Fancy French Phrases Insult My Intelligence

Because I’m bilingual and have a Ph.D., I usually don’t like to criticize people who use “fancy schmancy” vocabulary; after all, I happen to be one of those people.

Nevertheless, one can misuse sophisticated vocabulary and use (or mandate the use of) intelligent-sounding foreign terms when no need exists for it.

That said, I’d like to introduce you to the cooking term “mise en place.”  In English, this translates loosely as “gather all your shit before you start.”  Something so simple and helpful and obvious shouldn’t sound so daunting.

Obvious means obvious.  If you’re making tacos for your family, this means getting all of your ingredients in one place before you cook.   It also means frying the meat and grating the cheese (etc.) before you begin constructing the tacos.

On the other hand, I suppose you could grab your taco shell, then pull your meat from the refrigerator, then cook the meat, then put the meat in the taco shell, then locate and grate your cheese, then realize you forgot lettuce at the grocery store, then chop lettuce when you return from your emergency shopping trip, then find your sour cream, then smell your sour cream to make sure it isn’t expired, then realize that it is expired, then feed it to your cat, then eat the soggy lukewarm taco that has been waiting for you all this time.

"Gathering all your shit before you start" is also useful if you're hosting a party and plan to play bartender.  (Photo credit: Tannaz)

“Gathering all your shit before you start” is also useful if you’re hosting a party and plan to play bartender. (Photo credit: Tannaz)


20 thoughts on “Fancy French Phrases Insult My Intelligence

  1. It’s really TOO easy to take the latter course of action, instead of the first. Also, wondering about the effects of feeding sour cream to your cat..

  2. Funny. I was reading the lid of my washing machine this morning and it says, in three languages, in Spanish and French (along with English) in words nearly identical, “close the lid.” I wonder that someone couldn’t just READ either language and get it… It also advises one to collect all ones clothes and sort them by color (colores, couleur)…

  3. wait… you have sex with two languages??? and you put each ingredient in a sealable mason jar? what are you, the anal retentive chef? This seems like a wasted of clean dishes… there… now your intelligence has been insulted… feel free to do a post about it… HA!

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