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Mack's Corner

This Week

Trust Me

We have several graduations every year in May here at Hope. I always have a few guys in the parking lot for these things but not near as many as we have on Sunday morning. The difference is that Graduation people don't understand the system, not any of them. They think this is Wal-Mart. So if I have a bunch of people out there telling them where to park, it just makes them mad. They don't understand that we're out there to help. They think we're out there to enforce, and people don't like being told what to do. I've thought about printing up T- Shirts for my guys that say "Trust Me", I may still do that. What happens is that we'll be parking row 3, meaning row 1 and 2 are full. My guy will be there pointing down row 3 just as hard as he can and people will continue to drive past him to see if there are any places left on row 1 & 2. There's not, that's why we're pointing down row 3. But they just got to go look. So we let them. They can drive around the lot for the rest of the day if they want, meanwhile we'll park 100 more cars, fill up row 3 & 4, while they look for the place that doesn't exist. They usually end up back in line and park on row 5 … That's also why it takes an hour for them to park (same number of cars that we have Sunday at the 9:30a service, but that only takes 15 minutes).. Getting them out is just as hard. They don't know that both lanes turn right at the street light so they try to form a single lane on the right side to get out. They will even drive around cones to get there. I guess they think those 100 cones are there by mistake, like maybe they fell off a truck in an exact straight line? So instead of getting them out the fastest way, we get them out with the least conflict. It works, it just takes a long time…..  I had one lady that got here about 5 minutes after the graduation started. There were already 1500 cars parked, so the next nearest place was in the Monkey lot up on the hill, where I was pointing. She stops and says "Where do I park?" (Big emphasis on "I".) I said "right up the hill, lots of places." She says "I'm faculty, where does faculty park?" I said "right up the hill, they park with everybody else." (there are about 20 cars behind her.) She says "Don't you have any place closer?" As if we had been saving her spot right at the front door, or we were just being mean and making people park as far out as possible… I said "No, the nearest place is up the hill."  (now, there are 30 cars behind her.) She says "Well, I'm going down there and see." (meaning near the church). I said "That's fine, I just need you to get out of the way." And she drove off. The 30 cars behind her went up and parked in the monkey lot. She was still driving around when I went in….

God's like that: We think he's there to enforce the rules, not to help us. We think he tells us stuff to do just to go against what WE want to do. As if he's telling us a lie and there really is something better he's hiding from us. God doesn't lie, he doesn't try to trick us, he's not holding back. He doesn't make up rules to make us mad or to have more rules. Jesus says "I will give you rest. My burden is easy. Follow me and I will show you the way." You can be on your own if you want, figure it out by yourself. Or you can trust God. Either way he'll wait for you, he doesn't mind watching you wonder around, just takes longer ….  


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

En Papillote is a fancy but foolproof way to cook. The food is steamed in the packet. If you are worried about finding parchment (Kroger) or how to fold it, don't. This is not hard! If you want, use a big square of aluminum foil. Put the food in the middle, fold it over and fold up the open 3 sides… makes a packet. Then put that in the oven. This is actually the way Jean-Louis Palladin did it at his restaurant, Palladin, in Washington D.C. And he's one of the Hoityest Toityest chefs ever. 

Here's Gordon Ramsay's "Oven-Roasted Caramel Bananas en Papillote" This makes 4 servings:

1 / 4 C light brown sugar

4 tbls butter

1 / 2 c Cream

2 cloves or a pinch of ground cloves (see note below)

4 stems of lemon grass (see note below)
(Note: if you don't have whole cloves or lemon grass, use 1 / 4 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg…. A pinch of cardamom works well as a replacement for the lemon grass….. just don't let the cloves and lemon grass stop you from doing this …. A teaspoon of maple syrup would work too)

8 Bananas

Powdered sugar

Crème Fraiche or vanilla ice cream.. (easy Crème Fraiche = half cream + half sour cream: mix it up) or vanilla yogurt

4 pieces of 8x12 parchment or foil

First make caramel sauce: Be careful with this!!! Melted sugar is very hot and it sticks to you. Don't put your finger in to taste it or lick the spoon!!!

Put the brown sugar and a tsp of water in a sauce pan and heat it on high. When the sugar melts, give it 3 - 5 more minutes on the heat and it will turn light brown. (don't go too long or it will burn and taste bitter. Sooner is better than later.. it will continue to cook even after you take it off the heat).

Take it off the heat and stir in the butter. (it may bubble, it's OK) Then stir in the Cream. Add the cloves or cinnamon or nutmeg or maple syrup or cardamom or whatever you're using (lemon grass comes later).. and set it aside to cool..

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and get your 4 pieces of foil or parchment ready.

Heat a non-stick pan.. cut the bananas in half long ways and dust them with the powdered sugar. When the pan is hot add the bananas cut side down. The powdered sugar will caramelize on the bananas. Don't let it burn, this just takes a few seconds on each side. If you have to do this in batches, wipe out the pan after each time or the sugar will burn and make the bananas taste burned.

Place 4 banana halves on each piece of foil or parchment.

If you have lemon grass, cut it to fit in the foil packet and whack it with the back of your knife in several places (you'll smell the lemon). Then cut some slashes in it… put this in with the bananas..

If you used whole cloves, remove them from the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the bananas in each packet.

Fold the foil or parchment in half and fold the 3 sides together. 

Put the packets on a baking sheet. (if you used parchment, dust the top of the packet with some powdered sugar (looks really cool when it comes out). Put them in the oven for 7 - 10 minutes. If you use parchment with the powdered sugar on top, it will puff up and turn brown..

To serve, put each packet on a plate and slice the top open. Serve with Crème Fraiche or Vanilla ice cream..  Remember it's hot and steam will come out when you slice it open .. eat it right out of the packet..Don't eat the lemon grass ..


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



Posted by Mack Oates at 12:54 PM