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This Week

Ice Dancing

After all of the ice this last week it made me think of a time a few years ago...  I thought should come check the parking lot early Sunday morning. I got to Church about 4:30am and started opening the gates to the upper lot. The upper lot is only about 6 feet above the road but you still have a little hill to climb to get up to it. The first gate was fine. I got in my pickup and drove to the second gate, a little slide, but nothing big, opened it. Got to the 3rd gate, opened it and started to drive up into the lot. I couldn't go anyplace. The drive only has about a 10 degree slope. It looks like nothing. On a normal day you wouldn't even think of it as a hill, but with a sheet of ice it was a mountain. So I backed up and took a run at it. I didn't need to be going fast, I just needed to be moving and not stop. I got going, still sliding a little… kept going, kept going… made it.. Hummmmmm, maybe this was too slick? I thought I better go check the stairs going from the top lot down to the crosswalk. If that had a bunch of ice then maybe I should close the top lots??? The stairs come off of the "Monkey Lot". I named all the lots by the trams so that kids could help their parents remember where they parked. So we have the Monkey lot, the Giraffe Lot and the Flamingo Lot. The Monkey lot has a big slope so that it will drain water. The Slope leans towards the stairs. As I drove toward the stairs I began "The Pickup truck Ballet" doing a perfect pirouette, foot on the brake, just gliding along, very graceful. On the 3rd spin (it's funny how everything goes in slow mo when you're totally out of control) I was trying to figure out how many guys it would take to push all of the cars out of the Monkey lot after they were all piled up against the curb. Then I started wondering if I was going to be trapped up there for the rest of the day. When I stopped I didn't really worry too much about checking the stairs, the decision was made. All I had to do was get my truck out. I pushed on the gas and I heard that whirl sound of my tires spinning. So I sat there, 4:45am.. I guess I could just leave it, not like it was going anywhere. Maybe if I could get enough guys we could push it out? …. I tried again… Hey!! I was moving!!! .. traction, moved about 4 feet and whirl, sliding back a little….Maybe If I had a long rope and tied it to another truck? … I tried again … I was moving again …. traction, moved 4 feet and whirl…. Then I looked at the outside temp showing in my truck, 12 degrees, and I figured it out. My tries were freezing to the ice and giving me the traction. I could get out, I just had to stop and not lose any ground, wait for my tires to freeze to the ice, then push out again… over and over… 20 minutes later I was rolling … I closed all the gates..

God's like that: We face things every day that that look impossible. To some people it's easy, but to you it looks like a mountain to climb. The trick is to start slow and not stop. God knows we can't do it all in one day. If you get stuck, hold your ground and ask God for help. He'll give you the traction you need to keep going, but you'll have to be patient and wait on God. When you get a good hold, push off again … you can do it.. God Promised.

I wonder if they still make those spiky tires. They need to make "Memphis Ice Tires": If you have normal pressure in them, they are normal tires. But if you double the pressure it pushes out spikes for Ice Driving … Just remember you heard it here first. If Goodyear comes out with "Ice Blaster" tires, I'm expecting a check …

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

This is out of Stephan Pyles "New Texas Cuisine" Cookbook.

Creamed Corn Pudding

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups corn kernels

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 tbsp diced red bell pepper

1 tbsp diced green bell pepper

1 Serrano Chile, seeded and minced

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tbsp pure maple syrup (use the real stuff if you've got it, but regular pancake syrup works too)

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.

Butter a small baking dish (9in x 9in… aprox)

For the corn: Fresh is best. Get 3 - 4 ears, shuck and then with a sharp knife, holding the stem-end in your hand and the pointy end on your cutting board slice down, cutting the kernels off of the cob. Turn 1/4 turn and slice again until you cut all the way around. Try to cut as close to the cob as you can. When you finish, put the corn in a bowl then holding the cob over the bowl push the back of your knife over the cob just like you did when you were slicing off the kernels to kinda "Milk" all the corn juice out of it…… If you don't have fresh corn, use frozen (put it in a pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes and drain) .. canned corn works too, just drain it …

For the bell peppers: The only reason you use red bell Peppers is for the color. So if you're on a budget, get one green bell pepper and use 2 tbsp of that. To cut up a bell pepper, wash it, then slice it down the middle. Pull the seed pod and stem out and wash out all of the seeds. Then with the shiny side down cut it in thin strips. (Hint: any time you are cutting something that has a hard shiny side and a soft inner side, cut with the soft side up and the shiny side down. It's easier and safer.) Now take the strips and turn them sideways so that you will be cutting across them and cut as small as you can…. You'll need 2 tbsp of that…. use the rest to garnish the plate, just put some around the edge ..

For the Serrano Chile: It's just like a small pointy bell pepper, so you do the same thing. Cut the stem end off and slice it down the middle. Scrape the seeds out with your knife. (CAUTION: This is like any hot pepper, don't cut it up and get it on your hands and then rub your eye, it will burn you up. Try not to touch the inside of the pepper, use your knife as much as possible. When you finish, wash your hands..). After you get the seeds out cut it in to tiny strips (shiny side down), then turn the strips and cut across them as small as you can. You'll use all of this …

For the Cilantro: Any time you use cilantro cut what you need from the top. Try to use only leaves and no stems. But don't work too hard, it's not that big of a deal … Chop it up finely.
In a food processor puree 1 cup of the corn and set aside.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the cream, eggs, cinnamon, bell peppers, Serrano, cilantro, and maple syrup. Add the corn puree and the remaining cup of corn kernels and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture in to the buttered baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. It should be lightly brown on top.

I could eat this every day, even for breakfast…..




Posted by Mack Oates at 1:08 PM