I spent my last weekend hanging out with a bunch of great men and their boys. I attended the Frozen Chosen, a men’s retreat we have every year. Our church along side with our sister church in Calgary commit to get together every year. These are great times of renewal for the men and a coming of age time for our boys.
When I was packing my bag I was reminded of one thing “mise en place”.
You see, Mise en Place is a term we use often in the kitchen. Chef’s use this term when getting ready to make a recipe. It simply means “Everything in its place”. This is really helpful to know when getting ready to start cooking, having all your ingredients ready and organized in front of you so not to forget nor miss any thing in the process.
What’s great is the philosophy behind the phrase. It can literary be applied to any aspect of your life. As we where packing the bag to go camping I was asking my oldest (11) for what he needed. I asked him where for his winter gloves, his asthma puffer and his winter pants were?. His answer was “I don’t know” all 3 times. I seized this opportunity to teach him about mise en place!
Mise en place can be taken further than the preparation table. I’ve used it to organize kitchen coolers and they way a cold table is laid out. At home, I’ve used to arrange the kitchen, basement and garage. The idea is for every object to have a specific place to find it when you need it. Many times I remember walking in to a cooler and looking for something where it’s supposed to be and not being there. The results was “we’re out” most of the time until the person who moved it confesses to messing around with the flow of work.
What are the benefits of Mise en Place in your work place or home:
1) Organization: as previously stated, when everything is where it should be it’s a lot easier to find. Especially when items aren’t used on a consistent basis like camping equipment, summer garden tools and such. This comes in handy when you send someone else to look for something. You direct them exactly where the piece or part will be and they will find them.
2) Sense of accomplishment: Have you every walked into a friend’s garage and all his tools are laid out neatly on a peg board. Well, just looking at the clean and organized tools makes me want to go home immediately and turn my garage upside down and start all over again.
3) Ease of work and Inventory Control: For work I service dish machines. I have a work van full of parts and odd ends. The problem is, we service numerous types of machines and dispensers. It’s impossible to have all the pieces. However, the most common used parts we have in stock. If mise en place is used properly it helps you keep a mental picture of your stock at all times, thus allowing you to order and upkeep your inventory.
4) Maximize time: If everything you’re responsible for is where it needs to be then obtaining the item is far quicker than if you have to search and rescue it.
In the end mise en place makes for better flow and understating of your space. It allows you to know where everything is and it gives you peace of mind. Personally, when everything is in disarray I feel out of sorts, I tend to get moody and frayed, almost undone . I always joke that my eye twitches and my shoulder ticks when things are out-of-place.
What are some of the immediate benefits you can gain from applying Mise en Place in your life?
- The Reluctant Cook: Lay Out Your Ingredients for Kitchen Success (blogher.com)
- ~ Culinary Rule #1: Mise en Place “put it into place”!!! (Mel’s Advice & Tips for Becoming a Great Cook!!!) ~ (kitchenencounters.typepad.com)
- The Laws of the Kitchen (davidhieatt.typepad.com)
- Mise en Place (souladditions.wordpress.com)