Part of our introduction to Slow Foods is an introduction to cooking in a professional setting. For our culminating activity we will have to prepare a "Slow Down Dinner," so we have to know how to approach cooking for 30 guests.
I was particularly struck by the term mise en place. Translated from French, it means something similar to put in place" or "prepared ahead of time." I love it. The concept is simple; when cooking, be prepared to complete the dish without having to go look for ingredients. So what does one do to begin? The first step to cooking is read the recipe. Don't just glance over it and see if you have all the ingredients, really read the recipe, gather supplies, and know what you are planning to do. Measure all the ingredients and line them up in the order in which they will be used, to a reasonable degree.
Everyone who knows me can understand what I mean when I say that I am not necessarily the most "organized" person. Over the last few years I've struggled to overcome this part of my personality that I consider a shortcoming and something that I get a lot of frustration from. I don't know why I have such a hard time keeping things together, but I am working on my mise en place for a lot of things in life.