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Mack's Corner

This Week

Church should be fun

18 years ago Jennifer Young (runs the kitchen here at Hope) called PK, my wife, and said "I think it's gotten a little out of hand".  If you had come to church that Sunday, you would have known what she was talking about, it was my birthday, I turned 50. They had made stickers, some about 4 by 4 inches, some a foot square, some with my picture on them, all saying "Mack's 50". People all over the church had them stuck on their back, on their pants legs, everywhere. Several hundred (really I'm not kidding) people had these stickers on, several hundred!!!  The ConeHeads were holding up the ones with my picture all along the front drive, so everybody that drove past me in the back lot yelled "Happy Birthday", five cars actually stopped and sang happy birthday to me. I guess 2 to 3 thousand people told me Happy Birthday, little kids came up and grabbed my hand, and people I had never seen before gave me hugs. The funniest part was the women who realized they were younger than me gave me hugs and smiled and the men who thought they were older said in a sad voice "Happy Birthday" then looked down at the ground and walked away kinda pitiful. At the end of the day, Craig got everybody at the 11:15 service to stay and help stack chairs and when we got finished they all sang Happy Birthday to me again. It was a really fun day.

That's one of the things I love about Hope, it's fun to go to church. I bet God loves that. That's the way church ought to be, very little drama and a whole lot of laughter.


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

Corn is one of my all-time favorite things. All of these can be made with frozen corn (((Fresh off the husk would be better. 1 ear of corn is about 3/4 cup.))). They are all easy, even the last one. This is really making me hungry.

Spiced Creamed Corn


3 cups corn kernels

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 dried chiles de árbol or ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper, plus more crushed for serving(((Penzey's spices)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more

2 tablespoons crème fraîche (((Easy crème fraîche = 1 part sour cream + 1 part cream and stir it together .i.e. 1/2 cup sour  cream + 1/2 cup cream stirred together)))


Bring corn, cream, 2 chiles, and ½ tsp. salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often and mashing lightly to break up some kernels, until corn is tender and cream thickens, 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from heat; discard chiles. Fold in crème fraîche. Season creamed corn with salt and top with crushed chiles. Taste! Taste! Taste!


Pickled Corn


2 small dried chiles

1 seeded thinly sliced jalapeño

1/4 thinly sliced medium red onion

2 cups corn kernels

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Combine dried chiles, jalapeño, red onion, corn kernels, cilantro, lime juice, and black pepper in a heatproof 1-quart jar. Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 3/4 cup water to a boil; pour over corn. (Add water to cover, if needed.) Seal jar. Let cool; chill. Will keep up to 1 month. (((You can also do this in any container. Plastic works too. Anything that won't melt when you pour boiling water into it.)))


Shrimp with Corn and Grits


1 1/2 cups of corn (3 ears)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup grits (not instant)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pound large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined

Chopped fresh chives (for serving)


Bring broth, milk, and 1½ cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat so the liquid is at a simmer and gradually whisk in grits. Simmer (((small bubble))), whisking often, until grits are very tender, 20 - 25 minutes.

Mix in butter and 1 cup of corn; season with salt and pepper. Taste! Taste! Taste! If the grits are not good, then the dish won't be good.

Fifteen minutes after you have added grits to the saucepan, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, oregano,  and paprika, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/2 cup of corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through (((Pink))), about 4  minutes.

Serve shrimp and corn over grits topped with chives.



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 set up 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 8:14 AM