Mack's Corner

This Week

Like you didn't already know..

Have you ever seen the commercial on the Discovery channel where all these people standing on the beach in their swimming suits looking out at the water, then it switches to people around a swimming pool, just standing there looking at the water, then it shows 4 little kids looking at a 6 inch deep wading pool in their back yard, staring at the water and the voice says "Shark week is coming… you didn't already know".  For some reason people kinda like to be afraid sometimes, I guess it's exciting. When I was in college they had a movie every Friday night in one of the lecture halls. Everybody there was a freshman. It was always a scary movie where we knew what was going to happen but the people in the movie didn't. People would yell "Don't go in there, don't go in there", we knew the monster from the black swamp was in there or Clint Eastwood was about to walk in the room where the girl had a really big knife in "Play Misty for me"..  The best one was Jaws….da-da…da-da…da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da……. What's the matter with those people, can't they hear the "da-da"? The shark is coming, right now!! And they're out splashing in the water. Everybody knew it was coming, we were yelling "get out of there, get her in the boat", but she just kept on water skiing. All you could do was turn away and close your eyes.

Don't you wish music played like that every time you were about to get into something bad. Like when one of your girlfriends says "Hey lets go down to that singles bar and look for cute guys" da-da….da-da…  A guy walks up with a plaid sport coat and starts running off pick-up lines … da-da …da-da…da-da-da-da-da.. He wants you to go home with him to see pictures of his dog ….da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da … So you go get in his "Vette" that he almost can't start and he has one of those small spare tires on the right front …da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da You pull into the trailer park  … da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-  and see his mom standing by the front door …da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da…..   Wouldn't that be cool. What would really be great is if everyone else could hear it…. Say you just got back from your first AA meeting and one of your buddies calls and says "We're all going over to Joe's house to watch the game, Joe's got a keg… bring some chips" …da-da-da-da-da.. You get there and your da-da-da-da-da is so loud nobody can hear the game, so they make you leave.

The other thing all of the freshmen did was check their mailbox about 100 times a day. Everybody had a PO Box at the campus post office. They delivered mail 2 times a day, 10:00am & 2:00pm. I would go by there 5 or 6 times every day just to see, maybe the mail got lost, or maybe they dropped it, or maybe they put it in the wrong box, or maybe aliens got it by mistake. I just wanted to be really, really, really sure I hadn't missed a letter, any letter, from anybody. I just had to check one more time, just ….one ….more ….time…. maybe one more, maybe again after dinner, maybe one more….. We were all totally obsessed with it.

God's like that: He checks on us all the time, over and over and over. Just to see if maybe we showed up, maybe we were ready. He's God of the second chance, really the billionth chance. I can always hear the da-da-da-da-da, I know I'm supposed to stop, but I tell God, "Not now, I really want to do this" …. So I do it anyway. After that he checks again. He keeps coming back to check on me one ….more….time…  to see if I'm back…..

I wonder if the mail came yet??? Probably Sharks in the mailbox!! Like you didn't already know…


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

I love Corn Relish and I love Cornbread. So here's both. This is from Grace Parisi, a regular contributor to First you make the relish, super easy: put veg in a pan with sugar and vinegar and cook for 15 min… Then mix some of the relish, cornmeal and other stuff in a bowl and put it in your iron skillet or whatever and cook it in the oven. When you finish you will be an "Official" southern cook..

Corn Relish with Roasted Peppers

12 ears of corn, shucked or 2 pounds frozen or canned

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

4 jalapeños

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 Vidalia onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard


Skip this part if using frozen or canned corn … Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn until the kernels become slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Transfer the corn to the ice water; let cool. Drain the corn and pat dry. Cut off the kernels.

Roast the bell peppers and jalapeños over a gas flame, turning, until charred all over, about 5 minutes. (easier: put a dry (no oil)skillet over high heat and put the whole peppers in the skillet. Roll them every few minutes until they are charred all over) Transfer to a bowl, and let cool slightly. Cut the peppers in half long ways, then cut them again in 1/4's long ways. Cut out the seeds. Using a knife, peel off the skin or lay the pepper skin side down and scrape out the flesh. Cut the bell peppers into 1/2-inch dice and the jalapeños into 1/4-inch dice. (Remember! Don't touch your eyes after you have handled the jalapeños. It will hurt!!)

In a non-aluminum 4 qt (or bigger) pan (any pan will work except an aluminum one, it will react to the vinegar. And really, it's no big deal if you do use aluminum) , combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring. Add the corn, peppers, jalapeños, onion and mustard and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, cool. Season with salt. Taste! Taste! Taste! Re-season.

Ladle the corn relish into four 1-pint canning jars or a big plastic bowl that will seal and refrigerate for up to 3 months.


Skillet Corn Bread with Corn Relish

1 stick unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup stone-ground yellow or white cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/2 cups well-drained Corn Relish with Roasted Peppers from above

Preheat the oven to 425°. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (same one you used to roast the peppers when you made the relish) over low heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Swirl it around so you cover the bottom.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a large glass measuring cup, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a microwave oven. Whisk in the eggs and milk until blended.

Add the liquid ingredients and the Corn Relish to the cornmeal mixture and stir with a spatula just until the batter is evenly moistened.

Scrape the batter into the hot skillet and spread it evenly. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the corn bread is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer the skillet to a rack and let the corn bread cool. Cut into wedges and serve.

The corn bread can be wrapped in foil and refrigerated for 3 days. You can re-warm it in the foil.

For breakfast: Skillet Corn Bread and maple syrup.. Hot and sweet..maybe some Tabasco

For lunch: Skillet Corn Bread with an egg on top, with corn relish..

For Dinner: A nice piece of fish, pork chop, steak cooked in your iron skillet served with cornbread and corn relish… 



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 9:20 AM