dVerse Poetics: Arrangments

Grace is our prompter today at dVerse Poets Pub.  I had to come in off hiatus to indulge in her wonderful prompt, using the gorgeous artwork/photography of Emily Blencoe – Arrangments.  It reminded me of my early days as a chef.  Come join the fun at:  https://dversepoets.com/2016/09/27/poetics-arrangements-by-emily-blincoe/

mise en place
First thing I learned in culinary school:
A place for everything…
bowls of salt pepper spices
bouquets of fresh herbs
huge stockpots off hot water
broths mother sauces
bottles of white and red wines
slices of prepped meat and seafood
all arranged to be gotten hold of
within arms reach ready to be used
dishes arranged in like stacks –
mise en place
this dish for this and that food
that dish for something else
this monkey dish for a side item or extra sauce
that small plate for this small item
garnishes trimmed cut shaped
arranged….all arranged for speed
for convenience for blink of an eye knife cut
grill plates hot on the stove
knives in holster around waist
mise en place
Finally up for server to put in front of patron –
The first look
pleasure at first taste
mise en place
A place for everything
Everything in its place

wiki image public domain

wiki image public domain

 G

42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whimsygizmo
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 15:38:48

    I LOVE this, Toni. “mise en place” has always been a favorite phrase of mine, and you have done it such gorgeous justice.

    Reply

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 15:45:33

    I do love it… so many reasons to have it in order… in cooking and elsewhere… mis en place…. that’s great

    Reply

  3. kim881
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 15:56:45

    As I read your poem, Toni, I imagined a busy kitchen but totally ordered and organised, all the condiments and herbs, colourful spices, the different dishes and plates, and you standing in the middle of it all, looking around you serenely – mise en place – the tao of Toni’s kitchen!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 27, 2016 @ 16:17:12

      Lol…hardly serene…more like intensely focused, barking out orders and occassionally some yelling – very typical temperamental executive chef – self centered, focused, tightly wrapped. No crap taken from anyone. It’s hard work both mentally and physically. Bad backs, wrecked feet, stooped shoulders, hand knicked with scars from cuts and burns.addiction and recovery are typical themes as well. And I still love cooking!!!

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

  4. annell4
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 15:57:50

    A place for everything…so delightful to write about food, cooking, and all that is learned at culinary school. For some cooking comes easy…I’ve been cooking a lifetime, and still find it hard.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 27, 2016 @ 16:19:54

      And you write such graceful poetry and paint so beautifully. I could not paint if my life depended upon it. We all have our gifts and talents.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

  5. Marilyn Cavicchia
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 16:52:57

    This put me right there in a professional kitchen. Very precise and nicely done!

    Reply

  6. Dr. Crystal Howe
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 16:54:13

    I like this positive arrangement of things, well done!

    Reply

  7. Victoria C. Slotto
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 17:06:03

    Seems like being a chef, and nursing. both seem to help one become more than a wee bit compulsive. And it’s a necessity for both. Only, I haven’t shaken it. Love how you express this without punctuation that give you the feeling of intensity that is part of perfectionism…and of course, mise en place. Yep.

    Reply

  8. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 17:12:04

    Incredible piece today, putting us by your side in that kitchen. I suppose in some things, our nature being habitual, we all have a touch of OCD, add to that 50 years of various collecting, & stacking loose items chin high on my desk, too often I feel like a fastidious hoarder slob.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 28, 2016 @ 10:32:36

      Every year I have a royal Zen shit flinging meaning, I throw out, give away, contribute tons of stuff. If my hand hasnt touched it, used it, read, worn it, in 8 months, out it goes. I bring nothing into the house unless something of equal mass goes out of the house. Piles of paper do not exist in my house. The Japanese are not hoarders but rather, respecters of empty space. I totally agree with them.

      Reply

  9. Grace
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 17:41:28

    What a neat and organized kitchen that I am so jealous ~ I have seen my son who is chef do this – bowls and bowls of stuff. For me, of no, not another bowl for washing. Love that everything is in its place in the kitchen ~ Thanks for joining us ~

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 27, 2016 @ 22:51:18

      Lol, well, in restaurants the bowls of dry items are not washed every night but covered and left in place. The “wet” items are usually all used up by the end of the evening. Then all are stashed into the industrial dishwashers. One gets used to it and it all passes past. When one has 40 -100 dishes to make in a quick manner, one can’t pull stuff out and measure everything or people will never be fed. Though it is only two of us, I still use the individual bowls and prepped items with which to cook. Some things stay in the fridge some inights, some things come out nightly. Some dry items stay out all the time and are replenished. Mise en place is mos def a way of life in the kitchen.

      Reply

  10. Sanaa Rizvi
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 18:48:32

    This is such a delight to read, Toni ❤️ love the use of ‘mise en place’ ❤️

    Reply

  11. The Writer's Village
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 22:57:59

    We share the same theme, felt the same sense.
    I saw these pictures in the same light.
    Everything in its place. Everything ordered.
    Thanks, Randy

    Reply

  12. rosemawrites
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 23:50:48

    thank you for introducing me to such a lovely phrase! 🙂 and I so love those last two lines. ❤

    Reply

  13. MarinaSofia
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 04:05:38

    And very wise too! I’ve never been a chef, but I instinctively do all that when I start cooking something complicated (or when I start writing). How can you be creative and improvise if you spend hours searching for things, right? I love your list poem which conjures up so many tasty dishes…

    Reply

  14. sarahsouthwest
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 06:18:32

    The form and content work together so well. A crisp clean form, really evokes the ordered kitchen – and the cook’s ordered mind!

    Reply

  15. Kathy Reed
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 06:46:22

    A phrase we can all use in everyday life. It pays to be organized and prepared. Glad to read from your perspective how important to be safe on the job as well.
    The worst part, though, must be the cleaning up after 😉

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 28, 2016 @ 14:29:58

      Lol. I always had underlings who cleaned and when one is tidy while cooking, basically .when you finish the dish, the work station is clean. Nowadays, I keep my tidy habit while cooking and just put things in the dishwasher as I finish with them.

      Reply

  16. Brian
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 07:50:46

    I just want to change all the bowls all around. 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 28, 2016 @ 14:27:00

      Changing the bowls around is not important to the finished product. It is not a mindless grabbing of ingredients but rather, a focus of identifying the where and what of the bowls.

      Reply

  17. Misky
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 09:43:41

    The repetition in this piece reinforces the organised pattern of the prompt’s photos. Very clever use of phrasing.

    Reply

  18. ladynyo
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 10:19:24

    LOL! I can recognize an OCD when I see it! relates…..this is wonderful, and you must be a wonderful chef! I think you got it all in, too. LOL!

    Reply

  19. Mish
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 12:41:00

    Love the way this reads and flows like a list, adding to the organization theme, but also the seriousness of the culinary world. I imagine you in the center of it all working your magic!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 28, 2016 @ 14:23:52

      Thank you Mish. I have been cooking for about 60 years and I am still in love with it. I pprepared breakfast for my family when I was five by imitating what I had seen from my father and grandmother. Even as a child, I had my work organized, based on what I picked up from my father.

      Reply

  20. Miss Stacy
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 13:31:10

    a place for everything, and everything in it’s place…i love it!
    except, i don’t fit in anywhere.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 28, 2016 @ 14:20:16

      I’m sure there are places you fit. We all have these spells of being a stranger in a strange land until we find the place within our own skin where we truly fit.

      Reply

  21. lynn__
    Sep 28, 2016 @ 15:07:57

    You certainly arranged a delightful poem here…kudos to the chef!

    Reply

  22. Bryan Ens
    Sep 29, 2016 @ 08:26:26

    I’ve never really thought about that…but it makes sense that a messy kitchen would lead to inefficient prep time

    Reply

  23. mother wintermoon
    Sep 29, 2016 @ 15:23:26

    I love your take on the prompt and this window into the chef’s world and perspective. Nothing throws off (and frustrates) a good culinary artist like an unorganized workspace and things being out of place.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Sep 29, 2016 @ 15:28:08

      It’s true. And to this day, when I cook at home, everything is in its place and tidy. Bowls of ingredients, seasonings grace my work area.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

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