Cooking needs a good soundtrack: like long drives and doing your Christmas wrapping, it’s just one of those things in life that is so much more fun with the right music.

I like lighthearted songs that I can sing and bop along to, songs I’ve listened to a thousand times before but that still never fail to get me foot-tapping away while I peel potatoes. I always gravitate to old favorites—and many of these are songs I remember from my childhood, blaring from the tinny stereo in our kitchen. Every now and then, I will try something new, expand my repertoire a little, but just like tried-and-tested recipes, the very best songs are—I have come to learn—those laced with a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Skye McAlpine, who divides her time between Venice and London, is the author of A Table in Venice: Recipes from My Home