Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 12-01-15

Don't try to catch it!!

Over the years and through several houses I've installed 3 hot water heaters. It was never a big deal. Go to the hardware store, buy it (usually a few hundred bucks), take it home, turn off the water, drain the water out of the old one, unhook it, drag it out to the garage, drag in the new one, hook it back up, turn the water back on, put the old one in the garbage .. about half a day's work.. So a few years ago when they told me we needed a new Hot water heater here at church I thought it would be the same kind of thing. I knew it was a lot bigger than the ones I had put in my house but it wasn't that much bigger. The tank water heater I put in my house was a 50 gallon one and the church had a 100 gallon one. Ok, so it was twice as big and it had a lot more burner stuff under it, but I knew I could get 4 or 5 guys to help.. It would be easy, Right? Turns out there's a big difference between a home water heater and an industrial water heater. The main thing is that it has a steel tank inside that weighs a ton (really about 900 pounds) and it's about 6 and half feet tall and it costs about $8000 .. Yikes!!!  When it came it was standing up in a wooden box on a small pallet. Ok At least it was on a pallet. So we got our pallet jack, but the pallet was too small! What good is a pallet that won't fit on a standard pallet jack? I guess they think everybody owns a fork lift. We had to lift up one side with the jack, put 2x4's under it, then the other side, then put the jack under it cross ways.. It was stupid..  Got it to the kitchen, got it back on the floor, took the box off and there it was! A big giant dent in the side. Was that OK? ..Who knows..  $8000 for a water heater with a big dent in the side .. should we send it back?  Somebody needed to come look at it, but we couldn't keep it in the kitchen while we waited for that..Back to the loading dock till somebody tells us its ok.. Somebody says "Maybe there's a better way than using the pallet jack?" How about a refrigerator dolly?.... Got it all strapped in, tilted the dolly back on the supporting wheels and off we went .. seemed to work great. Till we turned the last corner.. I was holding it and as we (5 of us) pushed it around the corner it started to tilt. I've learned after many years of trying to catch heavy things that it is best to just get out of the way, so I did as my hand slid off the heater..BOOM! .. Now we had a really big dent on the other side and a big slice in my hand where a screw got me. 45 minutes to figure out how to get the thing back upright and 6 stitches in my hand later we got it back where it started. 2 weeks later the water heater expert came out and said it was fine. He said we could drop it off the top of the church and not hurt it. Oh well, I guess we need to move it back to the kitchen ..  again.

God's like that: We think we can handle it, we think we can hold it up, but sometimes things are just too big. God gives us friends to help, but who we really need is God. He's way bigger. He says all we have to do ask and he'll be there. How will you know if you don't try.. ask him and see what happens ..

The water heater with the 2 big dents is in and has been working fine for years.


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes

This is one of my favorite salads even though I've never made it, Maybe this weekend. The thing I want you to do is taste all of the roasted vegetables after you take them out of the oven and befor you add any dressing to them. I could stop right here and just eat roasted veggies. This is as good as it gets. But go ahead and make the rest of it, the dressing sound good.

Warm Winter-Vegetable Salad


1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces

1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 small beet, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup walnuts

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (((I would start without the lemon juice. After you whisk the rest of the dressing together, get a tablespoon it taste it, then add a drop of lemon juice to it and taste again. Is it better? Add 2 more drops. Better? ... use this to see if you add the lemon juice and how much.))) 

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (((optional, just to a some color to the dressing. Chop it small if you use it.)))

1 ounce feta, crumbled (1/4 cup)


Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes (((Don't burn them!!! If you do, throw them out and start over or leave them out.))). Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon juice(((See note above))), mustard and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. TASTE! TASTE! TASTE! REMEMBER HOT, SOUR, SALTY, SWEET. You'll get some salt from the veg, sour from vinegar and lemon. There's no Hot, some sweet from the veg. May want to add some tabasco and some honey to the dressing. Just enough to balance.  Add the vegetables and walnuts to the dressing and toss. Top the salad with the feta and serve warm or at room temperature.

The roasted winter vegetables and dressing can be refrigerated separately overnight. Rewarm the roasted vegetables before serving.


Posted by Mack Oates at 9:34 AM