Mack's Corner

This Week

Lemon Tarts

I was making Lemon Tarts (like a lemon meringue pie without the meringue. Thomas Keller's version: Thomas's Lemon Tart  Scroll down for full recipe.) one time. I thought I would make a couple extra and take them to some friends. The pies are a little fragile so I had them all covered with foil and I left them in the tart pan for support. I put them in the front seat of my truck and the first thing I did was dump them in the floor at the first stop light.. I picked them up, checked them, still mostly OK, a little dented… I Got them out of the truck and set them on the back so I wouldn't drop them as I was getting other stuff out and I turned around and knocked them face first on to the pavement, still in the pan, still covered… picked them up, didn't even bother to check …. put them on a cart going down the hall with all my drinks and other stuff and they vibrated right off the back, this time bending the pans … absolutely no reason the check, I might as well have run over them with my truck several times, I knew they were just a bunch of mush, but good mush .. they would taste the same no matter what. It was finally time to cut/scoop out the tarts, one was mostly OK, the other looked we had given it to a bunch of 2 year olds to play with …. It was still good although next time I think I'll just put them in a zip lock bag and beat them on the floor a few times, then I won't have to worry about what they look like ….

I was up in the attic the other day walking on rafters. The scary thing about walking on rafters is the idea that you step and miss and step right through the ceiling. I've known a few people that have done it. One friend of mine ended up stuck between the rafters, feet and legs hanging through the ceiling. Another friend put his foot through and while his other leg/foot stayed up in the attic … ooooouch!  He walked funny for several months after that. It's kinda like Indiana Jones walking through a passage way not knowing when something will fall on him or the floor will give way … it's tricky ….  I made it, but there were a few close calls, mostly because I was trying so hard to be careful.

God's like that:  he's way more interested in what we're made of than what we look like. God wants us to trust him, not walk around worrying about the next bad thing that will happen.  Faith that God controls everything and that he knows what's important for us will take off a lot of the pressure….

**  If you see a problem as a disaster, then your reaction inevitably is going to be hopelessness. 
**  If you see the problem as unnecessary then your reaction is going to be aggravation. 
**  If you see the problem as unfair, life will seem unjust.  You'll see the injustice of life.  You'll probably be angry. And you start thinking, God this is not fair.  Why is this happening to me?
**  If you see the problem as deserved, then your reaction is guilt.  "I brought this on myself.  Look what I did to myself." 
**  But if you see the problem as an opportunity for God to work in your life, then your reaction will build character.

Maybe I should call it a Lemon Floor tart and tell everybody it's supposed to be that way, smashed to mush. Massimo Bottura has a now famous dessert called "Oops I Dropped the Lemon Tart". The Chef who dropped the tart saw it as giant mistake, But Massimo saw it as art: "So that's what the meaning of 'Oops! I dropped the lemon tart' is. Keep space open for poetry in your everyday life, with which you can jump and imagine everything." Massimo's Lemon Tart


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

Mediterranean Diet:
Reminder: Why The Mediterranean diet: About 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, and even drink wine with meals, a large and rigorous new study has found. The findings, published on The New England Journal of Medicine's Web site, were based on the first major clinical trial to measure the diet's effect on heart risks. The magnitude of the diet's benefits startled experts. The study ended early, after almost five years, because the results were so clear it was considered unethical to continue.

The Mediterranean diet that participants in the new study were told to follow differs in some respects from the advice people generally get about healthy eating. It allows people to eat as many nuts and eggs and even as much chocolate as they want, as long as it is chocolate with more than 50 percent cocoa. It permits unlimited consumption of fish, seafood, whole-grain cereals and low-fat cheese.

It also lays out what people following the diet need to eat: olive oil, used in abundance on salads and cooked vegetables. At least two servings a day of vegetables, with at least one of those servings in the form of a salad. At least three servings a day of fresh fruit. Legumes, which include garbanzo beans, lentils, soybeans and peas, at least three times a week. Fish or seafood three times a week, with at least one meal of a fatty fish like salmon, tuna or sardines. A sauce made with tomatoes, garlic and onions simmered in lots of olive oil at least twice a week. The sauce can go on pasta, rice or vegetables. Those who drink wine can have it with meals, at least seven glasses a week.

Of course, there are also foods to avoid or consume in limited quantities. They include cream, butter, margarine, pâté, lunch meats, French fries, potato chips, sugared sodas or other drinks with sugar added, as well as pastries and baked goods like cakes, cookies and doughnuts. Try to steer clear of what the researchers call "industrial desserts," which they defined as puddings, custards and other desserts that are not homemade. Eat white meat like chicken or turkey without the skin instead of red meat or processed meats.

This is from Andrew Carmellini. His restaurants are "The Dutch", "Lafayette", "Locanda Verde", "The Library at the Public"..all in New York.
(Keto: Use Riced Cauliflower instead of the pasta)

Spaghetti with Fresh Soppressata … serves 6

4 garlic cloves

1 1/3 cups dry white wine or water

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (((or less.. start thinking about meat as flavoring instead of the meal..)))

1 teaspoon ground fennel … Penzeys Spices

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1 celery rib, finely chopped

One 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed, with their liquid


1 pound spaghetti (Get good pasta like De Cecco in the Blue & Yellow box )

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or romano (much cheaper usually)

1/4 cup chopped basil

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a blender, puree the garlic with 1/3 cup of the white wine/water. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the sausage, fennel, black pepper and crushed red pepper and knead lightly to combine. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. (((Or continue.. skip the overnight part. I promise it will still be good.)))

In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage mixture and cook over high heat, breaking up lumps with a spoon, until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add the remaining 1 cup of wine/water and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices to the pan and season lightly with salt.

Simmer (((small bubble))) over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 5 cups, about 40 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until just al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss with the grated cheese, basil and parsley.

Add the reserved cooking water and toss the pasta over moderately high heat, until nicely coated, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

MAKE AHEAD The pasta sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Going along with the The Mediterranean diet.. a nice addition. Pan-fry a piece of salmon and serve on top of the pasta (((use less sausage))) .. A nice salad with an olive oil based vinaigrette (((3 parts oil, 1 part vinegar plus flavorings: mustard, salt, pepper, shallots, wine, capers, etc.. )))


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 9:56 AM