Mack's Corner

This Week

What if God stopped?

While I was sitting reading a book by candle light after the electricity went out, I was thinking about all of the things going on all around us that we just assume will happen. Air conditioners, microwave ovens, refrigerators, water pumps (who ever heard of that? The electricity goes out so the water stops?? I thought that was run by gravity or the earth spinning.), Stop lights, alarm clocks, cell phones, the internet, TVs, radios, toasters, coffee makers…. Etc.  It's strange how so many things are inter-connected, if one thing goes down there's a ripple effect that starts taking other things down. It was like we were moving back in time. I sounded like my grandfather, telling my wife PK "let's go for a drive after dinner". Felt like I was back in Haskell Texas and the best entertainment we could find was to just go drive around or go for a walk .. So I had to open the garage door manually and then there we were driving around like we were lost or something, no real place to go, just riding around. It felt stupid and calming at the same time..

God's like that: .. What if God stopped? I wonder what works because he's there? I wonder what doesn't work if he leaves? I wonder what works or doesn't if we pray or not, go to church or not, read the Bible or not. Not so much "if you be good, good things will happen" (if you haven't noticed, God doesn't really work that way), but something like …if the electricity is on, all these things will work…. If I pray, _____ works or works better…. If the electricity is off, all these things don't work … If I don't pray, _____ doesn't work. I wonder what they are? I wonder how many things there are, that I can't think of or don't know about, that happen because I pray, or go to church, or read my Bible, or be a greeter on Sunday morning, or go to a funeral, or visit somebody in the hospital…Etc. I wonder if what I do affects something else that affects something else that affects something else…..  I know things seem to work better when I pray (I think that's because I'm listening to God more so I don't mess up as much). But I wonder if it affects other things and other people. It must!!! Because God uses us and he uses us better if we're listening. Does God use something that seems to be only about me (praying) to affect others? He must…. Am I part of the plan all the time? Does God use me constantly? Right now? Even on Saturday?  I think so…

I clap now when my garage door goes up … Small things..


PRAY .. 2 Chronicles 7:14 .. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

So I need everybody to pray. If you don't pray much, do it one time. You can just say "God help these people (pick somebody). I pray in Jesus's name"  .. that will
be good enough…..  Let's see what God will do… Do it right now!


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

Mediterranean Diet:
The two best Chefs in New Orleans are John Besh and Donald Link. John Besh's restaurant is Restaurant August and Donald Link's restaurants are Herbsaint  and Cochon 

A good friend asked me where to eat in New Orleans and I told him Restaurant August. He liked it so much that he bought me a cookbook: John Besh "My Family Table" .. It's a great cookbook because everything in it is easy and really good. It's a great chef doing the simple dishes that he does every day at the restaurant. Most of the time these dishes are combined in to very complex presentations at the restaurant… but he skips this part …. These are the kinds of things you make where you love being the chef. You get to taste the best part before it gets fancy .. Here's one example.. I'll do another next week.:

Risotto of Almost Anything
(This can be done Keto with riced cauliflower. I haven't done it yet, but I've heard it works.)

The basic method of making risotto will never change: you cook the rice slowly and add broth gradually, so the starchy inside of the rice kernel expands as the outside layer dissolves in to creaminess. At the end you add butter and cheese. The flavor is up to you. Risotto can take a whole range of flavors depending on the stock, herbs, spices..etc.

Bad risotto is usually overcooked or has too much wine added. But if you have some white wine, add a splash to the rice and onions just before you ladle in the broth. NOT THE WHOLE BOTTLE , JUST A SPLASH!

Pumpkin Risotto:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion diced

2 cups of diced peeled fresh pumpkin (((, or squash, or shrimp, or mushrooms, or tomatoes, or parsley, or corn, or apples, or raisins or crawfish, or cauliflower, or carrots.. anything .. if it is something that cooks quickly, add it after the rice is cooked. If it's something like pumpkin or carrots, that cooks slow add it before the rice OR cook it separately and add it after the rice is cooked… So you could cook the pumpkin in the oven: cut in half, clean out seeds, put on baking sheet, butter/olive oil in the scoop out part, in to a 300 degree oven for 45 min, till soft. Scoop it out and add it to the risotto… OR cook carrots in boiling water or steam…. Pan fry the apples in a little butter… OR you could buy those frozen "steam in bag" microwave vegies and add that after the rice is cooked … )))

2 cups Arborio rice … (((Regular rice works too, just takes a lot longer and won't get as creamy..)))

6 cups of chicken stock .. (((Use store-bought … BUT Homemade stock is much better. 4 chicken legs or left over chicken bones from Sunday super, 1 large onion peeled and cut in 4 parts, 6 peeled carrots cut in 2 inch pieces, 6 - 8 quarts of water or more to cover the chicken and veg by 3 inches. Put chicken on a baking sheet and salt and pepper. Cook in a 350 degree oven till cooked and dark brown in spots, about 45 min - hour. Put chicken and everything else in a large pot and bring to a slow boil, then turn it way down to a small bubble simmer. As fat comes to the top, skim it off. Let it simmer for 2 hours, go watch TV. Pour it through a fine sieve or a Chinois until you have clear stock. Return it to a clean pot (can be the same one, just clean it out) and boil to reduce it by half. I do this just to concentrate the flavor .. Freeze in 1 qt containers .. When you are ready to use it, put in a pot and bring it to a boil for a few minutes… This recipe calls for 1 1/2 qts = 6 cups.. so I would use 2 of my frozen containers of stock and boil it down to 6 cups = even more flavor.)))

Leaves from 1 sprig of Rosemary … (((any herb or spice will work.. use whatever you like.. Rosemary and sage go really well with pumpkin and acorn squash.)))

8 oz of sliced mushrooms … (((I would pan fry these in olive oil and salt and pepper till nice and brown. This will add a lot more flavor. Anything browned first will add more flavor than if it's just boiled.)))

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese … (((Or any cheese you like. This will change the flavor, but who cares?.. Use what you like)))

Salt and pepper

1.. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or your iron skillet over high heat. Add the onions and sweat the onions till soft (((That means don't brown them. True risotto is light colored so chefs don't like to brown things that go in it… Cook the onions as long as you want, if they get a little dark , don't worry about it. )))

2.. Add the pumpkin and cook stirring often till softened, about 8 - 10 min.

3.. Add the rice and stir a lot … Let the rice cook in the oil for 2 -3 min. This is very important. It kind of toasts the rice and makes the breakdown easier.

4.. Add 3 cups of hot chicken stock. Add the Rosemary and the Mushrooms. Bring to a slow boil. Then turn it down to a simmer … Stir, Stir, Stir ..

5.. The chicken stock will be absorbed by the rice. As this happens add more stock 1 cup at a time, till you use it up.

6.. Cook the rice until it is mostly cooked but still has some bite (((not much)) in the middle. DON'T MAKE MUSH! The rice should be creamy and porridge-like.. about 18 min (((this includes the time while you are adding stock))) .. Taste! Taste! Taste! .. we are checking mouth-feel. Don't want crunchy, Don't want Elmer's Glue! .. Want a nice, satisfying feel.

7.. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese … Taste! Taste! Taste! ..season with salt and pepper..

This is also a great way to get rid of leftovers. Leftover veg, chicken, beef.. anything becomes flavor for a risotto ..

Serve as soon possible. Thomas Keller says Risotto should be served as close to finish as possible. In restaurants they will prepare everything right up to the last 5 minutes, the last 2 cups of stock, about half way through step 5, and stop, lay it out on a sheet pan too cool, and in to the fridge. Then they will finish when it gets ordered. All that to say, don't make this 2 hours before dinner. Have everythiing ready and start at step 3 18 min before dinner so that it will be ready exactly when dinner starts. Taste it the second it's done! You're the chef. This is the best bite!


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 online this weekend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 11:30 AM