Joy the Baker

Mis-en-place

January 13, 2008

French culinary terms always seem snooty and unapproachable to me.  Mis-en-place is no different, but it’s the concept behind the term that’s important.  Translating into “everything in it’s place” the term has everyday baking signifigance.  Simply stated, in American English, “get all your stuff together before the flour starts flying.”  Soften the butter, get the eggs to room temperature, preheat the oven, measure the flour, leavening, salt, sugar and wet ingredients.  Also have a spatula, towel and greased and floured pan.  When all of that is ready, you know you’ve got all your ingredients in order. You’re not going to find yourself an egg short in the middle of making cake batter.   It’s a helpful trick.  Thank you fancy French culinary people!


18 Comments Add A Comment

  • Hello Joy from the past, I come from the future (erm, from yesterday’s post). Happy 6th anniversary! Please keep sharing with us your deepest thoughts and blonde brownie recipes :)

  • Happy 5-year and 16-days anniversary!

  • I always love reading first posts and ‘About’ pages. Since you don’t have an archive (or maybe I couldn’t find it), I kept pressing on older entries until I found this… (though I did take the liberty of starting from the 2008 entries by typing ’2008′ in the url)

  • Sweet :)
    The actual spelling should be “misE en place” though… I am still learning how to bake but I am a French native. So I will come here for advise :)

  • Your first post…sweet…and on a very important part of the whole baking/cooking procedure! My first encounter with “mis-en-place” occured one evening at a fancy-schmancy gala dinner, where one person from each table was choosen to go into the kitchen and visit with the chefs. Trying to be Miss Informed, I piped up and said, “Hmm, yes, I understand that your recipe should start with a “mis-en-pis” for efficiency”. My face is still red but I joined in the instant outburst of gaffaws and giggles once my “French” had been corrected!

  • really cool first post – no ”its my first day at school” nervous twitch like I had!

  • lol, i am that lunatic who starts her baking project without making sure that she’s got all the ingredients first. which is why, one lovely rather-very-late evening, as I was baking cinnamon bread for my co-workers, I was knocking on my neighbor’s door asking for two eggs. and about 8 minutes later knocking on the next door asking for 1 cup of milk. and after another 3 minutes slightly hysterical on the phone with my mom, because “milch” (milk) and “mehl” (flour) somehow tricked me into switching the two and i had put in 4 times as much milk as necessary and had used up all my flower (which had been just enough).

    brilliant, i know it. but it all comes to a happy ending as my truly genius mother instructed me to pour in 1 or 2 packs of instant pudding, and it all turned out delicious.

  • Oh my Goodness! You found my first blog post! Cute, right!? We must have started around the same time… and we share a huge love of all things Golden Girl! We’re instant friends!

  • Was this your first blog post? Did we really start blogging around the same time??? And you like the Golden Girls????

  • about misen place: seems like its a multifunctional term. i was once tought that it’s about preparing your station (assuming one works in a kitchen with more than one person) for service, eg, cooking masehd potatoes, blanching your veggies, preparing the meat, freezing your icecream..
    never heard of it in terms of a single dish/recipe, but one never stops to learn. on the other hand i couldn’t imagine that someone would try to cook something without having all the ingredients ready..
    greetings,
    david

    ps
    compliments on your pictures, i like that style

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