Extended Quiet Time

Mise en place is probably the most cliche phrase in the culinary circle. Cooks and chefs have all rolled their eyes at least once to someone’s idea of getting a mise en place tattoo at some point in their career. Fresh students in culinary school talk about it as though they’re in the know. Though a lot of the time the idea is rather contrived, it’s integral to performing well in the kitchen, but that’s only my opinion. I may or may not have a novella tucked away with Mise en Place as its placeholder title.

Mise en place is to “put in place” or “everything in its place” in French. It’s the crap you see on the Food Network when the celebrity chef has all those little bowls ready to go and they magically put together a recipe in five minutes. Most of the time just gathering the ingredients and the tools you will need beforehand, it’s a simple practice. As a baker, it is probably the smartest thing I will ever do. Knowing this, I’ve carried it over to the real world. And if I am being honest, planning everything first, allows for me to be pretty lazy later on. It tends to work out.

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We ask Malcolm what cereal he wants for breakfast and prep it the night before

Summer planning is something entirely new to me. I took a few hours to nail down all the room for activities and tried to pack it all in, with the most efficiency and consideration. The best planners know that something will go awry eventually. “Will I be able to keep up with this blog,” is a question that taunts me daily. Maybe I won’t get to everything listed this week. Will that bum me out enough to discourage me from further attempts? And there’s really just this great unknown as a parent/guardian not unlike lifeforms from the depths of the Mariana Trench. It’s just unpredictable how everything is going to function.

Finishing up this week, I’m looking at my calendar, all these plans and trying to work out the minor adjustments that need to be made. I really wanted to have Fridays be a fun day out for everyone. It might have to be every other week though. Working a very physical job from 5 am – 1 pm, one needs some space at the end of it. And while I am out working, Michael is really great about getting the kids outside to different parks and they might not even be in the mood to pack up and go places, no matter how fun.

This Friday, instead of going out, we managed some grocery shopping (not really a treat) and made a couple meals for the future. I also made a few more pouches for Theo as his love language tends to be food and cuddles. Those are typically made with food that is nearing the end of its freshness, never really measured and thrown together. It is sort of quick and easy and they freeze really well. It’s a “kitchen sink activity” to me, as I can shut my brain off and just hum along for a little while.

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As the shadows grow, I will just tug along and soak in the moments. No pressure to make it somewhere. No time to worry about the next thing. Really, truly live in the moment and enjoy it, even if it is a little boring. I guess it’s okay to be a little bored every now and then.

The rest can still proceed as usual, as far as I can tell. I’m going to be tired no matter what and I’ll take things easy when I need to, but the adventures will continue. I have such a personal issue with feelings of inadequacy. So I must reinforce to myself and my children that just being here is enough. Doesn’t mean I won’t try to make big, beautiful things happen. All the other pieces are still lined up and ready to use. Now to put it all together in the form of busy summer.


Next week we’re hoping to find some solid hiking trails and start swim lessons.

Stay tuned, friends.



















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