Improvising in the Kitchen

My family teases me that I am unable to follow a recipe exactly. To me, a recipe is a suggestion, kind of like driving directions. Actually, I follow Googlemap directions much more closely than I follow recipes!

Before I begin cooking I like to remind myself of the rules of improvisation:

Say Yes
Don't Prepare
Just Show Up
Start Anywhere
Be Average
Pay Attention
Face the Facts
Stay on Course
Wake Up to the Gifts
Make Mistakes, Please
Act Now
Take Care of Each Other
Enjoy the Ride

I say Yes! to whatever I find in my fridge, but I Don’t Prepare. I simply Show Up in the kitchen, a bit hungry but not too hungry, and I open the cupboards to Face the Facts of what’s there and needs to be used up. I’m shooting only to Be an Average Cook and create an average meal, but I’m open to the possibility that I might Wake Up to a Gift.

Tonight’s attempt to create individual gluten-free pizzas using brown rice tortillas was a gift indeed. The facts I faced were some red and yellow peppers that needed to be used up, an onion that was ready to sprout, and 2 leftover sausages. So I sauteed it all up, and added a can of pureed tomatoes and sprinkled in some spices from the cupboard. I also had some cottage cheese which was unopened. I had bought it because it was on sale and then forgot about it because who eats cottage cheese? I had Made a Mistake please.

After my sauce simmered for a while until it seemed thick, I spread some on a tortilla and then dollopsed on some cottage cheese. Heated in a non-stick pan. The result was delicious. My husband definitely felt that I had Taken Care of Him. Each round worked a bit better. I tried being more scant with the sauce, and added some grated cheddar. I experimented with the heat of the pan and the type of oil.

Hmm, I did Enjoy the Ride!

How do you improvise in the kitchen?


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