I've been cooking for a long time (don't ask) and do most of the cooking in our house. However the wife and I like to relax on the porch before dinner and have a couple of cocktails, say from 5:30 TO 6:30. The problem that creates is that if dinner requires a lot of prep work, it can really be late before we eat.
I've always thought it was a bad idea to prep food (chop onions, shallot, herbs, etc.) in advance. But then I got to thinking that that's certainly how restaurants do it. It's not like they're going to chop a fresh shallot for every meal ordered. Of course they do all this prep in advance of cooking anything.
So more and more I have found myself doing all of my prep work before cocktail time. Chopping all the vegies (and wrapping them in plastic or putting them in a small dish covered), measuring out spices onto a plate, measuring and pouring any liquids such as stock or wine. I have even started pre-cooking or par cooking some items and then just either finishing them off or heating up at dinner time. Now when cocktail time is over, I can have dinner on the table in less than 1/2 the time.
Just wondering if everyone else already does this and it just took me 40 years to figure it out.