Mack's Corner

This Week

Even when you know it's true…

Kirk Whalum did a concert at Hope one summer. It was one of the best concerts I've EVER been to. Not just here at Hope, but anywhere, ever. Kirk Whalum and John Stoddart are as good as it gets, and together they are even better.  The coolest thing he did was right in the middle of a song he walked off the stage into the crowd. Of course, there were no lights to follow him so he was in the dark.  John (playing the piano)was lighted on stage. You could hear Whalum, but you couldn't see him. He walked right behind me, you could hear him coming and then hear him move away. He walked all around the room. People would clap as he got closer. He re-appeared and really let it go for a big finish. It gave me chill bumps …..

A bunch of us drove to Oxford one year to go eat at The City Grocery. It's right there on the square, not a big place, but a really good place. I don't drive to Oxford every day so I asked several friends what was the best way to go. They all said 78 (Lamar) to 7 to oxford, they said it was easy almost a straight shot. So me being a do-it-yourself-er decided to go to Google maps and let Google tell me the best way to go. Google said the same thing except they had a few more details. 16 more to be exact. Turn right on this street, go  .03 miles then turn left on this street and go 4.1 miles then turn left again on this street and go .01 miles then turn right on this street and go 23.7 miles ….etc. I wasn't 2 miles from my own house and I was lost. I had missed that turn that was .002 miles back. Now not only was I lost but nothing fit my Google map anymore and I still wasn't on Hwy 78 yet. We were on 178 or I guess "old" 78. As we were driving I kept seeing this big highway to the right and wondering why we were on this little dinky road. My wife got the great idea to punch the OnStar button and get them to tell us where we were, they're always watching. The lady came on and said she had no idea where we were but if we would pay her $27.50 she could maybe find us.  We told her we would call back the next day if we were still lost. We finally found a sign that said "To 78" and found our way to Oxford. We didn't even look stupid when we got there. Dinner was great, everything with duck in it was really, really good. Several other people had different kinds of fish that was good, I kinda tasted everything, it's one of the rules. Desert was great to me, but not a single Chocolate thing on the menu which made all of the women stare at it in disbelief, trying to figure out what was wrong. Desert needs to be the best thing cause that's what everybody remembers … oh well, I remembered … When we started back home I wanted to see where I messed up on the way down. I knew I could get home, all the signs point to Memphis and once I got there it was just a matter of driving home. So here's how you go to Oxford: Get on Lamar and drive away from the river (anyone who's lived in Memphis more than 10 years knows which way that is) until you see Mississippi Highway 7, turn right. Go till you see University Street and turn right again. Then turn right on N.Lamar and drive around the square 4 times till you see a parking place …. It's that simple …. I should have believed my friends….

God's like that: We can kinda feel him as he walks by and sense him moving away, we know he's there but we can't really see him. We get chill bumps, we cry, get excited, all kinds of things but we're not really sure if it's him or just us. Our friends tell us about him but we can't believe it's that simple. We look for any other way and then get lost. It's really that simple … Just ask

Next time I'll let my GPS to find the way … it's easy to build on insecurity … faith is hard to hold on to even when you know it's true ….


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

Even though you're trying to be healthy, every once in a while you just want a steak. No matter how much I rant, people still come up to me and ask me "What's your favorite steak place?" I don't have one!!!!  Anybody can cook a steak! Anybody!!!!  If you want to cook a steak like they do in fancy steak places, all you need is an Iron skillet and an oven with a broiler and a meat thermometer. You can buy a meat thermometer a Kroger for $1.50 .. If you don't have an Iron skillet, buy one!! .. Lodge Logic L8SK3 10-inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet on Amazon .. $14.88 .. or if you're used to eating in cheap steak places and you have to have grill marks:  Lodge Logic L8SGP3 Pre-Seasoned Square Grill Pan, 10.5-inch - $18.90….. You want a steak that's thick enough to stick the thermometer in to.. so about 1.5 - 2 inches thick. You can get a really nice "choice" steak at Charlie's Meat Market on Summer. If you want "Prime", go to Costco, buy a whole rib and cut it yourself. It will cost $150, but you'll get at least 10 prime steaks out of it at $10-$12 a pound. You will lose some to fat that has to be trimmed ….

These steaks can be expensive, like $20 - $30 a pound, but the price per pound in a restaurant is closer to $80 a pound because you have to pay somebody to cook it. Why not do it yourself????... it's so easy…

This is all Keto.

This recipe is from the New York Times

Seared Rib Steak

TOTAL TIME…30 minutes

1 bone-in rib steak, 1 1/2 inches thick (doesn't need to be bone-in)

1 garlic clove, halved (optional)

Coarse kosher salt

Black pepper


1..(NO OIL IN THE SKILLET!!! ) Heat a heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat for 15 minutes. (Your skillet may smoke!!! Turn your vent-a-hood on.) Meanwhile, heat your broiler. (This is exactly the way Grant Achatz does it. Chef at Alina in Chicago #37 best restaurant in the world last year)

2..Pat steak dry with paper towels (this is very important. Pat it as dry as possible.), then vigorously rub the cut side of garlic all over the steak, particularly the bone. Season generously all over with salt and pepper.

3. Place the steak in the hot pan and carefully (it will smoke), using a potholder, transfer pan to the broiler. Cook meat until done to taste, about 5 to 7 minutes for rare..

Pull it out at 5 min and stick the meat thermometer in it to see where you are. If it's not the right temp yet, stick it back in. If it's getting to burned on top, move it down a level in your oven.

Here's the temps .120 - 125 = rare, 127-135= medium rare, 137- 140= medium.. NEVER OVER 150.. 160=ruined..i.e.well done. .

So to get Rare take it out at 115 -120 degrees, Medium Rare at 122- 130, medium at 130 - 135


Transfer steak to a cutting board, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  This is a big deal!!! Let it rest, otherwise, all the juice will spill out on the cutting board the moment you cut it..

To clean the skillet, run cold water in it to cool it off and wipe it out with a paper towel while it's still warm. No dishwasher, no soap, just wipe it out..(some people will tell you not to even put water in it, it's ok, you won't hurt it..) …  easy huh?

There you go a world-class steak in less than 30 min … No Reservations required.. If I buy the whole rib at Costco and cut it myself, I can have Prime Steak, Potato, Salad and Dessert for $15 a person. You can't do that at a cheap steak place. I do this dinner for my ConeHeads twice a year. Ask them if it's any good!!!


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 9:57 AM