Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 1-5-16

I can deal with goofy

I was walking way out in the parking lot last week and I had the strange feeling that one of my legs was longer. I was going up on my right leg and then doing a short step on my left. Kinda like when you have a cast on your foot or only wearing one skate. It was real early, so I figured I was just goofy. But it never went away. UuuuuuuP, quick step, Uuuuuup, quick step.. Maybe I was bent?  I always heard that everybody has one leg longer than the other, but I couldn't believe it had just started today. It's not like I was still growing. I have a friend who has one arm shorter than the other, but that happened when she wa a kid. I've known some really old people who had started to shrink, but my left leg didn't seem shorter, my right leg seemed longer. Oh Well.. Went back to the church, got inside, walked down that long hall and I was back normal again? So it turns out I was goofy! Good, I can deal with goofy... Did a few things and went  back out to get the trams out. Drove a tram down and parked it, walked back up.. Now my left leg was longer... Uuuuup, quick step, Uuuuuup, Quick step. I couldn't remember which leg had been longer before? I started walking in circles.. I walked up one way, long left leg.. walked back, long right leg! What was going on? Had the earth tilted? Maybe aliens were playing with me? .. Then I saw the rain water running down to the drain!!!! The parking lot is slanted so it will drain. It was dark and I was sleepy, really sleepy.. When my left leg was longer it was on the uphill side. When I turned around it was on the downhill side...Hmmmmm. Nothing had changed, I just didn't understand the circumstances.

God's like that: People think he changes, one day he's happy and loving and good things happen, the next day he's mad and bad things happen. Not true! Every day he's loving, every day he's Just, every day he wants the best for us, every day he goes through the hardest things with us. He celebrates with us and he cries with us. He never changes, only the circumstances.....

I wonder if I can get some orthotics to put in my shoes to make the parking lot level? Maybe one with a compass so if I'm going north it pushes up my right foot and if I'm going south, my left?

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

I was watching a salad dressing commercial where they were so proud that it had "Real" red wine vinegar. Why is that a big deal? It's not like it's something that's hard to get. So I looked on a bottle of Balsamic vinegar Salad dressing that we had in the fridge. It was "All Natural". It had "Real" Balsamic Vinegar and then it had a bunch of other strange stuff. I guess this stuff occurs in nature? Let's make some REAL Balsamic Vinaigrette. All Vinaigrettes are Emulsions. Oil emulsified in to vinegar. You can do this with any vinegar: red wine, white wine, balsamic, sherry, rice, raspberry, white, apple cider.. any. You can also do this with any vegetable oil: olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil, or just regular vegetable oil. I use extra virgin olive oil or grape seed oil. If you've never used grape see oil, it has kind of a spicy taste to it. Some chefs use it for all of their vinaigrettes (you can also cook with it). You need to taste different extra virgin olive oils to see which ones you like. Some have almost no taste, some are very fruity, some are sharp and spicy. None are the same! But more expensive does not mean its better. Better is what tastes the best to you. I like almost no taste at all. Buy a small bottle and taste it. If you hate it, use it to cook with or pour it in with some canola oil (a lot of old school chefs mix half olive oil and half canola oil to cut costs). The heat will make most of the flavor go away. For balsamic vinegar you don't need 40 year old vinegar that cost $150. That's for 1 drop-at-a-time stuff. All we need is plain old vinegar, nothing special, be cheap. I like to follow the "Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet" rule on most everything and that hold true with this too. You may want to leave out the sugar and add a tablespoon of honey instead (that actually sounds better). Hot=Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.. Sour= vinegar.. Salty=salt.. Sweet= sugar, or honey.. Taste it when you finish and re-season. If you can't stop tasting it, it's done. Quit!

REAL Balsamic Vinaigrette
Here's the recipe:

1 small garlic clove minced
1 tbls Dijon mustard
3 tbls Balsamic vinegar
1 tbls Worcestershire sauce (Optional)
3 tbls sugar (Optional) or honey
Salt & pepper
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Put everything except the oil in a bowl. If you have a mixer, use your mixer bowl. Whisk all of this together. (one thing to know: Mustard is one of the great emulsifiers, any mustard. It will always make this process go better and add some great flavor.. Don't leave out the mustard).. Now with your mixer going or while you are whisking by hand, start whisking in the oil. I know it seems like a lot, but it's not. Same rule as with Mayo: don't add any more oil until the oil that you've already added is mixed in, go slow. As you add the oil the vinaigrette will go from a dark brown to a light brown and become very thick.. Taste it, Taste it, Taste it! .. More salt, more pepper, more sugar? Now you can make vinaigrette .. want it to be lemony add a teaspoon of lemon juice (lemon juice goes a long way, don't get crazy).. Need less salt, leave out the salt and Worcestershire sauce and add a few drops of lemon juice .. Want to add some herbs, do it, thyme, rosemary. How about chipotle powder? Tabasco? You could use this for sauce over pork or Chicken. Want it to be light? Use rice vinegar and canola oil and leave out the Worcestershire sauce.. wash out an old salad dressing bottle and put it in that. If you use it often enough you don't even have to keep it in the fridge (it will keep for 2 weeks easy). If it separates, just shake it up. You could have a different vinaigrette every week for half the price of store bought. And its really REAL and really natural.... Really


Posted by Mack Oates at 9:13 AM