Mise en Place is a French term used by chefs, and it means “everything in place”. It’s a simple concept, and doubtless many of you already do this. But in case you’re becoming increasingly frustrated by the craziness that goes on before dinner gets on the table, a mise en place may be the difference between sinking and swimming.
Generally, I think about what needs to be done for dinner in the morning. While the kids are doing their chores, I’m often prepping ingredients for the night’s dinner. These limes were being juiced to go into a quick Pad Thai. Juicing them took about 10 minutes, so that’s 10 minutes saved during the hectic pre-dinner hour.
This dish also called for 8 garlic cloves to be minced, and that took about 5 minutes. Measuring 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar: about 30 seconds.
I also had to shred the meat of two rotisserie chickens, which took about twenty minutes, and chop broccoli for a broccoli beef stir fry (maybe 5 minutes).
All in all, I saved myself about 45 minutes worth of prep time, plus I washed the dishes I used, saving the dinner dish-washers a little work, too. You’re welcome, dinner dishwashers!
Kendra Fletcher is the homeschooling mother of eight, ages 19 down to 4. She has never known what it means to homeschool without the presence of preschoolers, and loves to encourage other moms beginning their homeschool journeys with little ones underfoot. She is the preschool columnist for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and the author of a popular ebook about creating a Circle Time for your homeschool. Her website and blogs can be found at Preschoolers and Peace and KendraFletcher.com.