Mack's Corner

This Week

Chain saws and moles

It's mole season again. It's the time of year when my wife (PK) gets a little crazy. I wake up at night and hear small gas engines running, see her tip-toeing through the house with a ski mask and a chain saw! It gets scary. She's kinda like Jack Nicholson in  The Shining, you never know when you'll look up and see her standing over you with some yard implement. (Don't worry if you're in Macky and Friends, just don't bring any moles for show and tell). She's developed a new thing she calls  Toxic Mole Tonic (referred to as TMT at our house). It's made from standard things you would find anywhere, mouthwash, coke, stuff like that, but it smells like nuclear waste, it smells like that stuff my grandmother used to put on her hair when she was giving herself a "Perm". I never did understand why my grandmother wore rubber gloves on her hands to put that stuff on her head??? If it's going to melt your hands, it's going to melt your head too. Right? Anyway, my wife used one of my measuring cups to make TMT and said she would wash it. After I smelled it, I told her don't bother, just throw it in the trash, it will melt in a few days. It appears that the moles have gone. So have the birds and cats. There's now a low-lying fog over our yard. She says I have to wear my rubber boots to go get the paper, but that it will be gone soon. At least she put up the chain saw.

Gods like that: He gets a little crazy when you start trying to screw up your life. He'll do anything to get your attention. Sometimes it hurts, wakes you up in the middle of the night, or just wears you out. If you're in pain, God hasn't left you alone, he's right in your face screaming at you to change something.

I wish the fog would go away, I'm waking up thinking I see the Gill Man standing in the backyard. It's hard to sleep with the Gill  Man watching. maybe it's a mutant mole???


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

Mediterranean Diet:  
(Keto: This is keto)

Miso is one of my favorite things to use to flavor foods. You can stir it into soup, put it into a stir fry, add it to any sauce, BBQ  sauce, almost anything. it is the consistency of hard butter and it softens when it warms up. It will totally dissolve in liquid. It has that great umami flavor and it's salty. It's a great thing to use instead of salt especially if you are on a low salt diet. 

It also has a bunch of vitamins, fiber, and protein. It's just good for you. It comes in 2 types red and white. The flavor of red miso is saltiness, and some astringency with umami. It is often a much stronger-tasting miso. Compared with red miso, white miso is sweet, and the umami is soft.

You can get miso at any grocery store.

Here's 2 to try:

Grilled Corn with Miso Butter


4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon miso

4 ears of corn, husked

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt (optional)

Toasted sesame seeds (for serving) (optional)


Mix butter and miso in a small bowl. (((Taste the butter. You may not need the salt on the corn))) Rub corn with oil; season with salt. Grill over medium-high heat, turning often, until lightly charred and tender, about 5 minutes. Spread corn with miso butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


This is from Cara Stadler. Her restaurant is Tao Yuan in Brunswick Maine. She was a Food & Wine Top new chef in 2014.

Miso-Roasted Eggplants with Tomatoes, Dill, Shiso, and Black Vinegar


1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons black vinegar (see Note) (Balsamic works)

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce


3 tablespoons Shiro (white) miso

1 1/2 tablespoons mirin (Wholefoods, Fresh market, some wine stores)

6 tablespoons canola oil

1 pound Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise


1 heirloom tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup chopped dill, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup chopped shiso, plus more for garnish (optional. maybe whole foods or oriental market)

1 tablespoon minced scallions

Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°.


In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 teaspoon of water. Cook over low heat, swirling the pan, until the sugar melts and an amber caramel forms, 4 minutes. Whisk in the black vinegar. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Whisk in the oil and soy sauce.


In a bowl, mix the miso with the mirin.

In a nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add 1 eggplant half, cut side down, and cook over moderate heat until deep- golden, 3 minutes. Transfer the eggplant cut side up to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and eggplants.

Spread the miso mixture on the cut sides of the eggplants. Roast for 15 minutes, until the eggplants are very tender. Transfer to a  platter.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SALAD In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the 1/3 cup of dill, 1/4 cup of shiso, the scallions, and two-thirds of the dressing; season with salt.

Spoon the salad over the warm eggplants and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Garnish with dill and shiso and serve.

MAKE AHEAD The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

NOTES Black vinegar is slightly sweet with a rich, malty flavor. It's typically made from fermented rice, wheat, barley, and sorghum. It's available at Asian markets and from


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 set up 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. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 7:49 AM