Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 11-03-15


When I taught Jr Hi I learned that there are great teachers and then there are teachers like me. Great teachers don't care about anything but learning. They don't care if a kid is on the football team or has a job after school or if their mother is coming to pick them up or anything. They only care about learning, everything else is just in the way. There was a math teacher at Cypress Jr High (where I taught) who was a great teacher. We had kids on the football team who were not doing well (at least as well as she thought  they should have been doing), we could have been playing in the Super Bowl and they still would have missed practice because she kept them after school to study. She stayed every afternoon and every afternoon there were 5 to 10 kids in her class getting individual help. She had 5 classes with at least 30 kids in every class. I was scared to go in there when she had a class. I would knock on her door.."Come in!"..  and those laser beam eyes ate through my head and guilt rushed over me as I knew there was nothing that I could ask or need that was more important than her teaching.. "Never mind, I'll come back later.." Even with 30 kids, you could hear when one of them whispered. They were in to it, they hung on every word she said. I don't know how to do that. I only had 10 kids in my class and they were crazy all the time. I hated teaching, I was no good at it. I loved the kids, I was smart, I knew all the stuff they teach you in college, but I was a bad teacher and I knew it. Days seemed to last forever. One day I had one of my football players out in the hall, his name was Charles. He was a big kid, 6 ft, 200lbs. I was thinking about 100 different things, my kids were going crazy and I hear this small voice say "put me down Mr. Oates, put me down" … Then I hear it again "put me down Mr. Oates, put me down"... I looked at Charles and I see him say "put me down Mr. Oates, put me down"..  I thought "what is he talking about?".. Then I looked down at his feet. I had lifted him about a foot off the ground and pinned him against the lockers. I put him down, he ran in to the room and it got real quiet. I knew I had to do something else. I quit the next day..

God's like that: He's not trying to change us in to something we're no good at, he's trying to change us in to what he made us for in the first place. A lot of people think change is bad because they are secure in doing the same thing every day, whether they hate it or it's hurting their family or messing up their health. God doesn't care about how secure you feel, he only cares about making you in to the person that he intended you to be. Everything else is just in the way…. Pay attention..

I bet that teacher is still teaching. I would have loved to be in her class ..


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

Ok Something really Simple ..

Classic Recipe: Marcella Hazan's Famous Tomato Sauce

The idea behind this tomato sauce is simple: Simmer a can of tomatoes with an onion and 5 tablespoons of butter. Add a pinch of salt and pull out the onion at the end, and you're left with a bright, velvety tomato sauce with a rich roundness from the butter. This tomato sauce is also entirely hands-off. You don't even mince the onion.

Marcella Hazan's Amazing 4-Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Serves 2 to 4.

from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes, no salt or herbs added
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small white onion, peeled and cut in half
Kosher salt

To serve
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Put a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, butter, onion halves, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat. Crush the tomatoes lightly with the back of a spoon as they cook, and stir occasionally. Simmer very gently for 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat appear on the surface of the tomatoes. Remove and discard the onion.

Serve over hot pasta with Parmesan and black pepper. Use the rest of the Parmigiano Reggiano from last week.


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:06 PM