This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Stuck Naked

When I think of summer I always think about going to my Grandfather's house in west Texas, we called him "E", I have no idea why. When I was 10ish we would go every year. It was like going to OZ, we could do anything, eat anything, go fishing, play with dogs…. Anything. My brother, my cousin, and I were like a little gang. We would walk in to people's houses and tell them we were E's grandsons and we came for lunch, "What you got?" …. We always got fed …. One day E wanted to take us swimming on Paint Creek outside of town. It had a bunch of cool names in places where it went over the road, "Scott's Crossing", and where it bent around a big rock…. Old Indian names, stuff like that. There was a big wide place, about 60 feet across and maybe 6 feet deep where we went swimming. We jumped out of the pickup truck (56 Ford) took off all our clothes and jumped in. E pulled out a lawn chair and sat on the bank. After we had been there a while, right in the middle of having fun, a woman drives up, gets out a lawn chair and sits down on the bank next to E. Everything stopped! We were stuck in the water, buck naked with this woman sitting right there, right there!! In a lawn chair, like she's staying for dinner or something. E thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen, of course he had his clothes on. It turns out that she and her husband owned the property where we were swimming and she had 4 sons of her own and multiple grandchildren. We weren't going to show her anything she hadn't seen before, we should have just walked up on shore and introduced ourselves. But we were stuck. I guess we would still be in that creek if she hadn't left. E told that story all over town, we kinda wished he hadn't ….

After she left we drove home, it was dark. As we were driving a Jack Rabbit ran out in the middle of the road and was running right in front of E's truck. E pushed the gas as far as it would go but we couldn't catch it, it stayed right in front of us, right in the head lights almost like he knew we couldn't keep up and he was just playing with us, then off the road and in to the dark….. We told this story all over town especially if E started telling the creek story, just to head him off …

God's like that: We think we're going to tell him something or show him something that he's never seen before, so we stand there stuck thinking that someday we will finally be presentable. But the truth is that we should just go up and introduce ourselves. He won't care what you look like or what you've done in the past, he'll just be glad to meet you. Some people think God lives in the past, but he's so far out in front that you have no chance to get ahead of him. Just try to keep up …

Maybe I'll go get in the sprinkler when I get home, I think the fence is high enough?

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

I love things made with leftover bread. Bread salad, bread soup, and bread stuffing are my favorites. There's a great cookbook by Massimo Bottura Called "Bread is Gold". It has recipies from a bunch of great chefs making meals from leftover bread. He and these chefs feed homeless people with these amazing meals made from day old bread. Like these 2. Bread stuffing/dressing/savory pudding recipes that will go with anything …

# 1 - Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese

1 (1-pound) loaf crusty country-style white bread

1/4 cup olive oil

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms such as crimini, button, portobello, and stemmed shiitake, thinly sliced (Nothing fancy here!!)

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

8 large eggs

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (Get real cheese)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Cut bottom crust and short ends off bread and discard. Cut remaining bread with crust into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups loosely packed). Place cubes in very large bowl. Add oil, thyme, and garlic; toss to coat. Spread cubes out on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Return toasted bread cubes to same very large bowl.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, and bell pepper. sauté until soft and juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Add sautéed vegetables and parsley to bread cubes.

Whisk heavy cream, eggs, salt, and ground pepper in large bowl. Mix custard into bread and vegetables. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.

Sprinkle cheese over. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing uncovered until set and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes.

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#2 - Country Bread Stuffing with Smoked Ham, Goat Cheese, and Dried Cherries


1/2 cup dried tart cherries (or craisins, raisins, grapes, strawberries, chopped dried figs, dried prunes, or a mixture .. there are no rules on this.)

1 (1-pound) loaf crusty country-style white bread

1/4 cup olive oil

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery

1 1/4 cups chopped smoked ham

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup toasted husked hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (or pecans, walnuts, whatever you like..)

1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth, heated

4 ounces chilled fresh goat cheese, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375°F. (if you are using dried Cherries, place cherries in bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain.)

Cut bottom crust and short ends off bread; discard. Cut remaining bread with crust into 1-inch cubes (10 cups loosely packed). Place in large bowl. Add oil, thyme, and garlic; toss. Spread out on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Return to same large bowl.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add next 4 ingredients. sauté until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Mix in parsley and cherries.

DO AHEAD Bread cubes and vegetable mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately. Store bread at room temperature. Chill vegetables.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Stir vegetables and nuts into bread cubes. Add hot broth, tossing to coat. Mix in cheese. Transfer to dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is brown, about 25 minutes longer, and serve.

These will work with Steak, under fish, pork chops, BBQ, for breakfast with an egg on top, even as a mid-day snack… yummmmmm

 
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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!!!

Mack

 

Posted by Mack Oates at 7:36 AM