If Music Be The Food Of Love, Cook On

My life in music has been one of the most joyous and rewarding experiences. Conducting many orchestras in Canada, Mexico, and Europe, I have been blessed in working with many wonderful musicians from across the globe.

When I’m not preparing for my next concert I indulge in my other passion—cooking. Making the perfect dish for my wife, Sharon, takes careful planning and I am held to a very high standard when preparing a feast. I have realized over time, therefore, that one of the most important things in cooking is to be in the right frame of mind. You must condition yourself for the task ahead and I do this by having music selections to play at every stage of the process. So for you music and cooking lovers out there, here is my recipe for a Mango Crisp Dessert with appropriate musical selections. The list of ingredients is at the end of this article.

First of all, assemble all the ingredients on your kitchen counter. Once done you can now go and sit down in a comfortable chair and listen to the 2nd movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Seven minutes of soothing bliss will soothe you for your creative culinary adventure.

Once the movement ends, just slowly amble over to the oven and turn it on to 175 degrees Celsius. Now get a 1.5 quart baking dish and butter it. The next stage requires a little more effort, so prepare yourself by listening to Johann Strauss’s Radetzky March. This should get you in the mood for combining the diced mangoes with the sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla and tossing them all with the cornstarch. Now, if Johann Strauss doesn’t do it for you, just switch to any number by Led Zeppelin or Ozzy Osbourne. There’s nothing like a good old dose of Heavy Metal to do some tossing!

Once your tossing is complete, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish (you know, the one you should have buttered in the previous paragraph), and set it aside.

Now, a nice cup of tea is called for so put the kettle on and savor that wonderful aroma as you take the cuppa (British for cup of!) to your comfortable armchair as we have time to relax before the really vigorous segment of the recipe begins. Listen to Clair de Lune by Debussy, a soft, gentle piano piece that will put you into a self-congratulatory mood for your accomplishment so far. Now don’t get too absorbed in this beautiful piece because we do need some energetic and rhythmic music to get the motivation for the next stage. Put on the Danse Sacrale from The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky and let the violent rhythms permeate your entire being whilst you get to the kitchen counter in a quick and determined manner.

Get a clean bowl and combine the flour, oats, and brown sugar, and then add the softened butter, mixing it with your fingers until the entire mixture is crumbly. Make sure you put lots of energy and passion into this stage as it will pay dividends later. Once done, sprinkle the crumb mixture over the mango filling and put the dish into your preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

It’s now time to contemplate what has gone on before. Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down and listen to the Violin Concerto by Beethoven. The exquisite melodies will afford you a feeling of satisfaction for a job well done.

Finally, when the concerto is finished take your Mango Crisp out of the oven and let it cool down. When your dinner guests are ready for their dessert course, play The Great Gate of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky for all to hear. As this triumphant music permeates the room, put a big smile on your face and ceremoniously bring your Mango Crisp to the table. The cries of “bravo” and “maestro” will be deafening!


5 cups of diced mangoes

¼ cup granulated sugar

1.5 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs lemon juice

¼ tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs cornstarch

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup rolled oats

5 tbs butter (softened)

½ cup brown sugar


Michael Reason’s career has spanned the globe as an orchestral conductor.

He was Music Director for 3 major professional orchestras in Canada and has appeared as a guest conductor with many orchestras in North America, Mexico and Europe.

He now lives in Ajijic and is the founder and Artistic Director of the Lake Chapala Orchestra.

September 2022 Issue

El Ojo del Lago – Home Page

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Michael Reason
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