intro ... help with 'mise en place'

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Joined Mar 13, 2001
You have to click on the Image UBB Code button, then enter the complete URL for the image you wish to display. For example, you probably wanted to show us the tupperware eggtray like so
10028455000_lg.jpg


You have to place your cursor on the image, do a right click, then left click on properties, copy the address, click on the Image button and paste it in the script prompt box space provided, making sure to remove http://.
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Thank you Kimmie! It is amazing what I learn here at ChefTalk!!!

10041959000_lg.jpg


well, maybe....hope it works this time.

[ August 25, 2001: Message edited by: nancya ]
 
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Joined Mar 30, 2001
Hi Brian:

I just picked up the most recent issue of Bon Appetite- which has a lot of useful information about party prepping (including some stuff on the old exploding fridge) You might want to pick up a copy.

Linda
 
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Joined Dec 12, 2000
Hey Brian!
I agree with everybody else. Keep it neat and tidy as you go, plan, make lists(one I am guilty of not doing when I should) and really getting in touch with the ingredients before u through experimentation and research. But the best thing I would suggest is don't over-analyse it or the fun is taken out of it all, and then you tend to forget your original passion for it :(
Just play around with it all and have the very best of fun aswell :D
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
Everything everyone says all comes down to the word "organization" which goes further than the words "mis en place". If you don't have room on your counters to work, or if you have to rearrange things everytime you start a cooking project your giving your-self a LARGE HANDICAP! Each time you have to relocate a canister or some nick nack it diverts your attention and distracts you.

I say start at the beginning and re-arrange your kitchen so it WORKS. If your the person cooking then you get to control the space and organize it so it works for you. That starts by getting rid of items that are decorative on your counters, gone! Have a junk basket for mail. Another place where all the baby bottles go, etc... Kitchens are meant for cooking, not a place to put all your miscellaneous bits of life, put a desk somewhere, or a basket on the wall to collect that stuff.


So many people have too many gadgets, get a box and fill it with all the items that are duplicates like 5 bottle openers, 6 spatulas etc... .(other than silverware and serving dishes). Put it down in the basement and see if you really needed all that stuff or if your happier reclaiming the space and having less mess, less to wash.


Then turn your attention to your refridgerator. Get it neat and clean. Pitch what isn't going to be eaten (and stop saving crumbs of leftovers that waste space). Most of the fit and healthy people I know don't keep left-overs....their realistic about what they eat. In the case of a small child, don't open too many jars of food at once, it's wasteful finacially too. They don't crave the variety adults do and if they didn't like the item today they probably aren't going to eat it before it spoils either.

Only after you have your kitchen space organized can you really focus in on working in your kitchen. Then, lets talk mis en place and recipes....

;)
 
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Joined Aug 22, 2001
W. Debord,

I agree whole-heartedly with your reply. My wife and I negotiate often on whether the baby bottle supplies really need to be on the counter (she won this round) or whether we can shelve the decorative canister set we received as a wedding gift (my victory).

My preference is 'function over form' in the kitchen. Catering means having multiple everything so storage is always a problem. I have industrial shelving which is a great (and sturdy) organizational aid, but can't compare with the appearance of wood. To balance this, I keep the shelves tidy and hang a variety of nice wicker baskets on the wall around the shelves.

The refridgerator is an area that I review daily. Many items are stored in varying degrees of doneness. Other items are being reserved for stock. Tracking spoilage of fruits, vegetables and meats is another critical item. I agree with you about throwing out certain items which you are 'saving for a rainy day'. If I don't have a plan/recipe in mind to use a certain ingredient or food product, chances are I won't use it before it goes bad.

Thanks for the many ideas for improving my kitchen arrangement and cooking preparations.

Brian
 
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Joined Mar 30, 2001
Hi Brian - Just checking in on the state of your kitchen and of course on the fair Madeline. Hug her tight.
 
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Joined Aug 22, 2001
Good news and bad news ...

The wife and kids are visiting my in-laws for a week. This is actually the bad news. I miss them a great deal.

The good news is that I have plenty of time to be in the kitchen. This time of year is when I get serious about soup. For what it's worth ... some of my favorite soup ingredients include shitake mushrooms and pumpkin. I have taken the time to cater a few small events recently (birthday parties, baby showers, family reunions). I still hope to one day make a living out of cooking food, but for now I use my spare time wisely.

My kitchen is simply too small for my cooking style, but I'm not complaining. I've become quite good at buying ingredients on an 'as needed' basis and much of my catering prep is done onsite. Menu selection is an area I'm working on now. I'm looking for appetizers that have great taste, visual appeal, but lend themselves to being made a day ahead (and in large quantities). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Enough about me ... your turn.

Brian
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
I think you'll get alot more responses if you re-post your question in a different thread more related to cooking than introductions.

I'll be waiting, with my list of favorites.
 
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Joined Mar 30, 2001
Hi Brian

Soup/stock is a ritual in my kitchen. Once the weather turns colder, there is always a pot burbling away. I have this crazy save the bones and peelings system set up in the freezer. The chcken bones in one bag, lamb bones in another, and vegetable ends and peelings in another. When I collect enough, or when the spirit moves me, I put on a pot of stock. Usually it gets done in the slow cooker while I am at work. On the weekends, home or cottage there is a pot of something on the stove.

Dinner tonight by the way = lamb and barely soup, crusty bread, a green salad and a nice bottle of wine.


Why don't you post a couple of your favorite recipes?
 
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Joined Aug 22, 2001
This is a thread that just won't die ...

For my mushroom soup last evening I hydrated some porcini mushrooms and put extra effort into concentrating the flavors of the reserved mushroom liquid. I cheated by using Swanson chicken broth in place of homemade stock for the remainder of the soup base. I didn't have stock in reserve and I was starting this soup process around 8:00 as it was. I sauteed some onions and garlic then added in sliced shiitake mushrooms (best tasting mushroom variety I've ever had). Simmer this with the soup base and add some oregano for garnish. Pretty simple. but very tasty.

Most of my soups have a minimalist approach to ingredients. I often make them in large quantities and I try and cut out odd (expensive) spices and vegetables. This helps cut down my per head cost when catering. Much of my attention, as mentioned earlier, is in maximizing the flavor of the soup base.

I'll type more later. I have a rustic potato soup that's heals a cold just from the smell.

Kimmie,
I've read Martha's book and it is great for 'visual appeal' appetizers. Many wonderful ideas in the book. Thanks for the reminder.

Brian
 
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