Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 06-02-15

Come on get out of bed!!!!

I've got a bike that I've had since 1979. I used to ride it everyday. I had it here at church thinking if it was here, I would ride it more often. It's been here 3 years and I haven't ridden it once. I thought if I took it home I could ride it on those mornings that I woke up at 4am. It would be better than lying in bed wide awake, and I would get some exercise. For this to work I had to make it as easy as possible so I wouldn't be able to talk myself out of it. It's too easy to come up with excuses. First thing, no helmet. I don't know why helmet-hair is a big thing, I don't exactly look like I just came out of the beauty parlor at 4am, but it's my first and best excuse for not riding. So to be safe I only ride before 6am and I only ride around my block. I'm never more than 100 yards from my house and there's no traffic. My wife can always find me, all she has to do is drive around the block. Second, no special bike clothes. I can't take 30 minutes to put on my bike uni .. Shorts, shirt, no-tie running shoes, that's it, less than 15 seconds from bed to bike, no excuses. Third, no long trips. It's a little boring riding around the block, but I can tell myself that I can stop any time I want and still be close to home, plus convincing myself to go one more time around is an easy conversation, no excuses. Forth, nobody knows I've gone. At 4am nobody tells me to be careful, or asked me why I don't have a helmet or wants me to do one more thing before I leave, no excuses from other people. Fifth, nobody sees me. I don't have to worry if my legs look like turkey skin or my face is still smushed up from sleeping or if my shirt smells. You can do anything at 4am and nobody will see you. (if they do, they look as bad as you do and it turns in to an "I won't tell if you won't tell" thing.) It's not public exercise, you don't have to look good like you do when you go to the gym .. Sixth and most important, there's no special place for my bike. It sits right in the middle of the garage pointing out. I don't have to get it out or get it down or walk it out of the house or be quiet or anything. The only excuse I have left is "I just don't want to go!". But now the conversation goes:  "30 seconds and your gone. Just get out of bed! .. You don't have to wear a helmet, the bike is ready, if you get tired after 2 laps you can stop, you don't have to talk to anybody, nobody will point at you.. come on let's go… you know you'll feel better, maybe you can do 8 laps (6 miles) … you know you love it and the paper will be here when you get back and you can have some coffee and read the paper and feel good about yourself .. come on, get out of bed …. Just get up and put on your shorts …. It will get rid of this little headache that's starting .. Come on get out of bed…." 

God's like that: It's so easy to talk ourselves out of something we know we need to do or convince ourselves to do something stupid. We know the right answer, we know what to do, but excuses are everywhere.
God is way ahead of you, he has it all setup. He's just waiting for you ….

I need to figure out a way to sleep on my bike. So as soon as the alarm goes off, the garage door opens and I'm rolling, awake or not!!!!


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

I love the idea of making a salad with grain. Quinoa, Barley, pine nuts,  faro ... there are lots of grains that work in salads. Here's 2. You may want to add some more greens, but you'll get the idea.

Barley Salad with Parsley and Walnuts

1 1/4 cups pearled barley (9 ounces)
1 cup walnut halves (4 ounces)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (about 1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the barley over high heat until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the barley and rinse under cold water to cool thoroughly. Drain again, shaking out the excess water.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Coarsely chop the nuts.

In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, garlic and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Add the barley, parsley and ricotta salata and toss gently. Add the toasted walnuts, toss again and serve.

The salad can be refrigerated overnight.


Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

3/4 cup quinoa (about 5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups water
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Freshly ground pepper
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
One 3-ounce jar cocktail onions, drained and finely chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread the quinoa on a baking sheet; refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over high heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; transfer to a blender. Add the lime juice and oil and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing into a bowl and add the black beans, bell pepper, cilantro and cocktail onions. Scrape the quinoa into the bowl, season with salt and pepper and serve.


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:27 PM