I know you are probably expecting a food recipe… there’s one up my sleeve.
BUT.. when I was writing my sweet potato and tahini recipe, I mentioned the mise en place and despite having emphasized it so much, I really felt like it is important enough to get its own post.
What is that mise en place?
Mise en place is french for “putting things in place”. In the culinary world it means to simply prepare all your ingredients in such a way to be within reach while you are working. This includes food ingredients, utensils, pots and pans and even service plates.
Importance of the mise en place:
Here I will not be mentioning the facts you can dig out of a simple google search.. anyone can do, but let me give you my own experience with that.
Sometimes I feel an impulse to do a recipe.. sometimes out of the sheer fact that if I don’t do it now I will forget what I have in mind 😦
when this isn’t the case though I do a proper mise en place before I start. The difference is huge:
1- Better Planning: If you are short on an ingredient or two you will know it while doing the mise en place rather than half way into the recipe. Now you have one of two options: grab a substitute youalready have or simply postpone the cooking until you’re ready.
2- Injury avoidance: Well, that head got bumped some too many times while looking for that one thing very quickly before the already cooking ingredients burn.. and once you have it, you grab that pan and %^#$% you’re burnt because you forgot in the rush to put on a mitten. And finally you grab that bottle to finish off your unfortunate dish and whoopsie it falls and breaks and splashes everywhere… These things turn cooking from a beautiful experience into a disastrous relationship that always ends up in a restaurant or with take out. Don’t do that. If they are all ready and prepared, none of this will happen (or maybe just far less).
3- creativity boost: that is my favorite part! sometimes I start putting the ingredients into place (see what I did here? literally translated mise en place lol) and the little light bulb above my head lights up. These ingredients if paired with those could make a whole new recipe.. interesting! let’s try that out and voi-la we have a new recipe.
4- time saving technique: Yes, it does save time. That little time that is made of all the few little seconds and minutes you lose looking for that one ingredient, wondering where that pan went only to discover it’s still inside the dishwasher and finding a proper dish to plate your meal.. all this little time adds up and makes a big portion of your cooking time.
If you are like me, I cook only on Sundays a whole week’s worth of meals. It used to take me 4-5 hours to finish prepping all the meals, but after starting to use the mise en place technique, it takes a maximum of 3 hours, mostly less. At least I can get those two hours to rest or do something else that’s more interesting.
So in short, I can only recommend you to start doing that.. It will save you tons of time and effort and might make the whole process of making food every single day a lot easier and more fun.