The last three times I cooked for people, the food turned out fine but, I'm ashamed to say, was at least an hour late.
I begin with the best intentions yet something unexpected always happens: I forgot the chicken was forozen so I have to take the time for an emergency defrost; the meat took 20 minutes to brown when the recipe said it would take 2-3 minutes; etc.
Most cooking delays are my fault and due to poor organization. Some delays I can't foresee and they trip me up.
What are ways I can organize my cooking processes, kitchen, recipe reading, prep, whatever, so I don't make my guests wait longer than they ought? (I'm not an organized person at all in my personal life, so late food is a consequence.) Does mise en place really save all that much time?