Mise en Place

dirty kitchen

I’m  thinking that the last thing any of us has time for is French culinary terms. I mean seriously, Christmas is just over two weeks away. But if you’ll stay with me for the three minutes it will take to read this post it may make the next 18 days more pleasant. (Which if you’re a math major you’ve immediately picked up on the fact that the three minute investment exceeds a return of over six times. Read on.)

Mise en place, pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs, means to have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. Translated, “to put in place.” {Thanks to the reluctantgourmet.com for this definition.}

I first learned about Mise en place a month ago. My two younger teens are taking a culinary arts class together. A couple of times a week they sport poofy hats and impersonate Julia Childs.

One evening I had been working in the kitchen when the youngest chef raised an eyebrow and said, “Ooooh Mom…nice mise en place.”

“Say what?”

“You know Mom. Putting things in their place. Getting stuff organized. Having things in order.”

“Yes, of course. Thank you son. I strive for mise en place in the kitchen every day. How kind of you to notice.”


If this regularly happens in your kitchen you can no longer be my friend. I may love Doing Ahead but I’m a normal chick that cooks like a regular Mom. Mise en place is usually not on my radar.

Especially these days.

Boxes containing Christmas décor’ are strewn about. Kitchen counter tops groan under the weight of ingredients for Christmas baking. Hiking equipment is needed to scale the mountain of laundry that has erupted in front of my washer. Outdoor pumpkins, wilted from the cold, beg me to put them out of their misery.

Long story short…I am experiencing a serious shortage of Mise en Place in virtually every area of life right now.

And do you know what I decided? I don’t care.

That doesn’t sound very DoAheadish does it?

This season would be more pleasant right now if I’d done ahead in various areas. But the Doing Ahead would have been costly.

Xmas to do list

The sister trip I took a few weeks ago? Totally worth it.

The tribe expansion at 1 North Harmon over Thanksgiving? Hands down…worth it.

The time with my daughter looking at colleges and picking out matching ugly sweaters? Priceless.

So there you have it. This DoAhead Woman is more behind than she’s ever been. I don’t think it will be that way every Christmas. But for some reason that’s just the way it shook out this year. But as my hero Hot Rod would say, “Cool beans.”

Remember sweet friends, being a DoAhead Woman isn’t about being perfect. So if you’ve gotten a few things Done Ahead this season that totally rocks!

The freedom that comes from DoingAhead will fuel the holiday fire in your home.

But if by chance you can relate to this DoAhead Woman who’s a bit behind, will you do the happy dance with me anyway?

We’ll do what we can, when we can. We may even sneak in a DoAhead or too. But more than anything this season let’s commit to doing the most important DoAhead that there is:

Investing in relationships. Especially the one we have with Him.

Ann Voskamp said it best…

Voskamp Xmas

I’ll wrap this up so we can all go wrap some presents. Carry on sweet DoAheads. We know what matters most. We’ve got this but even more importantly…

He’s got us.

Your more than a tad bit behind DoAhead Friend,


  1. “We’ll do what we can, when we can.” Amen! I can totally relate to being behind these days – in several areas of a matter of fact. And, I don’t really care either. Well, maybe I care a little bit – bot a lot less that I normally would. Love you’re list! I am taking more time to be present, give hugs, and just enjoy the moments instead of rushing through them. Happy to have found you at Meredith’s today! Blessings.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Guess what… I care too but honestly it’s more about keeping it all in perspective isn’t it? Hope you enjoy the remaining days of Christmas. Blessings to you too!!

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