In a typical year — two of which we haven’t seen of late — Thanksgiving Day dinner is often the largest family meal that a cook prepares. It’s the most daunting; the most complex; the most fussed-about.
It needn’t be any of that, except still the largest. It might be rather everyday, in truth; it just requires planning.
“Mise en place” is kitchen-French for “planning.” (It’s French-French for “put in place” or “everything in its place.”) It is the greatest gift from France to the kitchen since butter.
Mise en place means having a well-stocked pantry and freezer or shopping to fill them. It means cutting up, prior to cooking, all the vegetables and other foods (the proteins, say) to be cooked. It means portioning out, in small bowls or on plates, other foods destined for the heat such as liquids or spices and herbs, or at the least taking