I recently received a delightful care package from a friend visiting in New Mexico–both blue and white posole, some Hatch chilli powder, and something that made me realize how often I do get on about improvisation being desirable–if not a necessity–when cooking for one.
Along with the edibles, there was a jar that looked like it would contain herbs or spices–that would not have surprised me at all since my friend knows how much I love to try different herbs and spices, and there was posole and chilli powder there. But that little jar was not an herb or a spice. it was…and improvisational device!
Recipe dice for me to play with. Unfortunately, between indexing and teaching, I haven’t had a lot of time to “play”, but I think that this can call forth some serious improvisation. Combine this with a book like Pam Anderson’s How to Cook without a Book which gives you ratios instead of specific amounts and let the fun begin. I really don’t have a problem improvising–more like I have trouble NOT improvising, even with a recipe in front of me, but I think this is going to be fun.
If you’re hesitant about improvisation, this just might provide a nudge toward giving up a recipe. These dice have whimsical designs of veggies, fruits, herbs…even suggestions on how to use the dice. May be just the trick for a day when I can’t decide what I want to cook or eat.