This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 12-15-15

What?..We've got to go?

When I was in college I used to cook at The Country Place, a camp outside Moscow Tn. During the summer we were there all week even if there was no group staying there. One Friday night 3 of us decided to drive up to Somerville to have dinner and see a movie, there was a camp coming in Saturday morning. We found a burger place and had dinner and then went to see the movie. It was a little one screen movie place but the movie was current (some action movie, Rambo or Die Heard?) and we were looking for anything to do. We got tickets and walked in, there was nobody there. Friday night at 7pm and the movie place is empty except for a few kids.. seemed strange. We got to our seats, feet sticking to the floor, popcorn cups in the seat, drink cups all over the floor, but it's not like we were dressed up or anything, so we didn't care. We just kicked stuff out of the way. The movie started and whap … something hit me.. whap, whap,whap. I looked up, we looked at each other.. whap,whap… like it was starting to rain, when those big raindrops start … whap,whap,whap .. our eyes finally got used to the dark and we saw we were getting pelted with popcorn. We turned around and these 8 or 10 kids were all snickering and trying to be still. We gave them a hard look and turned around…. Whap,whap,whapwhapwhap … Jim got up.. "OK it not funny any more, cut it out!" …. And sat down … whap,whap,whap.. then whole fistfuls of popcorn came flying at us. (they must have had the super-duper-biggie popcorn)… Jim got up and here came a guy with a flashlight. He was kinda round and dumpy with a leisure suit and a name tag the said "Manager" … great, maybe he can turn off the popcorn storm. He walked right up to us, shined the flashlight in our face and said "You 3 got to go. You're causing a disturbance."  What?..We've got to go? … "I'll call the police if you don't leave now!"… Movie night was over… those kids almost passed out, they were laughing so hard… popcorn went everywhere. It was like New Years Eve in time square…. I wanted to ask the manager if he had ever wondered why there were only 8 kids in his theater at 7pm on Friday night … he probably didn't care, just meant he could talk himself out of cleaning up… nobody was coming anyway ..

God's like that: He's not there to clean up every time you make a mess. If you want to screw up your life, he'll let you. He's always ready anytime you ask, but he's not your personal assistant, or your maid. He won't bail you out. God doesn't play games. If you want to change, he'll help. It's all up to you . .

I wonder if that place is still there? … Anybody live in Somerville? …

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
This has nothing to do with my normal stuff, but I like cookies and these sounded great..

Bacon Fat Gingersnaps

¾ cup/150 grams rendered bacon fat (from cooking 1 1/2 to 2 pounds bacon), chilled
1 cup/200 grams white sugar, plus extra for rolling
¼ cup/85 grams molasses or cane syrup
1 egg
2 cups/250 grams all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons/8 grams kosher salt
2 teaspoons/10 grams baking soda
2 teaspoons/10 grams ground ginger
½ teaspoon/3 grams ground cloves
½ teaspoon/3 grams ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients. Pulse until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Put a thick layer of granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Use your hands to break off a 1-tablespoon lump of dough and roll into a ball between your palms. Drop into the sugar, roll to coat and place on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining dough, placing dough balls 2 inches apart; they will spread out as they cook.

Bake until flat and dark brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough. Store cookies in an airtight container.


Brown Butter Cinnamon Crinkle Cookies

Simple cookies flavored with brown butter and packed with pecans, with a sugary crackle exterior.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (53 grams) light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (56 grams) chopped pecans (I used Diamond of California Pecans Chips)
¼ cup (67 grams) powdered sugar

Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium low heat. Continue to cook butter, stirring occasionally, until butter turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma. Do not burn. Remove from heat and cool for about 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the brown butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each for about 30 seconds. Mix in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl and add to the mixer all at once, mixing until combined. Mix in the pecans.

Chill dough for at least 1 hour. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Put the powdered sugar into a wide shallow bowl. Form dough into rounded tablespoons and roll in the powdered sugar, making sure they are generously coated (this will give the cookies their crackly appearance).

Place the cookies 2 inches apart of the prepared sheet pan and bake just until bottoms begin to turn brown, about 10-12 minutes. Bake a test cookie if needed to get the timing right for the rest of the batch.


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:23 PM