Eva and I have been cooking buddies for the past few years. We united over our similar diets and styles of cooking – neither of us eat dairy or wheat, and we’re both recovering sugarholics. When we both lived in Berkeley we would often cook together. However, 2 years ago, my wife and I moved to Ashland Oregon and it hasn’t been easy to cook together when we’re 300 miles apart.
Last month I was in the Bay Area for the Hazon Food Conference and I had 24 hours in Berkeley to visit friends. Eva and I were able to cook together again, but the eternal question is – What to cook? As was often the case, we began with a suggestion from the pantry, here is how the conversation went:
“I have this garbanzo bean flour that I don’t know what to do with.”
“Hmm, I’m thinking something Indian, like a pancake and with lots of spices.”
“Yeah, pakoras…” [Google searching] “…but not fried. How about baked pakora w/ veggies, that sounds really good”
Eva looked up some recipes to get a sense of the spices, proportions, and such and we proceeded to roughly follow them. Since we are lazy cooks, and ended up with more batter than baking dishes, we decided to make a casserole instead of individual pancakes. We had to break it into squares with a spatula to flip it, but we managed and it was delicious.
As we sat down to eat, we spoke of our many and varied interests. We got onto the topic of improv. Eva is into contact improv and Josh likes comedy improv. They have their similarities, but are quite different. Contact improv is more physical, like full-body dancing. Comedy improv is more about creating stories and characters.
We realized that we both take the idea of improv – rolling with what the universe (or refrigerator) throws at you – into our cooking. We aren’t good at following recipes, but we are good at cooking on our toes. We had both talked about starting a blog, and once we had the name, Edible Improv, this blog was born.
That is the story of how Edible Improv was born. We hope you enjoy our ramblings and half baked recipes. Now – Go! Play with your Food
Edible Improv Tips:
- Start with a suggestion from the pantry, garden, or farmer’s market
- Get a sense of the playing field from cookbooks, friends, family and online
- Play, combine, taste, play some more