Mise en place

When I got married, I started reading cookbooks. One term that kept popping up everywhere was mise en place, a French expression that means to get all your materials together before you start cooking.

Cooking is so much more fun and relaxing when I have all my ingredients and materials in place before I start. I don't have to discover halfway through that I'm out of something, or that Tiger Lily has carried off the potato masher to the backyard. I can just cook, and I like that.

Another thing that helps me enjoy cooking is to start with a clean kitchen. I made a cake on Friday, starting with a clean kitchen (and even an empty dishwasher!), and it was so rewarding to start with a blank slate, make up the cake, and then have my kitchen back to blank-slate condition within five minutes after the cake was in the oven.


  1. I thought your mother already taught you this!

    1. You did, you did. And I definitely wish I remembered everything you taught me.

  2. Very good advice, indeed. And if I'm making something new and at all fussy, I even measure those ingredients before I begin. That is mis en place at full power. Then I can concentrate on the steps and the changes in the food and not on measuring a tsp of that and Tbsp of another or chopping onion or whatever.

    I always tell new cooks to fill their sink with hot, soapy water when they begin and "wash as you go". It's so much easier before things dry on or get stickier and when you are done it truly only takes a few minutes to get back to that clean slate kitchen!