This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Funerals in the South

I love funerals in the South. There are lots of family, lots of friends. Every time I go I have to remember how to put on my tie. I usually just close my eyes and let my hands remember. At one funeral I went to there were 3 bald guys patting the tops of their heads dry at the same ime, like it was that time in the service. There are always people talking about their last surgery, people talking about how good someone looked after they had lost a bunch of weight, women that smell like my grandmother, people making business deals and wondering where to go for lunch, people changing seats 3 times so they can sit in the "right" place. Some people laugh and tell jokes because it's supposed to be a celebration and others cry over the person that they don't even know because funerals are sad. There are rough looking men wearing suits that don't fit and boys in all white. Some women wear hats and colors while others look like they just come from a board of directors meeting. I usually know a bunch of people at any funeral I go to. I know guys who look like they just came from a party at the country club, big smile, seersucker jacket and pants, white shoes, big handshake, 3 sons, a dog, and love to hunt. I never know what these guys do for a living, but they seem to have a lot of stuff. The older women I know want to hug and tell me all about someone I don't know, who just got married, and the little girls all call me Mr. Mack. There are rules at these things. The Denomination and size of the preacher determines the length of the service. The size of the family determines the amount of food after. I like big families and fat Episcopalian preachers. Funeral directors are required to be very formal and hold their hands just right and kids are required to do the same and whisper. It's a sad time but it's just the way it's supposed to be.

God's like that: He knows we're all strange, but he loves to be with us. He loves to hear about what's important to us. He's interested in anything you want to talk about. Life goes on, things change, people talk….

Maybe I'll get a seersucker suit so I'll fit in better…. But I think you have to be  a lawyer?


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

This is from Luca D'Italia in Denver a great family owned Italian restaurant. It's worth the trip if you're ever in Denver… This is the kind of thing you could make any night of the week, just keep some pasta and you're favorite marinara sauce on hand.. At Luca this is prepared in individual dishes. For a family-style dinner, double the recipe and prepare it in one large baking dish.


1/2 pound rigatoni (or any short pasta)

1/4 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)

Extra-virgin olive oil


Cook rigatoni in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Cook sausage in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking up with back of wooden spoon. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Drain off excess oil and return pot to medium-high heat. Stir in marinara sauce and crushed red pepper, then pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among four 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over. Place in broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown, watching closely to prevent burning, about 1 1/2 minutes. Sprinkle rigatoni with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

You could also buy your sauce with garlic added and skip the garlic. If you can boil water and fry sausage you can do this. If you want to do something different, add the pasta before you add the sauce. Let the pasta brown a little while stirring (5min), then add the sauce.  If you use fresh pasta, use less sauce. If you make your own pasta you might want to skip the sauce…


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 12:08 PM