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This Week

I told you I know the Pope!

I was leaving a Kirk Whalum concert that we had here a few years ago when I noticed a couple standing in the parking lot trying to find their car. They were way too dressed up to be regular Hope people so I stopped to see if I could help. I asked a few questions and figured out where they came in. I walked them back over to the other side and told them how it happens all the time.. etc  I thanked them for coming to the concert and we all shook hands and they went home. They didn't know who I was, but sure I knew who they were. This guy was a pastor in Memphis who had marched with Martin Luther King. He was very well known back in the late 60's. The thing I started thinking about was that I had shaken a hand that had shaken Martin Luther King's hand I was one hand shake away.. I'm big on logic so I tend to take things to their logical end i.e. if I was one hand shake away from Martin Luther King, then I was 2 hand shakes away from Presidents, Nobel prize winners, heads of state etc.. everybody Martin Luther King had shaken hands with..  So I started thinking about other people I had shaken hands with. I once shook hands with Muhammad Ali, that connects me with all the great boxers, presidents, great Olympic athletes . I used to have a friend that had met all of the Democratic Presidents back to JFK. My son Macky met Jerry Lawler once, so I'm pretty tight with the "Smack- Down" people. One of my best friends was a world-renowned brain surgeon. That probably gets me Debakey, Jonas Salk, Marie Curie, even Marcus Welby. I met a guy that worked for the Pope, that gets me back to Peter and other people, if you know what I mean?? I had a good friend that used to sell cars to Elvis .. I know a guy that produces movies, he's met a bunch of the big stars, so I'm about 2 hand shakes from everybody at the Oscar's . Bruce Carroll has 2 Grammy's, I can't be more than 2 hand shakes from Mick Jagger.. I knew a guy that threw a no-hitter in the big leagues, even started the All Star game, that probably puts me 4 hand shakes from Babe Ruth, maybe only one away from Hank Aaron. I had a good friend that was in a concentration camp in WWII, that's one hand shake away from a lot of great people. I've met Thomas Keller, Stephan Pyles, and John Besh, that probably makes me one shake away from every celebrity chef in the world. I met Garrison Keillor once, he knows a bunch of writers, wonder how close I am to Earnest Hemmingway? 

So, all that to say I'll be signing autographs this weekend for $20 a pop. I'll let you fill in all the implied names . My autograph is probably worth millions!!

God's like that, only better. You don't have to know anybody to know him. You don't have to make an appointment, get an introduction, have an invitation, stand in line, nothing. He'll meet you right now. You are zero hand shakes away from him!!

I wonder if Mick can get me back stage? We're practically best friends. Maybe I'll call The Pope and see if he wants to go.


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

Mediterranean Diet:   (probably not)
Nothing healthy about this, it's just simple and fun and really good.. This is like pie without the hassle of making a crust. You can still put ice cream on it or cheese would be great too. Use any kind of fruit. This one is for strawberries, but it could be apples, peaches, pears, bananas, almost any kind of fruit. If you don't have enough liquid, add more water.. You can cook this whole thing in 1 iron skillet.. Here's step by step instructions.. Very easy, kids can help. this works for breakfast  too .. and it only takes 2 pans, 1 burner, and maybe an hour to do the whole thing (((only 25 min of your time)))  

Lazy Sonker


8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

4 heaping cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) hulled strawberries (halved if large) or pitted cherries (((or apples, peaches, pears, bananas, almost any kind of fruit.)))

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons self-rising flour

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

(((If you're using apples or bananas add ½ tsp cinnamon)))


1..In a large Iron skillet, combine fruit, vanilla, 1/4 cup sugar, (((cinnamon if using, or any other spices))), 1 tablespoon butter and 1 cup water. Place over low heat and simmer until fruit is slightly tender, about 5 minutes. (((If you are using hard fruit like apples it may take longer.)))

2..Remove from heat. Drain fruit, reserving liquid in a measuring cup and fruit separately in a bowl; there should be 1 cup of liquid. Add enough water to make 1 cup if not. (((If you are using bananas, there may be no liquid and you just use all water.)))

3..In the same Iron skillet, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the flour. Place over medium heat and stir until butter melts and mixture is well blended and thickened, about 2 minutes. (((This is a sweet roux which will thicken the fruit filling)))

4..Add 1/2 cup of the liquid from the fruit(or water), and whisk until smooth.

5..Add another 1/2 cup (The rest of it) of the liquid and whisk again.

6..Add mixture to fruit, combining well. (((Now you've got the filling)))

7..Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put 5 tablespoons butter in the same Iron skillet, and place in oven; remove when melted. (((The idea here is to melt the butter and get the skillet hot all over. Be careful!! The skillet will be hot!)))

8.. Pour fruit mixture into the hot Iron skillet and spread it out over the melted butter already in the pan.

9..In the same bowl that the fruit was in combine milk, remaining 1 cup flour, the salt and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Whisk to consistency of pancake batter.

10.. Carefully pour batter over fruit, taking care to spread it so it touches the edge of the pan (((This will give you some crispy crust around the
sides.))) There will be some bare spots in the middle, don't worry about it.

11..Bake until crust is golden, about 35 minutes.

(((If you want  to add cheese, add it on top now and put it back in the oven till the cheese melts and is bubbly.. yummmm)))

Let it cool some. It's too hot to eat right out of the oven..

Serve it right out of the iron skillet. It will keep it nice and warm, look very rustic and very cool.

If you don't eat it all, put foil over the top and put the whole thing in the fridge, it will be great for breakfast..

Ice cream anyone?  Anyone? Anyone?

YIELD 8 servings


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 online this weekend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 8:55 AM