Mack's Corner

This Week

Red on POS Black on NEG

When I was teaching Jr. High school back in the 80's the PE teacher came and got me to take her home and jump start her car. I had an off period so it was no big deal. I hooked up the cables between my car and hers, told her to get in and I went and started my car. I got back out to tell her to crank her car and boooooooooooom, like 40 m80's all at once, like someone had dropped a bomb on us. I was stone deaf for 2 - 3 minutes. When I recovered, I wasn't hurt, just couldn't hear. I walked up to her car and the battery was gone, really, totally gone, nothing left but 2 battery cables. I had just blown it up in to thousands, maybe millions of pieces. Of course my jumper cables were still there connected to the wrong place… black on red (pos) + red on black (neg) = blown up the battery …. I have that forever burned in my brain (If you're stupid and you know it clap your hands).… We went and bought another battery. I don't think they give re-bates on vaporized batteries.  I got back to school and noticed that I had a hole in my shirt. Then a little while later I noticed I had several holes in my shirt, then the sleeve came off, the shirt tail came off and the buttons started falling off. The whole shirt was falling apart as I watched it. By last period I was standing there in a t-shirt… the acid in the battery had vaporized and gotten all over my shirt. As the day went on it ate it.

I always loved the kids, but I really hated teaching school. Either you're born to be a teacher or you're not, I'm not. This was Jr High and I had a kid that played on the football team in my class. He was acting up and I took him out in to the hallway to explain the rules of the classroom. I was a little on edge, but didn't really think so at the time. This was a big kid, 190 - 200 pounds and I had him pinned against the lockers while I was talking to him. For some reason he kept looking at me really scared saying "put me down Mr. Oates, put me down". I kept talking till he started looking down. I looked down to see what he was looking at and I saw that his feet were about a foot off the ground. Maybe I was a lot on edge? I put him down and realized it was time to do something different….. I quit teaching school about two weeks later.

God's like that: Something bad happens and things just start falling apart. We start doing irrational stuff because we're trying to get through it all by ourselves. God puts people all around us to help and he leads us in new directions. Sometimes it's hard to change.  But, you don't really have to change everything, you just have to change something… Small changes can make a big difference ….. and after you've done it once it's easier to do it again …. 

If you need me to jump start your car let me know. I promise I won't blow it up…..


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

So you're driving home you're kinda hungry, you got the windows open because it's nice out and you drive past The Grove Grill, you can kinda smell it. Then you drive past Huey's and you can smell those Burgers. That's what it was, it was burgers. Then you drive past Belmont and Houston's and Buckley's… Then it mostly goes away and all of a sudden there's Huey's again and you're about to chew your arm off thinking about those burgers. You get home and you're thinking about those burgers, but you have to light the grill and you haven't used it since last summer and there stuff growing on it. Maybe you'll just order a pizza or eat that sushi from last Wednesday??? Don't do it!!! You can still have a burger, forget the grill. Get out your trusty Iron skillet and make burgers. Most of the best burgers in the world are made in an iron skillet or a flat-top. "We don't need no stinking grill!!" (Said like bandits in the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre).   So here you go .. 4 great burger ideas that you can make right at home in one iron skillet just like Betty Crocker. You don't have to clean anything, just wipe out your iron skillet when you're done..

Here's a great trick I saw Alex Guarnaschelli do to make a great burger into a world class burger: Get some butter, not a lot, and melt it in a skillet. Then add the buns. Toast on the cut side and gently brown on the other, add more butter as needed. Take the buns out and lightly salt on the outside. This makes the first taste be the buttered toasted bun and salt.

The Minetta Burger from the Minetta Tavern in NYC

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 pounds ground sirloin (Go to Charlie's and ask Chuck to give you his best blend or to ground some sirloin)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

4 brioche buns, split and toasted

Lettuce, tomato slices and pickles, for serving

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, about 40 minutes. Add the water and scrape up any browned bits. Cook until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Season the caramelized onion with salt and pepper; keep warm.

Gently shape the sirloin into four 1-inch-thick patties. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil. Cook the burgers over moderately high heat until deep brown outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes, top the burgers with the cheese and cover loosely with foil so the cheese melts. Transfer the burgers to the buns, top with the caramelized onion and serve with a side of lettuce, tomato and pickles.


Green-Chile Burgers with Fried Eggs (this is weird but I just want to show you some things to do to be able to fake it if you don't have everything and you have to use what you've got in the fridge)

2 1/4 pounds ground chuck

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 pound mild American blue cheese, such as Maytag Blue Cheese, cut into 4 thin slices

4 large eggs

4 brioche buns, split

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable oil

1 cup Green-Chile Relish <>, warmed up.

Gently form the beef into 4 thick patties and season with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tbsp the oil. Cook the burgers over moderately high heat until deep brown outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes per side. Just before the burgers are done, top each one with a slice of cheese and let it melt.

Meanwhile, heat another iron skillet and brush it lightly with oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook sunny-side up over moderate heat, about 4 minutes. Spread the cut sides of the buns with the melted butter and toast on in the first skillet(where you cooked the burgers). Transfer the burgers to the buns. Top with the Green-Chile Relish and the fried eggs and serve.


The Hungry Cat - Pug Burgers from The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles

2 pounds lean ground sirloin

8 strips applewood-smoked bacon

1/2 cup mayonnaise, plus more for serving

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 kaiser rolls, split

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 ounces Danish blue cheese, sliced

Sliced ripe Hass avocado

Bibb lettuce leaves

Red onion slices

Form the meat into 4 large patties about 1 inch thick. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, 6 minutes; drain on paper towels, wipe out skillet. In a bowl, mix the 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with the garlic; season with salt and pepper.

Brush the cut sides of the rolls with 2 tablespoons of the oil and lightly toast in the skillet. Brush the burgers with the remaining oil and season well with salt and pepper. In an iron skillet cook the burgers over moderately high heat until deep brown outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes. Flip and top with the cheese. Cook for 6 more minutes for medium-rare. Spread the bottom roll halves with the garlic mayonnaise. Top with a burger, bacon, avocado, lettuce and onion and serve.


Cheddar-and-Onion Smashed Burgers

16 thin bread-and-butter pickle slices, patted dry

Four 4-inch potato buns, buttered and toasted

1 1/4 pounds ground beef chuck (30 percent fat)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 small onions, sliced paper thin

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

Heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot. Layer the pickle slices on the bottom buns. Without overworking the meat, loosely form it into 4 balls and place them in the skillet. Cook the meatballs over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Using a sturdy large spatula, flatten each ball into a 5-inch round patty. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, until well seared. Press a handful of sliced onions onto each patty. Using the spatula, carefully flip each burger so the onions are on the bottom. Top with the cheese and cook for 2 minutes. Cover with a roasting pan or another skillet or foil or any kind of makeshift lid and cook just until the cheese is melted, 1 minute more. Transfer the burgers with the onions to the buns and serve.


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 8:48 AM