i used to think it was odd that erik pretty much only reads cook books. well, cook books + culinary magazines. aside from a few prized cookbooks i've accumulated over the years (amazing gals nigella + julia), i never paid much mind to cookbooks. that's changed a bit now, since there is always at least one on the coffee table, and i'll read just about anything you put in front of me.
the most recent cookbook to grace the coffee table is ruhlman's twenty - twenty methods + basics of cooking knowledge, with accompanying recipes for each one (erik got the ratio book a few months ago, and swears by it - i admit, it's a slightly dry but incredibly fascinating read). when flipping through twenty the other night, i couldn't help but notice how the first chapter - mise en place - was not only the most logical, sensible way to begin cooking, but really the only way to begin any sort of project. ruhlman advocated not only setting out the things you need for your recipe, but clearing the work surface of everything else. it was so sensible. before i successfully set out to get anything done, i need to clear my work table and get everything i need set out. when i don't observe this habit? the project never goes as smoothly, if it gets finished at all.
so i thought i'd share this little revelation with you - there's so much that we, makers, share with other artisans, and this chapter just got me thinking about what i do a little differently. it's fun to learn something about what you do from people who do something so different, but so similar.