Mack's Corner

This Week

The Rocking Chair

A few years ago I was being romantic (It actually happens more often than that). I took my wife out to dinner for burgers and fries. Then we went to the hardware store, nothing more romantic than chain saws and roofing nails. I was actually looking for a rocking chair. I had bought one earlier but I needed two. I wanted them for my brother's store so we could sit outside on nice nights and rock.  I've been looking for these for a while. I had found several but they weren't very comfortable, a rocking chair is no good if it's not comfortable. While I was sitting there rocking in front of the store last night I was thinking about my favorite rocking chairs. When we were little bitty kids my brother and I both had rocking chairs. One had been my mom's when she was little and the other had been my dad's. We would rock and look at each other and rock some more. My mom thought it was the greatest thing ever invented. Mine got passed on to Macky (My son) when he was little, it's up in the attic now. When we got older my parents got us rocking horses. They didn't actually rock, they had a base with 4 legs and 4 springs and the red horse was suspended on the springs. We rocked on those so hard that we could almost get them all the way off of the ground. Every picture taken of my brother and me from the time we were 3 till about 5 was taken on those rocking horses .. I think they got outlawed in the 60's. My grandparents had a glider with big fluffy pillows. It was big enough for 2 or 3 of us to sit on. We used to fight over who got to sit there. Every summer we spent hours gliding … I've had 2 Lazy boys, both rockers. Macky loves to sit with me and rock. He gets mad if we sit still. He tries to make the chair rock and then looks at me like I don't understand the situation if I don't participate… People like rocking. A lot of kids sit and rock, they don't even need a rocking chair, they don't think about it, they just rock. JFK was a rocker. The pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves used to sit in the dugout and rock on the bench the whole game. I've never seen any mother yet from any country or any culture that didn't rock her baby. Maybe there's something natural about it like tapping your foot to music, some kind of internal rhythm. Maybe it's a heartbeat thing or something that comes from before we're born and the rhythm of our mother walking…. My favorite place to rock is on a porch when it's cool and raining. You can't work because it's raining, so there's nothing to do but rock, smell the rain, feel the mist, hear the drops hit the roof ….. Feels safe, no guilt, feels comforting, no stress, feels like home..  

God's like that: Feels safe, no guilt, feels comforting, no stress, feels like home..   Come on home…

Maybe I'll be like the Beverly Hillbillies and put a rocking chair in the back of my truck. Then I can rock while my wife drives me to the hardware store. You don't think she would sling me out do you?


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

Mother's Day ..

Guys, I've told you this before: This is one of the big 5, the others being Wedding Anniversary, Valentine's Day, her Birthday, and Christmas. This is easy. All you need to do is get some flowers, cook Sunday dinner and tie the kids up in the back yard someplace where they can't be heard (don't worry they'll be fine) …. For dinner you're going to be very romantic and make "Maiale in Agrodolce" (Sweet and sour glazed pork chops) With Broccoli Strascinati (Broccoli with garlic and hot pepper)…. It's ok if you can't say it, tell her it's from Rome.. buy some Italian bread and Gelato for dessert and you're all set .. You can get all of this, flowers and all, at the grocery store.. This will keep you out of trouble at least till the end of next week…

"Maiale in Agrodolce" (Sweet and sour glazed pork chops)

4  10oz pork chops
3 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh rosemary

You can do this on the grill or in a skillet.
Rub olive oil all over the pork chops and season with salt and pepper.
Let them sit while you make the sauce.

In a sauce pan combine the vinegar and honey over medium heat. Let that cook and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 10 min. Then Stir in the butter and add the rosemary sprig. Set aside.

On a medium-hot grill or skillet add the pork chops and cook till brown and cooked through. (You don't have to cook pork to death anymore… leave them juicy) ..about 12 - 14 min…. Near the end baste them with some of the sauce.. (The honey will burn if you do it too early) .. Serve with more sauce ..
Broccoli Strascinati (Broccoli with garlic and hot pepper)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 lb) cut in to florets
3 cloves of garlic smashed kept whole (don't chop!!!)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper

You can do this on the grill too if you want, just take your skillet out and put it on the grill….. this is very quick..

Heat the oil in a 10 - 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic. (remember, we didn't chop the garlic we just smashed it and kept it whole. We're going to use the garlic to flavor the oil. If you had chopped it up it would burn and leave a bitter taste. We smashed it to release the garlic juice). Cook the garlic for 30 seconds and add the broccoli. Cook till lightly browned, still crunchy, the garlic will be golden brown… Add the crushed red pepper and cook 2 more minutes….Get it out of the pan and in to a bowl so that it stops cooking …..  Season with salt and pepper.

Grate Parmesan over the broccoli, mix and serve….

Find a romantic comedy on Netflix to watch during dinner (turn it up loud so you can't hear the kids in the back yard) and you'll make Johnny Depp look like beginner ….



Posted by Mack Oates at 11:21 AM