Top 10 Thanksgiving Clips for Mise en Place Leaders

Because you’re all going to be so BUSY in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, in order to keep your mood light and cheerful among all your family members, I’ve posted a list of my favorite Thanksgiving kitchen scenes! Enjoy.

10. Bob Cooks More Than Burgers:

9. Some 3rd Rock from the Sun! Remember Joseph Gordon-Levitt and John Lithgow before their drama days? Check out the opening scene:

Third Rock

8. Bart is a true chef:

7. No list in 2013 would be complete without some Big Bang Theory:

6. Looks like Carrie from The King of Queens is not used to making Something Worth Cooking:

5. The Cosbys show us how to carve a turkey:

4. If ever there was a Mise en Place Leader, Snoopy is one of them:

3. The Blind Side Thanksgiving. I’ll let this one speak for itself:

2. Happy Slapsgiving, everyone:

1. In my opinion, the best Thanksgiving moment in Sitcom history:




Waffle Irons vs. Pancake Griddles


Photo courtesy of Daniela Kara R.

On the increasingly rare occasion that you have enough time in the morning to treat yourself and your family to a breakfast that takes more than 5 seconds to prepare (re: tearing out of packaging), breakfast batters in one form or another always seem to make everyone happy. But what’s your go-to syrup delivery system? Do you break out the waffle iron, thus avoiding the chaos of suggesting bacon and eggs to your teenager who has declared she’s feeling vegetarian today, or do you heat up the pancake griddle, which, with its ability to mass produce, can provide a stack of fluffy goodness big enough for that teenager to make eye contact with you and even stay at the table for more than 10 seconds?

While you may have already decided which meal you would make, you’ve probably never thought about what that says about your personality. There are advantages and challenges with each of these appliances, and your personality may steer you towards one or the other. So, are you a Waffle Ironer or Pancake Griddler? Let’s find out.

The Waffle Ironer


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wu

The Waffle Ironer is a planner. You know exactly what you want the end product to look like. There is a set structure that will lead you directly to the same end result time after time. Just like a waffle iron, you push out any excess material that doesn’t fit into your pre-planned mold of what you want. Your focus is on doing one thing at a time with precision. You attempt to frontload your work, planning every step before you start so that the performance itself is automatic, complete with reminders to go to the next step and signals to let you know the job is done. Your leadership style is to make sure everything is laid out precisely, and then you let the job get done, knowing that the plan you are using has worked many times before. It’s challenging for you to embrace The KitchenAid Philosophy in terms of your willingness to change things up. Sure, you’re all for going with the flow and trying new things in the kitchen and in life at times, but let’s be honest, nothing makes your grumpy teen tweet #FML quicker than waking up before 11 on a weekend to a goat cheese and kale omelet.  Thus, you’re a Waffle Ironer: you may lack some imagination (“I can cook anything!… As long as it’s in the form of a waffle.”), but you know what the end result will be and you’re as consistent a performer as anyone.

The Pancake Griddler


Photo courtesy of Robert Donovan

The Pancake Griddler is all about getting things done. Once you’re in “go” mode, you can handle six things at once and complete tasks quickly. Structure isn’t exactly your thing, and you don’t really concern yourself with the shape of the final product. Part of the fun for you is the uniqueness of every individual thing that you do. You rely a lot on your gut instinct, such as when those pancakes are ready to be flipped and when they are done completely; you make decisions based on look, feel, and the general sense you have at any given moment. You read my blog because the concept of Mise en Place is foreign to you on multiple levels. You do some planning before getting started, but you focus on the performance itself and adjust this and that on the fly. You like to get your hands dirty with any project and carefully oversee it from beginning to end. You can cook a bunch of pancakes at once (similar tasks), but you must become absorbed in one process once you start since you need to closely monitor your work. Your leadership style is adaptive and you can think on the fly, making sure the end result is great, even if it’s not exactly how you thought it would come out at the beginning. Planning and consistency are important to you, but getting something started and figuring out the details later are what drive you.

Making a Waff-Cake

Ok, so that name needs a little work, but it makes my point well. At the end of the day, Waffle Ironers and Pancake Griddlers both have great qualities, and it’s important to study your habits enough to know which category you tend to lean towards. However, the Mise en Place Leader works on developing the qualities of both these appliances.

Which situations in your life call for a structured, well-planned Waffle Iron mentality? Which need a non-conforming, go with your feelings Pancake Griddle mindset? Before you can answer these questions, try to think about your tendencies. What’s your default? Are you naturally a Waffle Ironer or a Pancake Griddler? Share your thoughts.