Mack's Corner

This Week


Every time I go through a carwash I have a little panic attack. I was in the one at the one on the corner one day. I was getting "The Works". It sprayed that blue soap on my car (You can't see out after it covers your windows). Then those big spinning brushes started moving, starting at the front and moving to the back. I had this strange feeling that the car was moving forward. I pushed harder on the brake,  but the more I pushed the more it felt like it was moving. I was about ready to jump out of the car (blue soap all over me, smell like car deodorant, and have those brushes wapp me in the face) and I thought I better check some other things. The car was in Park, brake was on, speedometer said zero….. I better wait, trust things I know are true. Then the rinse…. I looked out the window and I was still in the same place, I hadn't moved an inch. Crisis averted! 

I remember when I was a little kid, 3 or 4, I would lie in bed trying to go to sleep and hear Thump-thump ….. Thump-thump …. Thump-thump…. I always thought it was some kind of monster coming to get me. (I was hearing my own heartbeat, I just didn't know what it was… You see what a big deal this was, I still remember it 60 years later) So I had a checklist I ran through to be sure everything was OK. First I looked to see if my brother was in the bed beside me, then I looked for the little night light, then I listened for my father's snore, and finally listened for the monster. It was gone, everything was OK, everything was where it was supposed to be. I went back to sleep.

God's like that: Sometimes you get in a spot where you panic or you just don't know what's going on. You don't know what to do. God gives us a checklist, a list of promises that are always true no matter how you feel. You can run through them and know that everything is OK, God's got you covered. Every time you see one, try to memorize it…. They always go "If you do this….I will do this" or even better "I will do this…"  (You don't have to do anything). Here's your checklist:

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Matthew 11:28-29
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Romans 8:38
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow.

John 10:10
I have come that you may have life, and have it to the fullest.

I need some excitement. Maybe I'll go get my car washed.


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

A Wok is almost as good as an Iron Skillet when it comes to cooking. Of course, half of the world would disagree with me and say it's the other way around. About the only thing you can't do with a wok is put it in the oven, cook a steak, or cook pancakes. A wok is all about heat and speed. If you cook like people from the far east, there is also very little meat or fat/oil. Meat is used for flavor only. If you don't have a wok and iron skillet will work for all of these … First, get your wok really hot! Add the oil and cook! Don't leave or you'll burn stuff. The idea is really hot, really quick. Here's 3 quickies..

You can serve rice with all of these..

Basic Rice Recipe: 2 cups of rice in a 2 qt saucepan. Jasmine rice is best (Asian markets- very cheap).. Enough water to cover by 1 inch (one knuckle) Bring to a boil, cover and put on the lowest heat you can get .. if you need a heat diffuser to get it low enough put a skillet on the burner and put the saucepan in the skillet .. cook for 15 - 18 min or until rice is fluffy and tender .

Stir in 2 tbsp of butter and a little salt and pepper ... taste it, smell it .. great isn't it?


Stir-Fried Vegetables with Lemongrass (Every vegetable in this is optional)

2 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulb only, thinly sliced (lemon juice will kinda work. Maybe squeeze 1 lemon… But Lemongrass is a one-of-a-kind thing)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (4 cups)

12 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths

1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium)

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup chopped basil

1 cup mung bean sprouts

Rice, for serving

Cut the lemongrass into 4 inch pieces. Lay each piece on its side and hit it with the back of your knife to bruise it. This will release the oil and the flavor. Lemongrass is very fibrous and you don't really want to eat it.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the lemongrass and shallots and stir-fry over high heat until the shallots are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, asparagus, carrots and red bell pepper along with 1/2 cup of the water; cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, soy sauce and the remaining 1/4 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Stir in the basil and bean sprouts.  REMOVE THE LEMONGRASS. Transfer the stir-fried vegetables to bowls and serve with rice.


Smoky-Hot Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry from Kylie Wong

1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (pronounced shaow-SHEE) Substitute dry sherry, vermouth, any dry white wine (optional)

2 tablespoons peanut oil (any oil will work)

10 dried red chiles (any will work.. you choose how much heat. Don't get stupid) .. notice that she does not cut them open

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons snipped chives

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken, cornstarch and wine; let stand for 1 hour. In a wok, heat the oil. Add the chiles and stir-fry them over moderate heat until they begin to darken, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate.

When the oil in the wok is shimmering, add half of the chicken; stir-fry over high heat until the chicken pieces are lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the plate with the chiles. Repeat with the second batch.

Return the chicken and chiles to the wok. Add the chopped ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and stir-fry until the chicken is lightly caramelized, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and chives and stir-fry until the sauce is just thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Serve with rice.


Maple Root-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame from David Chang

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 pound Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and sliced 1/3 inch thick (optional)

2 carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 parsnips, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (they look like white carrots)

1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (Yukon gold cut in to strips will work too)

1 cup fresh lotus root, peeled and sliced (about 5 ounces), optional - maybe whole foods has this - international markets have it.

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup soy sauce

A few drops of toasted sesame oil (this is worth finding. There is so much flavor in just 2 drops. 1 bottle is a lifetime supply. It will totally change the flavor of the dish)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional .. you can find these at Penzey's spices)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof skillet (this is your iron skillet), heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, parsnips and potatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.

Add the sliced lotus root to the skillet along with the maple syrup and soy sauce. Cook the vegetables over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce becomes syrupy and the vegetables are glazed, about 8 minutes. Stir the sesame oil, sesame seeds and sliced scallions into the vegetables and serve immediately.

The hardest thing on all of these is going to the grocery store. And they are all great for working on your knife skills. Find an 8 - 10 inch knife you like, be sure it's really sharp and use it all the time. You'll be a master chef in no time..


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 9:25 AM