This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Windshield wipers and Kool-Aid

I used to own a 65 VW bus. I paid $1500 for it. It was lots of fun but I worked on it almost every weekend. One of the more interesting things was the windshield wipers and the defrost. If it started raining I was going to get wet. The wipers worked every time as long as I stuck my hand under the dash board and pushed the rod back and forth. If I quit pushing they quit wiping. It was hard to shift gears and run the wipers at the same time. When the windshield fogged up, which it always did, I had to turn on the Defrost. If I turned on the defrost I also had to open the windows and stick my head out. The heat on a VW bus comes from air blowing over the engine. As long as there are no exhaust leaks you're fine, but mine had a bunch of exhaust leaks so it filled the inside of the bus with fumes. Like I said, I was going to get wet. I hated rain…..  wipe - breathe - wipe - wipe - shift - breathe … Driving along in the pouring rain with my head out the window like a dog, trying to keep the wipers going, soaking wet.. I guess I could have gotten some scuba gear, but then people would have wondered why I had the wipers on.

My lifelong friend Eli came up to me one day holding an old baby blue plastic pitcher. He had had it for at least 30 years. I knew exactly what it was the second I saw it. We used to go camping a lot… tent, camp fire, beans out of a can, none of that fancy stuff. The fanciest thing we had was a can opener.  One summer we went to Fall Creek Falls. We were going to hike up the creek, have lunch, and hike back. For lunch we stuffed some sandwiches, chips and Kool-Aid in the baby blue pitcher and tied it to my belt. When it got time to eat lunch we pulled everything out, put the Kool-Aid powder in the pitcher and filled it with water from the creek. The creek was clear and cold. We thought it would make the best Kool-Aid ever. It didn't.  We kept thinking that we just didn't stir it enough, too much grit and it didn't taste right. But we kept drinking it. When we got to the bottom there was an inch of mud and squiggly things. It was an interesting flavor, earthy yet tart, with hints of tree bark and worms. We didn't get sick but I sure remembered that pitcher. It's the kind of thing you do with a best friend. It didn't need to be anything special, it just needed to be something to remember.

God's like that, he's there every day, listens to all our problems, he's even there when there's nothing to say. For some reason people look for big moments from God like parting the Red Sea, or creating the universe, stuff like that. But it turns out that mostly it's just times you remember. Times when you know he's there. That's how a relationship works. Everyday….. He may not stop the storm but he'll still get soaked with you.

Wonder what Eli's doing for lunch today?


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

So its summer, the kids are home, too hot to go camping, but you can still make s'mores… Ever make marshmallows? The cookies are great too… This recipe is from "Sugar" in Chicago. Anybody got a blow torch?



1 1/4 cups water, divided

1 1/4-ounce package unflavored gelatin

4 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided

2 cups sugar

12 tablespoons corn syrup, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Sablé cookies:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For marshmallows:
Place 1/2 cup water in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes.

Line 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish with plastic wrap, leaving overhang. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons powdered sugar over plastic wrap. Combine remaining 3/4 cup water, 2 cups sugar, and 6 tablespoons corn syrup in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring until thermometer registers 230°F, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 14 minutes (time will vary depending on size of pan). Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons corn syrup and vanilla.

Transfer sugar mixture to heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add gelatin mixture. Beat on low speed until mixture turns opaque, about 5 minutes. Beat on medium-high until mixture is cool and forms soft white peaks, about 15 minutes. Spread evenly in prepared dish. Dust with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar. Let stand at room temperature at least 8 hours to set (marshmallow will be soft). Cover; refrigerate. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)

For sablé cookies:
Using electric mixer, beat butter in medium bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat until blended. Add flour, cocoa powder, and salt; beat just until blended, adding water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is too dry. Form dough into ball; flatten into rectangle. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Cut dough into 2x4-inch rectangles. Transfer rectangles to prepared sheet. Bake until puffed and beginning to crack, about 9 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack to cool (cookies will become crisp as they cool).

Line another large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir chocolate in double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Spread over parchment on prepared sheet. Run fork up and down length of chocolate, forming ridges. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Break chocolate into large irregular pieces.

Place 1 cookie on each of 6 plates (or if using the broiler, put the cookies on another baking sheet). Cut marshmallow into six 2x4-inch rectangles. Transfer marshmallows to sheet of foil. Using blowtorch, brown tops of marshmallows (or put under a hot broiler). Invert 1 marshmallow, brown side down, atop each cookie. Brown top and sides of marshmallows on cookies. Arrange chocolate pieces decoratively atop marshmallows and serve.

OR .. buy marshmallows and chocolate cookies at the store. Marshmallows on top of cookies, in to the broiler till brown, chocolate chips on top = same thing and still fun …


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 11:03 AM