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‘Mise en Place’

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In the world of food preparation, there is a concept that is greatly emphasized– the concept of mise en place. Actually a French term, it means ‘putting everything into place’. Thus, mise en place is where before preparing a dish, a person first takes out the necessary ingredients in the required amounts, finds the utensils that will be used and ensures that everything is in a state of preparedness before commencing. Once ‘all the ducks are in a row’, it becomes easy for a person to prepare even a complex dish.

On the converse, imagine that just as the onions begin to brown, the cook realizes that the meat still hasn’t been washed and cut. As he rushes to wash and cut the meat, he realizes that he doesn’t have some of the necessary ingredients for the dish he wanted to prepare. As he rushes out the door to buy the missing ingredients, he realizes that one of the utensils that he will need has been lent to someone. Obviously, the result will be nothing short of a disaster!

In essence, being prepared and organized is one of the vital keys to being efficient, effective and successful in any field of life. In this regard, we need to see just how organized and planned we are in our homes.

Did we ever face the crisis where our child comes to us and asks for help with a huge project due the very next day? Did we ever face the crisis where we were preparing a meal for guests but due to being disorganized, burned the food or ran short of some ingredient and had to thus resort to some drastic form of damage control? Did we ever embark on a journey, only to realize that we forgot to pack some essential item – such as our passport?

All these unnecessary difficulties – and more – can be easily avoided if we become organized and plan correctly. From chores and cooking to the children’s homework, we should sit, every night, and assess what needs to be done. Thereafter, we should plan the ‘when’ and the ‘how’. Finally, we need to ‘stick to the plan’. By implementing this principle in every home, the home will run smoothly and successfully. Furthermore, this invaluable habit will also be instilled into the lives of our children.