a full-blown tragedy!

As someone who finds herself a worthless husk without the revels of food and music, I consider myself an expert on the subject of marrying these two topics. It’s needless to say that any culture would also find itself a worthless husk without their respective foods and music.

Also, think about how often these two things go together. Restaurants typically have music playing in the background while their patrons eat to elevate the experience, and many people, including myself, cook while listening to music. So it isn’t unreasonable to say that they go together, right? This relationship between music and food is important to me, and it should be for you, too, for a number of reasons.

For example, take the fact that these parts of life can have an aspect of comfort to them. In my life, I have certain treasured memories associated both with food and with music that makes me feel happy and/or comforted when I listen to it. When I was beginning that curious phase all little kids go through, my parents were wise to have introduced me to ABBA’s music and I discovered Yiruma’s various iconic pieces around this time as well. They were also wise to have broadened my horizons of what wonderful recipes there are, such as pasta fagioli, aglio e olio and arroz congri. I experienced both at the same time and I was raised with them among others that helped shape my palette and my taste in music.

When I was little, my twin sister and I took ballet lessons at the Beck Center in Lakewood and every time my father would drive us there and back, he would play various artists from his own childhood that he enjoyed, especially Barbara Streisand. When we arrived home after the lessons, after listening to either the “Yentl” soundtrack or some other album of Streisand’s, there would almost always be dinner waiting for us. The best batch of pesto pasta I’ve ever eaten in my life was after one of those practices. I’m not quite sure why the memory of that evening stuck with me for so long, but it’s probably because I now associate pesto and Streisand with aspects of my childhood. Both bring me unexplainable happiness and comfort when I consume them.

Another thing I find great about this combination of food and music is that they have helped me create and maintain connections with the people I surround myself with. When I first arrived at John Carroll, I pretty much had nothing to go off of other than the standard monotone “Hi, I’m Kate, I’m a Biology Major and I live at Campion Hall, nice to meet you” thing ingrained in the brain of every freshman. That stuff gets pretty boring, and I’m sure you know it.

A few days into Streak Week, I found a couple of my greatest friends on campus through the music I listen to and the food I enjoy! After winter break last semester, I brought in a batch of apricot kiffles (my favorite Christmas cookie) for my friends to try and it’s now not uncommon for us to share music we enjoy with each other and give feedback on it. For me, it’s a simple joy that we can share our joys with each other, and find joy in the joys of others. That’s a lot of joy.

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