Mack's Corner

This Week

Married to Baseball 

The last time I got really dressed up was my wedding, it was a fun day. I didn't want to do that thing where the groom waits in a room before the wedding and then shows up from some side door when it starts. So we had everybody in the wedding come in from the back along with the bride, we went in first, she came in last.. While I was waiting in the back I thought I should do something to kill some time so I started seating people, they were all my friends anyway. I had never heard of any rule that said the groom couldn't do that, plus it was my wedding and I could do anything I wanted. The Idea was to have fun. I stepped up and grabbed the first person I knew and said "Hey, come on I'll seat you." Then I walked them down to their seat talking the whole way. If I saw somebody I knew on the way back, I stopped and talked to them. It was great fun. I ended up seating half the people that came. It made the time pass and I got to talk with a bunch of my friends. The cool thing that I never thought about was how it made them feel. Of course I was at least the 2nd most important person at my own wedding, at least to the people that came. And by seating them I made them feel important. They never dreamed they would be seated by the groom….
I was watching baseball this weekend. There was a pitcher who was a good pitcher but he was real wild. He was throwing the ball everywhere. The other team just quit swinging at the ball till he threw a strike. That reminded me of the first time I pitched in Little League. I was the biggest kid on the team by far and  I could throw the ball harder than anybody else in the league. But control wasn't my best talent. I walked up on the mound. I was going to throw it really hard. The windup, the pitch: My first pitch went straight over the backstop and in to the parking lot about 70 yards. It bounced off a car. The kids on the other team started laughing and yelling at me. Pretty funny? The 2nd pitch went in to the other team's dugout. I think I hit 3 kids that first inning… They weren't laughing anymore, they were scared…. The batter's box was a dangerous place… so was the parking lot and the dugout….I thought I was a great pitcher.
God's like that: He meets us at the door, helps us find a place, and he does it himself, he's there for us all the time. We do something right about 1 time out of 10 and think we're pretty good, but the truth is we're totally out of control..
I think I'll rent a tux and go see a game. There's no rule that says you can't wear a tux with a baseball cap.


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

This is one of the things that Giada De Laurentiis made for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Kate & William) during their visit to California a few years ago. It's easy and looked really good. It amounts to cooking pasta, and putting it in a ramekin. Then putting some stuff in a food processor and processing till smooth. You then put the stuff from the processor on top of the pasta and cook = Easy! .. The vegetables get cooked on a baking sheet with oil and salt & pepper = super easy.
Individual lasagnas with fresh sweet corn and mascarpone cheese, served with blistered tomatoes and roasted asparagus

For the lasagnas:
Butter for greasing the ramekins
12 lasagna sheets about a pound
3 cups fresh corn (or frozen cooked in boiling water for 2 minutes, then cooled)
1/2 cup whipping cream, at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup, or 8 ounces, mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup, or 4 ounces, finely grated Romano cheese, plus 1/2 cup, or 2 ounces,
Zest of one large lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1.5 cups, or 6 ounces, shredded sharp Provolone cheese Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
For the blistered tomatoes:
1 pound, or 2 dry pints, cherry tomatoes
For the roasted asparagus:
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed
Special equipment:6 10-ounce ramekins, each 2.5 inches tall and 2.5 inches in diameter
To make the lasagnas:Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter six 10-ounce ramekins. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, which takes about eight minutes.
Using two cooked lasagna noodles in an "x" shape, line each ramekin, pushing the noodles gently into the bottom of the ramekins, allowing any excess pasta to overhang the side. (That means lay one lasagna noodle in the bottom of the ramekin so that it's in the bottom with and even overhang on each side.. just let it hang out the side of the ramekin because we're going to flip the overhang back over the top… Then put another noodle across the other overlapping the same way creating an "X")
In a food processor, blend the corn, cream and garlic until chunky. Add the mascarpone cheese, 1 cup Romano cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Add the basil and pulse until just combined. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into the bottom of each ramekin (on top of the "X" noodles). Sprinkle about two tablespoons of Provolone cheese on top.


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 10:08 AM