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Mack's Corner

This Week

Mack's moving company. Motto: Call somebody else!

I was helping somebody move a few years ago (I'm never doing it again).

I remember when I was 25, It seemed like I helped move somebody every week. All of my friends were newlyweds and they were all moving to the next best place. I was stupid, I had a van. I should have just given them the van and told them it would cost $100 a day. When I actually moved my own self, I always paid somebody to do it. I guess I couldn't ask somebody to help do something that I hated so much...

So back to a few years ago. I hadn't done it in a while so when they asked me I thought "How hard can it be?" (Any time you hear yourself say that, you should leave town or at least stay with a friend till it's over.) It was a second story apartment with 37 stairs that were 4 feet wide. After I went up those stairs (one of them actually broke off while we were doing this..) for the 136th time, I was toast! But we were done except for the last thing. The PIANO..   I should have just gotten in my truck and driven off in a hurry. They would have all thought there was some kind of emergency, but I didn't. I tried to lift one corner of this thing... Way, way,way too heavy!!! I just laid down on the floor in defeat. One guy said we could lower it with a rope... Tied to what???? Not to me ... "Maybe we could turn it sideways and slide it down the stairs." ... Ever seen "Laurel and Hardy - The Music Box"?  "If we're just going to destroy the thing, let's just leave it here!"... Finally 6 of us got around it and moved it one foot. OK, if we can move it 1 foot, we can move it... All 37 steps "Ready! Lift! Down!" ... everybody move down a step ... "Ready! Lift! Down!" move  ... "Ready! Lift! Down!" move  ... by the time we got to the bottom, I thought I was going to pass out, one of my toes was missing, I had lost the feeling in my left hand and I had blood on my shirt from somewhere. We all looked at each other and said "Well that's it, see you later!"... We were done, there was nothing else to give, call the paramedics, start a drip, take me to the hospital, put me in the trunk, I'm too tired to sleep... I recovered 4 days later ... "How hard could it be?"

God's like that: Some things are just too much to carry by yourself. He gives us friends and splits time up into days. You don't have to carry the weight of something for miles and miles for years and years. You just have to carry it a foot, today, with the help of your friends ... there's no such thing as a lone Christian.

Next time somebody wants me to help them move, I'm going to Google "Moving Companies" and say "There you go, it's not hard. Call any of these numbers and they'll come do it.". Way cheaper than the hospital bill or missing 4 days of work.


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

Mediterranean Diet:   (probably not)
I know nobody eats breakfast. You know that's bad? Right? There's about 50 reasons to eat breakfast and skip dinner. You should start big and get smaller for lunch, then smaller still for dinner. We do it backwards, I do too... BUT on days off I love a big breakfast, especially if I've got something leftover from dinner the night before. Like BBQ, chicken, potatoes, tomatoes. I usually reheat it in my iron skillet, then put it on bread, add cheese, add other stuff like maple syrup, hot sauce.
Then put a poached/fried egg or two on top. Garnish with tomatoes, olives, raisins, figs, strawberry jam, stuff I like!! .. It doesn't have to be bacon, eggs, sausage, grits, toast every time!! You can mix almost anything in to your grits and totally change breakfast!

Poached Eggs with Baked Feta and Olives

Six 3-inch squares of rosemary focaccia, halved horizontally (((any bread will work, even Wonder bread)))

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

10 ounces feta cheese, cut into 6 slabs

Aleppo pepper or ancho chile powder, for sprinkling (((Or red pepper flakes or hot sauce or skip it)))

6 large eggs


18 pitted kalamata olives (((Optional ... this just creates a strong flavor)))

1 tablespoon chopped sage (((optional... basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley work too)))

1.Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat.

2.Bring a large deep skillet of water to a simmer.

3.Brush the focaccia/bread with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and broil until lightly toasted.

4.Put a slab of feta into each of 6 individual gratin dishes. (((OR leave the toasted bread on the baking sheet and place the feta on top of the
bread))) Drizzle each slab with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Sprinkle lightly with Aleppo pepper and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned and sizzling.

5.Meanwhile, crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then slide them into the simmering water. Poach until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes.

6.Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the gratin dishes (((or place your bread with the feta on a plate and place an egg on top))) and season with salt. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, the olives and sage. Serve with extra focaccia/bread and jam or maple syrup.. etc.


Leftover Chicken with Eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 large jalapeños-stemmed, seeded and minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 large baked potato(((Maybe leftover from last night's dinner))), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 1/2 cups)

2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken (((leftover from last night's chicken from Fresh Market)))

4 large eggs

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for sprinkling

1..In a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the green bell pepper, onion, jalapeños, garlic, thyme and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 7 minutes.

2..Stir in the Potato and Chicken and flatten the mixture with a spatula. Cook over high heat until crusty on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Working in sections, turn the mixture over and cook until browned on the other side, 3 to 5 minutes.

3..Using the back of a spoon, smooth out the mixture and flatten, then make 4 depressions. Carefully crack the eggs into the depressions and season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the egg whites are just set but the yolks are runny, about 4 minutes.

4..Sprinkle the hash with grated cheese and serve right out of the skillet.

(((This is screaming for some hot sauce and something sweet like strawberry jam or maple syrup.....yummmmmm!)))


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 8:54 AM