[MEEZ ahn plahs]
A French term referring to having all the ingredients necessary for a dish prepared and ready to combine up to the point of cooking.
The owner of the Inn said, “One of the most important things I discovered about cooking is the concept of mise en place. I used to just grab a recipe and start. Now that I have to cook for so many people, I’ve learned how essential it is to get everything all ready before I begin. Otherwise I have to find and prepare things as I go, stopping the process. It’s so much easier to have it all ready.”
I took a sip of wine, contemplating the difference between how I cook and how he has had to learn to cook. It seems like it would be so much more work to chop and measure and put ingredients in separate bowls, but the ease of combination might be well worth the extra effort. Being surrounded by family and yet in a somewhat introspective frame of mind made me jump to a familiar concern. How could I apply this principle to preparing for the eventual independence of my children? Would it be possible to prepare some of the “ingredients” that I will need in the next phase of my life?
Perhaps this is what I am doing right now by rediscovering and recreating some interests and strengths. Little by little, I can prepare some of the things I’ll need to make the coming transition as savory as possible.