Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 08-04-15

Truck Rocking

I was day-dreaming in church Sunday, I know you've never done that .. I was thinking about the times I gotten in a bad place but didn't want anybody to find out. When I was a 20, going to Memphis State, I got to go to a Young Life camp in Colorado and be a work-crew boss for a month. The head work-crew boss was in the middle of moving his family to Memphis, so he was gone a lot and I was left in charge. One night I had to go down to the lower camp to get something, I can't remember what it was. When I left it was still mostly light outside (this was in August, so it was light out till 8pm). We had a pickup truck that we used to haul trash, it was all beat up but it ran ok. The only real problem it had was the head lights didn't work. The camp I was working at is up on top of a mountain, Frontier Ranch. There was a back road that went down to the lower camp (Silver Cliff), but it was very narrow and in some places there were switch-backs. Some switch-backs you actually drive into forward but have no room to turn, so you just pull up and the back down the next leg of the road. Then when you hit the next switch-back you back in and drive forward.. so you zig-zag down the hill. Our road had places big enough to turn around, but it required several moves to do it. Of course there are no lights on this road. I got whatever I went to get and started back up the mountain, total darkness. The trick was to stay close the mountain-side of the road, if I rubbed up against it, it was no big deal, it's not like I was going to hurt the truck. Every time I came to a switch-back I got out and looked around just to be sure I had the whole picture. I was going along great and came to the last switch-back, almost home. I got a little too sure of myself and thought "I don't need to get out and look at this one, I've seen it a hundred times." When I started turning around I was too far from the the mountain, near the crook in the elbow-turn. The elbow had been driven around so many times that it had made a small mound in the middle. As I slowly drove through it, not seeing the mound, I hit a high-center. All of a sudden none of the wheels are touching the ground and there's the sea-sick rocking feeling, and its pitch-black dark and I'm all by myself, and I'm supposed to be in charge and not look like an idiot, and how do I get out of this???? I got out of the truck and it rocked back on the back tires, front tires about 6 inches in the air. I got back in and it rocked forward, now the back tires are 4 inches in the air, no tires touching. This was a bad place to gun the engine and go forward, if I missed the road it was going to be a several hundred foot ride to the bottom of the mountain, really, really fast. So the only way to go was backwards and slam in to the mountain, if only I could make the back wheels touch the ground. Here's the gutsy/stupid part. I guess I could have walked up the mountain and gotten help, but I just didn't want to hear about it for the rest of the month. I could do this, and I wasn't about to give up that easy. So I started rocking the truck. I put it in reverse, opened the door, one foot on the gas, one foot on the door edge and heaving up and down as hard as I could go. Down, up, down, up - touch, gravel .. down, up - touch, gravel, slight moveā€¦one more big one .. down hard, up.. pull!!!  - engine roaring - touch, lots gravel.. wham in to the mountain.. stomp the breaks .. Sweat pouring off of me, shaking all over.. piece of cake .. I drove back up to camp, brought the stuff in .. "Hey Mack, how was Silver Cliff?" .. "They're fine, everybody says hey. I'm going to go put the truck up, see you guys later."

God's like that: He knows we do stupid stuff. He knows we get too sure of ourselves. He knows you've got stuff you can't tell anybody, not even your best friend. He knows! Ask him for help. The trick is to stay close to God's side. If you crash in to him, it's OK..

I wonder if Truck Rocking is an Extreme Sport? It would be the way I was doing it..


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

I love anything with Limes in it. This is a spicy, soothing and restorative chicken-and-rice soup. Great for summertime.

Cambodian Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Shrimp

This is from Ratha Chau.. He was born in Phnom Peng, Cambodia in 1971, during the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime. The Chau family fled the violence in their homeland in 1982 and settled in the United States. Chau attended Clark University in Massachusetts, and then worked in various front of the house positions in Boston before he moved to New York. He was a manager in a number of well-regarded restaurants including Blue Water Grill, Asia de Cuba, and Fleur de Sel, where he became a general manager and partner.  In March 2009, Chau, Partner/Co-Executive Chef Scott Burnett and Co-Owner Ben Daitz, opened Num Pang Sandwich Shop near Union Square in Manhattan. 

One 3-pound rotisserie chicken or roast your own
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth (make your own from the bones of your roasted chicken)
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
8 shelled and deveined medium shrimp, halved lengthwise (about 1/4 pound)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 Thai chile, thinly sliced
Lime wedges, for serving

de-bone the chicken and cut meat in to pieces. (((if you are making your own stock: put the bones in the oven till nice and brown. Put 3 qts of water in a large pot. Add  the bones, 1 onion quarted, 2 carrots peeled and cut in to large chunks. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 1 hour. Small bubble simmer. Skim the top of the stock. Pour through a fine mesh strainer.)))

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, water, fish sauce, honey and rice and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook just until opaque, about 1 minute. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro, basil and chile and serve right away, passing lime wedges at the table.


Posted by Mack Oates at 9:55 AM