Mack's Corner

This Week -

This week 2-23-16


Do you ever have times when your brain is screaming "STOP!" but you just keep going? Your smart self is saying "go back!" and your dumb self is saying "I can do this".. It's like watching a movie where the good guy is walking through an empty house looking for the evil bad guy and everybody knows that the evil bad guy is hiding in there. Why not wait outside till the evil bad guy comes out, he can't stay in there forever .. but Nooooooo... Several years ago we were replacing some fogged up windows in the south foyer and I had to get our big lift out so they could get up high to do it. The great thing about this lift is that it will go through any double door. The bad thing is that it only fits by a few inches. That few inches makes it slow to get through doors (5 min). So I'm always looking for a faster way and trying to avoid doors. To get on the window side of the south foyer you have to come in the door by the chapel and then go out the door by the windows (10 - 15 minutes). So I got smart and tried to go around on the outside sidewalk instead.. notice that I got smart?? .. The outside side walk is 6 feet wide and the lift is 4ft 11 inches.. too tight.. And I had to turn a corner.. (Stupid is as stupid does).. anybody who has ever taken high school geometry would have known that this path was impossible, but there I was (a little more information: the lift weighs 15,000 pounds.. about the same as 4 big cars) .. So when the front tires went off the sidewalk on to the grass it sunk like a bad guy in quicksand in a Tarzan movie.. 8 inches in a 100th of a second... This is the point where a crowd starts to gather and everybody stares at it and shakes their head then looks at me and then shakes their head again.. I'm thinking that in a effort to save 10 minutes, I'm going to have to get something really big out here to pick this thing up and spend the whole day messing with it, plus no telling what it will cost?.. Then I had an idea.. I went and got my other lift (something else heavy and powerful) and tied a tow rope between the two lifts. Then we extended the boom of the stuck lift out as far as it would go, opposite side of the stuck wheels. Then I got all my facilities guys (who had been on a diet, but it hasn't really worked, thank goodness) to get in or hang on to the basket at the end of the boom. Between the leverage of the boom and the weight of my guys they picked the front tires up, then I used the other lift to pull it back and Bingo!!!! We were out.. God smiles on the simple minded ... I got off the side walk and drove it through the doors like I should have in the first place. It was an eventful morning.

God's like that: He knows we do dumb stuff. The things we want to do, we skip. And the things we don't want to do, we do over and over. He knows that, it's not new. He not only forgives us but will help us stop. You just have to trust him, he really will help. He promised.

Maybe I'll buy some ice cream for my facilities guys, got to keep them at fighting weight.. you never know when you'll need a walking thousand pounds..


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
I love Souffles and eggs on salads. Here are 2 great recipes. You'll love the souffle because it is supposed to fall. You can even refrigerate the fallen souffles over night. It's great for a party.

Double-Baked Three-Cheese Soufflés - from Jeremiah Tower


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the ramekins
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces mild goat cheese, crumbled
10 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Gruyère cheese (4 ounces)
Freshly ground white pepper
8 large egg whites


Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour twelve 1/3-cup ramekins, tapping out any excess flour. In a medium saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk and 1 cup of the heavy cream until smooth; bring to a boil, whisking, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the goat cheese. Scrape the sauce into a bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Beat the egg yolks into the sauce. Stir in the Roquefort and 1/2 cup of the Gruyère. Season with salt and white pepper.

In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until almost firm. Using a large rubber spatula, fold one-third of the beaten whites into the cheese sauce, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until blended. Gently spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins, filling them three-fourths full. Set the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Run your thumb around the rim of each ramekin to clean the inside.

Bake the soufflés for 25 minutes, or until risen and golden but not quite set in the center. Let cool, then invert the soufflés onto a large ovenproof platter or individual dishes.

Raise the oven temperature to 400°. Pour 2 tablespoons of the remaining heavy cream over each soufflé and sprinkle them with the remaining 1 cup of Gruyère. Bake the soufflés for 8 to 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. If baking the soufflés on a platter, use a flat spatula to transfer them with their cream to plates, then serve.

The unmolded baked soufflés can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.


Warm Bacon-and-Egg Salad from April Bloomfield HEr Restaurants are The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and John Dory Oyster Bar


1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
1 generous cup 1/2-inch crustless bread cubes
8 slices of lean bacon
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 large eggs
5 ounces baby arugula
1/4 cup chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper


In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a mini processor.

Add the bread cubes to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate; keep warm. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet.

Add the anchovies, vinegar, mustard and the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the garlic and process until smooth. Season with salt.

Heat the bacon fat in the skillet. Crack the eggs into the skillet and fry over moderately high heat until over easy, 1 1/2 minutes on one side and 30 seconds on the other side.

In a large bowl, toss the the arugula and croutons with the dressing. Mound the salad on plates and sprinkle with the chives. Top with the bacon and the fried eggs, season with pepper and serve right away.


Posted by Mack Oates at 10:02 AM