Mack's Corner

This Week

That was obvious

When we built the main Sanctuary in 2006 we had "St Louis Helicopter" come put our 4 big air handling units on the roof. It was pretty cool. The units are about 7 feet high, 15 long, and 6 feet wide. They are big, UPS truck big. We had to get everybody out of the building so if they dropped it the only thing getting smashed would be the building. The helicopter was like the one the president flies in when he leaves the White House (the web page says it's a Sikorsky S61 capacity = 8500 lbs). Every time we've ever done anything like this before, we've always used a crane, but this time the reach was too far and the area to place a crane was too small. I never would have thought about a helicopter, but it was so obvious and so simple. When they landed, six guys got out and the first thing they did was take everything out of the helicopter so that it was completely empty. They even had 4  empty plastic 50-gallon containers that they pumped most of their fuel into, trying to make the helicopter as light as possible.  They hooked cables to the bottom of the helicopter and connected them to one of the AC units that were sitting in the parking lot, and off they went. It took about 5 minutes for the first 3 units. There was no wind but when they were lowering the units to the roof, you could see the helicopter being jerked around like King Kong was yanking on the rope. I guess that's another reason they took everything out. After the 2nd unit was put in place, they stopped and refueled. The last one got a little tricky. I guess they were having a hard time lining it up with the bolts that were set up on the roof. We were standing there watching and all of a  sudden the helicopter along with the AC unit came back to the parking lot really quick. The pilot put the big AC unit down softly and then moved over and put the helicopter down fast almost slamming it to the ground. They knew they had exactly 16 minutes of fuel and when it got to 14 minutes of flying time the pilot had 2 minutes to put it back on the ground. The crew talked about it for a minute, filled the helicopter with gas, and took off again to place the last AC unit. When they finished, they put everything back in, pumped all the fuel back out of the 50 gal containers and back into the helicopter, waved, and flew away like they had someplace else they had to be. From the time they started, the whole thing took less than 20 minutes.
God's like that: Sometimes he's got an easy fix, you just have to get rid of all the things that are pulling you down.

I've got to get me a helicopter so I can go around picking stuff up. That would even be better than having a pickup truck. You know that's why guys have pickups! Right?


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

Mediterranean Diet:  
(Keto: This is keto)

Corn is one of my all-time favorite things. All of these can be made with frozen corn (((Fresh off the husk would be better. 1 ear of corn is about 3/4 cup.))). They are all easy, even the last one. This is really making me hungry.

Spiced Creamed Corn


3 cups corn kernels

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 dried chiles de árbol or ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper, plus more crushed for serving(((Penzey's spices)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

2 tablespoons crème fraîche (((Easy crème fraîche = 1 part sour cream + 1 part cream and stir it together .i.e. 1/2 cup sour  cream + 1/2 cup cream stirred together)))


Bring corn, cream, 2 chiles, and ½ tsp. salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often and mashing lightly to break up some kernels, until corn is tender and cream thickens, 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat; discard chiles. Fold in crème fraîche. Season creamed corn with salt and top with crushed chiles. Taste! Taste! Taste!


Pickled Corn


2 small dried chiles

1 seeded thinly sliced jalapeño

1/4 thinly sliced medium red onion

2 cups corn kernels

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Combine dried chilies, jalapeño, red onion, corn kernels, cilantro, lime juice, and black pepper in a heatproof 1-quart jar. Bring the vinegar, salt, sugar, and 3/4 cup water to a boil; pour over corn. (Add water to cover, if needed.) Seal jar. Let cool; chill. Will keep up to 1 month. (((You can also do this in any container. Plastic works too. Anything that won't melt when you pour boiling water into it.)))


Shrimp with Corn and Grits


1 1/2 cups of corn (3 ears)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup grits (not instant)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pound large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined

Chopped fresh chives (for serving)


Bring broth, milk, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat so the liquid is at a simmer and gradually whisk in grits. Simmer (((small bubble))), whisking often, until grits are very tender, 20 - 25 minutes.

Mix in butter and 1 cup of corn; season with salt and pepper. Taste! Taste! Taste! If the grits are not good, then the dish won't be good.

Fifteen minutes after you have added grits to the saucepan, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, oregano,  and paprika, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/2 cup of corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through (((Pink))), about 4  minutes.

Serve shrimp and corn over grits topped with chives.



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. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 8:38 AM