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Mack's Corner

This Week


When I was a kid we played football almost every day during football season, we didn't care who won, we just loved to play. We had a great field because one of the kids that played lived on the corner and we lived next door to him, so we had his side yard and our front yard for the field, the sidewalk was out of bounds and the ends of his yard and my yard were the end zones. The only thing we had to watch out for was our driveway at about the 40 yard line, no tackling on the driveway. One Christmas my mom decided to buy a live Christmas tree, roots and all. She wanted to plant it after Christmas. "Well, OK, no big deal?" Right after the first of the year, right in the middle of football season. My dad got my brother and me and said "We're going to go plant your mom's Christmas tree in the front yard." "WHAT!!!!!!" …. "In the front yard???" … "But its football season, you can't plant a tree on the 20 yard line!!!" That's where we planted it, a 6 foot Christmas tree on the 20 yard line, right in the middle of the field. It was like parking a car in the driveway and saying it would never move. OH Well, we weren't going to stop playing football, we would just have to play around it. It turned out to be a great blocker, just run your pass route right in front of it, the defender goes in to the tree and you make a touchdown. I mostly played through it. I was a big kid and if the tree wanted to get in the way, then it had to pay for it. After about 3 years the tree was 2 feet shorter and oddly shaped due to all of the broken limbs. No dumb tree is going to keep me from scoring a touchdown.

A few years later I tried out for the 8th grade football team at school. All my friends wanted me to because I was such a big kid. I was as big as I am right now in the 7th grade. A funny thing happened that year, there were 4 of us, 4 of us that were over 6 feet tall, weighed over 210 pounds and bench pressed over 220 pounds. 4 of us!!! Every 8th grade coach's dream. We were all a foot taller and 60 pounds heavier than anybody else in the team, including the coach. The coach had to borrow helmets and pads from the high school team down the street to fit us. A coaching buddy of mine used to say "You can teach a kid how to play football, but you can't teach him how to be big". The bad part was that our coach didn't like "Big" he liked "Fast". All 4 of us practiced every day, showed up for every game, but never played at the same time. If one of us did play, the other team just ran to the other side, nobody could block us, but as long as there was only one of us in, they could run away from us. We lost most of our games, but I learned a lot. I learned to not quit because of somebody else. I learned to have fun in disappointment. I learned I had friends that would always be my friends, no matter what. I learned to move on to the next thing … there was better stuff ahead.

God's like that: Sometimes things don't work out like you think they should, things happen that you don't understand. But God doesn't stop just because something or somebody gets in the way, he plays through it.

Maybe I'll go find a tree and play a little football today …  


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

I love the idea of Pickled Shrimp. It sounds so good and so strange at the same time. This is a southern specialty especially if you're from the Low country of Georgia and South Carolina. The recipe comes from The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook. One of the great Southern cookbooks ever. I changed the recipe a little to make it easier..

Pickled Shrimp

4-5 tbsp  or 1 bag (if it's in one o those sealed up tea bags)  Shrimp/ Crab boil (Penzey's Spices - They have great Shrimp boil mix, already made) … you only need this if you are using non-cooked shrimp.

1 lb medium shrimp (36 -40) .. or any size you want.. The recipe calls for shell on, but I don't see why, just makes it hard. I would buy shell off .. you could also do this with cooked shrimp and skip the first part. Thaw the shrimp in the fridge..

2 large bay leaves

1/4 tsp allspice (Penzey's)

1/2 tsp ground coriander (Penzey's)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice (1 grapefruit)

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/3 cup fresh orange juice (2 oranges)

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

For the shrimp:
If you are using non-cooked shrimp fill a 4 - 6 quart pot with 2 quarts of water and add the shrimp boil mix. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Let it cook for 1 min till the shrimp turn bright pink and slightly firm. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.. If you are using shell-on shrimp, peel the shrimp and save the shells to make shrimp stock .. (For shrimp stock: Just put the shells right back in to the same water you cooked the shrimp in (Leave the Shrimp boil mixture in the water). and let it simmer for an hour. Then pour it through a strainer. Use this to make rice, soup, sauce, gumbo.. etc)

Everything else:
Put the shrimp in a medium glass bowl (the glass part is to keep the bowl from reacting to the acid in the juices. Stainless steel or plastic will work too. Not aluminum). Add 1/2 cup of water and Everything else.. Mix, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours… The shrimp is good for 24 hours after you first put it in the fridge…

So the hard part is buying all the stuff. A trip to Penzey's (you need to go see it anyway) and the grocery store and you're done. If you use cooked shrimp all you have to do is put everything in a bowl and stick it in the fridge..


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll setup an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9:15am.

See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 8:23 AM