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This Week

This week 12-08-15

Field Trip .. What did  you say?

I wanted to take a field trip, so I took my wife to dinner in Oxford (City Grocery.. great place). It was about 5:30pm when we left home, I knew I didn't want to get on the expressway and go down Hwy 55.. way too much traffic! We got on Hack's Cross going to Hwy 78. Before I left I got out my GPS just so I wouldn't miss a turn, I have a hard time driving and talking at the same time and that's the whole idea of a field trip..driving and talking. My GPS has a very nice woman's voice that tells you where to go. She's very polite and patient and will figure out what you should do next, no matter how many wrong turns you make. I told her "Shortest time" so she wanted to go on Hwy 55. We went Hwy 78 instead. I drove under the expressway near my house, missed her turn, she wants me to turn right on the next street to get back on the expressway, but I turn left. She wants me to go left around the block, I go straight.. wants me to go right, I go left .. at some point she says "Whenever possible make a legal U-turn" .. Like I said she's very polite..  I kept thinking she would break out of the polite mode and start calling me names.. "OK stupid, turn right at the next street" .. pass it .."Well moron you missed that one too, why don't you just turn me off and do what you want" .. Then I got an idea: what if there was a GPS with an attitude? It has a switch on the side (Nice - Rude - Total Jerk) that would determine how much attitude it had. The "Nice" one would be like the one I have, "Rude" would give you a hard time and call you stupid - clap when you did something right, and "Total jerk" would be a total jerk.. I bet they would sell like crazy.. It would be great for car pools and family vacations, everybody would be waiting for you to make a wrong turn and then guess what the GPS lady was going to say. You could get yelled at and laughed at by everybody in the car including the GPS. And if you were by yourself and wanted a little entertainment or abuse, you're just a few turns away. After a few days of that nothing would ever get to you, people could yell at you all they want, it would just be funny.. "You won't believe what my GPS said to me today.. Jack said the same thing to me at lunch ..pretty funny"  Of course the great thing about a GPS (attitude or not) is that no matter where you are or what you do it always keeps trying to take you in the right direction. It just recalculates the route from where you are. If you screw up it recalculates again. Every time it recalculates it makes a new starting point. It doesn't care where you've been, it only cares where you are now and the route from here.

God's like that: We think that we're too far gone to get back. We've screwed our lives up, we're too old, we've lost too much money, we've lost people that we loved. But God knows the way. You may have been going in the wrong direction, but your new starting point can be where you are today. God doesn't care where you've been, he only cares where you're going.

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes

This sounds so much like something my mom would have made, I couldn't resist.. Sometimes simple is good!

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin with Cheddar Cheese


4 cups broccoli florets (from 2 small heads)
4 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
1/4 cup pitted oil-cured green or black olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarse plain dry bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 2-inch-deep 2-quart baking dish. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli and cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook just until fragrant. Off the heat, add the broccoli and cauliflower and toss. Toss half of the cheese and the olives with the vegetables. Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

In a small bowl, toss the crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cheese. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 12 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crumbs are golden. Serve hot.


Posted by Mack Oates at 9:18 AM