Mack's Corner

This Week

Evidence and the Tooth Fairy

Here's the mystery: The Thursday before Valentine's day a few years ago I was out riding my motorcycle (Triumph Street Triple). I was riding on  Hwy 64, getting ready to go down Collierville-Arlington, and then on to Raleigh-LaGrange. I wanted to be sure I had enough gas if  I wanted to go someplace else after, so I stopped and got gas. I ended up just riding to my brother's wine store and then home later that night. The next day, Valentine's Day, I went to work like normal. I had to go to the Triumph store on Whitten to get something and when I got ready to leave it started raining. I wanted to get to my brother's wine store early because of Valentine's day so I got on the expressway and rode around to 385, then to Collierville then to Forest Hill & Poplar. As soon as I got on 385 it started pouring rain. Really Hard. It rained the whole way. I got to the store, stopped the motorcycle, and got off. There wasn't much going on and I had one more errand to run so I went back out, the rain had stopped, got on my bike, and tried to start it. It turned over, and almost started a few times, but that was all. I figured I had gotten something wet. Electronics, spark plugs,  airbox? So I let it sit till I was ready to go home. Still wouldn't start. I parked it inside the store and got a ride home. I came back  Saturday and Sunday, It would turn over but not start. Monday morning I called the wrecker to come get it and take it to the  Triumph store.

We all thought the same thing, something got wet. We were wrong. The first thing the mechanic did was check to see if there was gas in it, assuming I was doing stupid stuff. I told him it should be almost full because I knew I had stopped to get gas on  Thursday and I had only gone a few miles, but he checked anyway. Guess what! No gas! Not a single drop of gas was in the tank. But it wasn't empty. There just wasn't anything that was gas in my tank. There was 3 gallons of a crystal clear liquid that had a faint sweet smell. Not amber-like gas, no gas smell. I don't know what it was, but it wasn't gas and it wasn't water. And here's the thing. I only buy Shell V-Power, it's supposed to be the best of the best. That's what I put in it that Thursday. My motorcycle is parked in a locked garage at my house and parked in my office when I'm at work. Nobody rides it except me. Hummmmmmm?  There is only one place it could have come from! Anybody! Anybody! ..  I had pumped this stuff in my tank and it was floating on top of the real gas that was already there. When I finally used up all of the real gas, I hit this stuff. Then I was dead.

I called Shell oil company. They said to send them a copy of all the bills and the receipt from the gas station and they would look into it. So I did. I even told them that I had a mason jar of the stuff that was in my tank. They called back 2 weeks later and said they had done a full investigation and that there was not enough EVIDENCE. That they had checked with the gas station, the supplier, the order sheet..etc, etc. Everybody said everything was fine. Hummmmmm? So what really happened was that the Gas  Fairy came and changed my gas into something else, or maybe I was making this up and had a fake towing bill and a fake bill from the Triumph store and they were in on it with me to steal $350 from Shell. That seems about right. Right? I like the Fairy  Idea better, it seems more believable. Don't you think?    

God's like that: You're in the hospital and the doctor says it's a miracle you're still alive, and you walk away. You're in a car wreck and the fireman says it's a miracle you're still alive, and you walk away. We pray for someone and sure enough, it happens. God uses you to change someone's life and you're there to see it. And we still don't believe him. Later when it's all over you say "I  don't know if God is really there. There's not much EVIDENCE. And what has he done for me lately?" Here's the truth: God is there with you every time, all the time, everywhere. He has his hands around you, protecting you every second of every day. If you don't believe it, ask God to show you. Simply say "God show me you are here." Then get ready.

I wonder if the Gas Fairy and the Tooth Fairy are the same Fairy? You would think she would have left a quarter or something.  Something better than bad gas.


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

Mediterranean Diet:  
(Keto: this is all keto)

Easy Soup: If you have a soup pot and a food processor, you can make any of these. I'm always thinking of soups I could make with just veg, stock, and seasoning, maybe a little cream. (((Here's a trick!! If you don't like the way it tastes, you can also season with vinegar, 1 tsp at a time, sugar 1 tsp at a time, or tabasco 3 drops at a time. The idea is not to pickle the soup or make it sweet or hot. The idea is to balance it so that it tastes good = Hot, sour(vinegar), salty, sweet in balance .. TASTE! TASTE!  TASTE! re-season with salt and pepper.))). Here's several easy great soups that you can make in minutes:

Zucchini-and-Watercress Soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion

1 pound zucchini

3 cups chicken stock

8 ounces watercress

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In your food processor, put your slicing blade on and run the onion and zucchini through it. 

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 7 minutes. Add the zucchini and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the zucchini is tender,  10 minutes. Add the watercress and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion, zucchini, and watercress to a food processor. Add the cream and 1/2 cup of the stock and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper.

TASTE! TASTE! TASTE! re-season with salt and pepper.

Gently rewarm the soup and ladle it into bowls.


Silky Cauliflower Soup

1 stick unsalted butter or 1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

One 2-pound head of cauliflower, cut into medium-size florets

4 thyme sprigs

1 quart chicken broth

4 cups water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

In your food processor, put your slicing blade on and run the garlic, shallot, and onion through it in that order (Smallest first).

In a soup pot, melt the butter/oil. Add the onion, shallot, and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened about 5 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, and thyme (whole sprig - this makes it easy to remove later) and cook, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is barely softened about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and water and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over moderately low heat until the cauliflower is softened,  about 30 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs, if any of the leaves fall off don't worry about it.

Working in batches, puree the soup until very smooth.

TASTE! TASTE! TASTE! re-season with salt and pepper.

Season with the nutmeg.


Gingered Carrot Soup with Crème Fraîche

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds large carrots

1 large onion

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger (a small finger of ginger). ((( If you don't have anything to grate it with, use your knife.  Cut the skin off by cutting it into a cube/rectangle so that it is flat on all sides and no skin. Then cut it into long slices, flip over, and cut again so that you have small match sticks. Then turn and cut across the match sticks to make very small cubes. We're  going to puree this so it doesn't have to be perfect.)))

4 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (((easy crème fraîche = 1 part sour cream + 1 part cream, mix it up)))

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

In your food processor, put your slicing blade on and run the carrots and onion through it in that order (Smallest first).

In a soup pot, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the sliced carrots, sliced onion, and grated ginger, cover, and cook over moderately high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until just beginning to soften.

Add the vegetable stock and nutmeg to the vegetables and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cover and cook the soup over moderate heat until the carrots and onions are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Puree the carrot soup in batches in your food processor. Return the carrot soup to the soup pot.

TASTE! TASTE! TASTE! re-season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the crème fraîche and chopped cilantro. Serve the soup in shallow bowls.


Black-Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa

6 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (three 19-ounce cans)

4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 onion

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup dry sherry or water or beer or wine

1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

2 avocados, preferably Hass, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

6 radishes, halved and sliced thin

2 tablespoons lime juice

In your food processor, put your slicing blade on and run the onion through it.

In a soup pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat, add the sherry, and boil until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup, about 3  minutes.

Switch blades in your processor. Combine the beans and chicken broth in your food processor and puree until smooth (((if it won't fit do half the beans and half the stock, pour it in with the onions, then do the other half))).

Add the bean puree, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper to the onions. Simmer until hot, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the avocados, cilantro, radishes, lime juice, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix gently.

Spoon the soup into bowls and top with the salsa.


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 set up 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 online this weekend. It's going to be great!!!



Posted by Mack Oates at 8:09 AM