Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mise En Place...An Essential Technique

Okay, so I have a confession to make...sometimes in the kitchen I have been known to be...well, as my husband may put it...a tornado.  The kitchen starts out perfectly clean and inviting, but before I know it there's flour or panko crumbs all over and just about every pot, pan, cookie sheet and utensil I own is in the sink, which my husband especially appreciates on the nights it is his turn to do the dishes.

(photo courtesy of Neat Method Kitchen)
I guess I would compare it to sleepwalkers (a la Step Brothers) who innocently lay their heads down at night only to discover the next morning that they had been up causing chaos as they slept.  In the moment I don't realize that I am doing it...I'm in the zone I tell ya! (Youtube videos don't show up when reading from your phone so you can follow this link http://youtu.be/5jIYBatQyCM)

(youtube clip courtesy of Step Brothers)

Thankfully, there's a solution to this natural disaster of a method I have and it's what the French call mise en place (pronounced meez ahn plahs), which means "putting in place".  The point is, get all your ingredients and tools together beforehand, including measuring, chopping and bringing ingredients to the right temperature, because you don't want to be searching through your cupboards mid-recipe only to discover that you don't have any sugar after all (I could have sworn I picked some up! darn it! Oh Honey, can you do me a favor?!?)

I have always loved learning new things and learning to be organized is right at the top of my bucket list of things to know.  The very first thing they teach you in culinary/pastry school is to get used to being organized because you can't survive in a kitchen without it.  Here are a few of my most recent showings of mise en place for school:

Mise en place for deliciously moist red velvet cupcakes
Mise en place for buttery Viennese Cookies
I know what you might be thinking, "what a pain in the ass...I just want to get baking!" Well, as a recovering tornado I am going to tell you, it will make the process, not to mention the clean up, much more enjoyable.  Baking can be such a relaxing and soothing process, but basically the way I have been going about it, it's like I was doing yoga to rock 'n roll!  Now, I can do my yoga to Enya just as it was intended :-P

Give it a try, if it's not for you that's okay, but if it is let me know how you like it.

As always...Happy Baking!!
Dani xoxox