In the Cookie Jar · Organizing

Mise en Place

Mise en place (pronounced “meez-en-plahs”) is a French phrase which means, basically, “to put in place,” – and what it refers to in professional (and not-so-professional) kitchens is getting all your ingredients measured (or scaled) out, prepped, and ready to go, so that when you actually start cooking or baking, you don’t have to suddenly search frantically through your cupboards for the bottle of ground cloves that you could swear you saw up there the other day.

It means being organized. It also keeps your work area tidy, since you aren’t stopping to separate eggs in the middle of mixing your dry ingredients because you suddenly realize that you will only be adding the egg yolks to the sugar and butter at first, then incorporating your dry ingredients, and then the whites are whipped separately and folded into the rest of the mixture…and so since you didn’t plan ahead for this, you’ve suddenly got egg white dripping down your arm and a bit of shell in with the creamed butter and sugar.

Tonight, while Bill brewed up an extract batch of Stout, I did my mise en place for 4 more batches of cookies. A double batch of the lebkuchen, and one batch each of almond stars, farmer hats, and butter cookies. Tomorrow throughout the day I’ll put the doughs together, and bake them off tomorrow and Sunday. And then we can ship them out on Monday to Bill’s brothers and uncle.

I also plan/want to make stollen, which is a German bread studded with raisins and candied orange peel (yes, studded, like they say in restaurant reviews or in cooking magazines) and marzipan…and topped with a heavy dusting of confectioners’ sugar. I remember a good friend of my Mom’s family, who was Aunt Hilda to me, used to make this and I loved it. With butter on it.

I also want to make shortbread…and a couple of batches of biscotti…my sister-in-law, Nina’s recipe, and another recipe that a friend at work handed to me a few weeks ago.

Also want to make chocolate croissants or cinnamon rolls or something like that for Christmas morning…

I still have a little bit of time, I think…

I’ll be fine as long as I mise en place

Okay, this is way past my bedtime…goodnight….

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