Mack's Corner

This Week

Wake up!

I had a bad dream one time. I won't tell you what the dream was, too scary, but I was being chased and I couldn't get away. Right there in the middle of the dream I turned around and there's a guy standing right in front of me. He says "You know, all you have to do is wake up." I said "Ya I know but I'm sure it's 2:00am and I'll be up all night".  Then I found myself running down the street yelling "Wake up!!!  Wake up!!!!"  I did. It was 2:00am.. dream over ..

Sometimes I feel like  "Dear Abby". I get a lot of email from people asking for advice. I guess I'm easy to talk to. I answer all of them, usually short and to the point. Mostly what I do is point out the obvious. Someone will tell me that they have not been to church in 6 months and for some reason they feel distant from God, what should they do?  Or some guy will tell me his marriage is falling apart and that he goes to a bar every night after work to think about it, but still hasn't figured out what to do yet. A lot of times it goes like this "Here's my problem…………   I know I should ……… what should I do?" I just tell them what they said (it's pretty easy being Dear Abby). We all do this, we know what we need to do, we just can't make ourselves do it, or we just can't see it, or we know but really, really hope there's another way. I guess when I tell them the same thing that they just told me, lights turn on. Maybe we just need to hear ourselves talk to know the answer. It's like learning something by teaching it to someone else.  I do it all the time. Like hearing an echo.  oooooooh!

The other thing people do is make false assumptions. If you ever took a logic class in college, you know that the first thing you do is come up with assumptions and then you prove everything from those assumptions. The problem is that if any of your assumptions are false then everything else is true, you can prove anything!! If you assume pigs can fly then you can prove that the world is flat. Of course people always assume the worst. "I know I won't like it", "I'll never fit in", "They won't accept me", "How could I ever do that?", "This will only get worse, I don't know why I'm even telling you".  Or they go to the other side where they assume life is a movie and everything will turn out in the end. Then they dream up the best ending: "I'm having a hard time financially is there anything the church can do to help? ….  We're going to the casino this weekend, want to come?"

God's like that: He's echoing stuff back to us all the time, every day, every minute, every second. Sometimes it's hard, but a lot of times it's just inconvenient. God said he would never leave us, that he would be there with us even if we messed up. In Jeremiah 29:11-13, God says "For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. When you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me."

"You know, all you have to do is wake up."

Maybe I can work on that "Pigs flying" thing. I always wanted to be rich..


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

I'm still being healthy. I had "Super Food Salad" for dinner last night. My wife PK who is a professed non-cook has made it several times.

Here's 2 more that you can make.. easy-pezy.. One from Eric Ripert.

Black Bean-and-Quinoa Salad

12 ounces dried black beans, picked over and rinsed (or a 14oz can - Goya is really good)


1 cup quinoa, rinsed (Whole foods has this if you can't find it)

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (Buy 1 real lime, no bottled junk)

1 chipotle in adobo, minced (little small cans. This stuff is very hot. Be sure to wash your hands after you chop it up. Don't rub your eyes!)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Nothing fancy)

6 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (Green onions)

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced (Green works too. The yellow is just for color for the salad. Red or orange works too)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

(If you have canned beans, skip this part. Just rinse them in a colander and drain) In a large saucepan, cover the beans with cold water and bring to a boil. Cover and let stand off the heat for 1 hour. Drain the beans. Return them to the pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes; season generously with salt during the last 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer the quinoa over low heat until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread the quinoa on a plate and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and chipotle. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until blended. (You can also put all of this in a jar and shake it real hard till it combines.)

Add the black beans, quinoa, scallions, red onion, yellow pepper and cilantro. Season with salt, toss to combine and serve.  This will keep refrigerated overnight and probably for several days..


Eric Ripert's Seared Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce and Greens

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (nothing fancy)

1/2 cup chopped parsley (optional)

1/2 small red onion, minced

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped basil

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 packed cups mixed green salad (5 ounces)

Four 6-ounce tuna steaks

Fish 101: 1. Smell the fish! Tell the guy behind the counter that you want to smell the fish. If it smells fishy, it's old, don't buy it. If it smells like ammonia, it's really old, don't buy it! 2. Ask when their fish comes in. Some will tell you every Tuesday and Thursday, some Monday - Wednesday..etc buy on those days (but still smell it and ask when it came in!!.. if it all smells fishy and like ammonia, buy a steak!). 3. If it's been previously frozen, ask how longs it's been un-frozen. "Yesterday" is a bad answer. "A few hours ago" is a good answer…  You don't owe the store any favors, if they have bad fish, let them keep it. You don't buy spoiled milk or cracked eggs, why buy bad fish? Especially $12 - $16 per pound bad fish?

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the parsley, red onion, vinegar, basil, cilantro, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme. Season this chimichurri sauce with salt and pepper.

Season the tuna steaks with salt, pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon of thyme. Heat 2 large skillets. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil to each skillet; when it shimmers, add 2 tuna steaks to each pan. Cook over high heat until browned but rare in the center, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

In a large bowl, toss the greens with half of the chimichurri sauce and mound it on plates. Thinly slice the tuna steaks and set on the plates. Pass the remaining chimichurri sauce at the table to dress the tuna.

Easy and really healthy… yummmm


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 8:37 AM