Mack's Corner

This Week

The Humming Bird Rules

My wife called me one day and left a message: "Be careful when you come home there's a Humming bird trapped in the garage!" Two things sounded funny "Be careful there's a Humming bird" why would I need to be careful with a Humming bird? Was it a killer Humming bird? Was it a 20lb Humming bird? Were there 400,000 more Humming birds sitting on my house ready to attack if I didn't let it go? And why was it "Trapped"? I didn't have any Humming bird traps in the garage. Couldn't she just open the garage door and let it fly out? I was thinking I was driving in to an Alfred Hitchcock movie. When I got there the garage door was open, the light was on and the "Killer" Humming bird was flying around. It would land on something for a few minutes and then fly around again. He just couldn't figure out how to get out of the garage. He kept looking up like he expected to see the sky but there was nothing there but the top of the garage. I was thinking that he might follow the light like a bug, so I turned out the light in the garage and turned on my head lights on the truck, he didn't get that. Then I got a flashlight and shined it on him, he followed it some, but that didn't work either so I turned it off. Then all of a sudden in the dark he went crazy. I heard him hit the wall a few times, then it was quiet. He kinda passed out from fighting so hard. I turned on the garage light and there he was on the floor. I picked him up, his whole body was beating. He was about as big as my little finger. I put him on top of the garbage can outside the garage and waited. After a few minutes he got up on his feet, then in a flash …hummmmmmm gone. I guess if I hadn't turned off the light he would have died in the garage. There was the garage door open big enough for 1000 Humming birds to fly out but all he knew was straight up.

The Gordon Elementary Orff music group played at a luncheon one day. There were 800 people for lunch and these kids looked like pros. They played several Memphis blues tunes .. Love and Happiness  … and others, they had a great time. They danced, sang, played keyboards, drums, guitars, xylophones … they were really good and the audience loved it. The funny part was when they were setting up. There was nobody there but the band, their teacher and me. The band teacher had rules and they all knew them. They didn't make a sound, they didn't ask for instructions, they didn't talk to each other, they just setup their stuff. They had 4 amps, a drum set, 5 xylophones, 2 guitars, 5 keyboards, 6 microphones with stands, 2 mic snakes, a 32 channel mixing board, 4 large speakers on stands, and wires to connect everything. It took 38 kids an hour to set it up… not a sound. One kid even held the chimes while another unwrapped them, just so they wouldn't make any noise. The rules were simple, no noise, everybody has a job, everybody knows everybody else's job, if you finish your job, you help someone else, when you finish you sit down and be quiet. The reward was you get to go play with the group when they perform, the punishment for not keeping the rules was that you didn't get to go … the kids decide their own fate … of course the rules were what made it possible for the teacher to teach them how to play. You should have seen them play … they were so proud and had so much fun … it was an easy decision.

God's like that: he has rules, things he doesn't want us to do. He knows those things will hurt us, make us unhappy, mess up our family.  We've all known people that made rules just to be mean, God's not like that. He's got the door wide open trying to help us and we keep going the wrong direction. At some point he'll carry you out.  Just waiting on you ….

I wonder if The Discovery Channel needs a Humming bird whisperer … it's on my resume..


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

Michael Mina is one of the long time great chefs in America. His Restaurant is "Michael Mina" in San Francisco. A super easy great thing is beef tenderloin. You can serve it cold or hot and all you need it a meat thermometer to do it. If you don't want to do the red wine sauce, don't worry about it, just learn how to make the beef.

Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce, Creamed Spinach



2 tablespoons canola oil

8 ounces shallots, sliced (about 2 cups)

1 6-ounce package sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 750-ml bottle Pinot Noir or other dry red wine

1 14-ounce can low-salt chicken broth

1 14-ounce can beef broth

2 fresh thyme sprigs

1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1 Turkish bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon all purpose flour


1 2-pound beef tenderloin roast

1 tablespoon olive oil


1 cup whipping cream

2 9-ounce packages fresh baby spinach leaves

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over; sauté until mixture is deep brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add vinegar; stir until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add both broths, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered 35 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Strain sauce through fine strainer into small saucepan; discard solids. Mix butter and flour in small bowl. Bring sauce to simmer over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour mixture. Cook until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm over medium heat.


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place rack on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add beef to skillet and cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer beef to rack on baking sheet. Roast in oven until thermometer inserted into center of beef registers 120°F for medium-rare, about 35 minutes. Transfer beef to cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.


Boil whipping cream in heavy large pot until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add half of spinach to pot and toss just until spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining spinach to pot; toss just until all spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut beef tenderloin crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Divide creamed spinach among 6 plates. Top with beef slices, dividing equally. Spoon sauce over and around beef.


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 11:16 AM