Mack's Corner

This Week

The Class
When I was going to school at Memphis State I took a class called "Data Structures". It was by far my favorite class that I ever took in college. The first day I walked in I was early, first one there, so I took a seat and waited to see who would come in. The first group was 5 oriental guys. I had already seen these guys in 2 other classes the year before. I hated taking classes with these guys,  I liked them fine, they were very nice, I just didn't like taking math classes with them. They were too good. They ruined the grade curve and asked questions that I didn't understand. If these guys were in the class, It was going to be hard… Then a 35 year old guy came in with a brief case. A brief case!!!! Come on, this guy was really going to study. I was getting ready to leave ..  Then an Indian woman walked in. She had all the Indian dress on and the red dot on her forehead, I thought she was the teacher, then she sat down at a desk. There was no doubt in my mind that I would fail this class. I knew I had no chance against these people… Then the final blow, a guy in a wheelchair rolled in. I knew I was finished … That's the whole class, 8 geniuses and me. I know what smart people who study look like and I was the only one that didn't look like that.  I was thinking I would go drop the class as soon as I left. The professor came in and said "You may not know this but this is actually 2 classes. It's the graduate class, Data Structures 707 and the undergraduate class Data Structures 207. Mr Oates?" I said "ya" .. "You are the only undergraduate."  I thought "Well that's kinda cool" ....Then I thought "Wait a minute!!! If I'm the only undergraduate in the class, then I'm the only student in the class… If I'm the only student in the class then I'll make the highest grade in the class.. if I make the highest grade in the class then I'll make an "A"  ... right?  I could make a 6 and have the highest grade in the class .." (I took logic too)… what a deal, this was going to be great!!" …  I raised my hand. "Professor does the highest grade in the class make an "A"?" … "Yes, I suppose so." .. I said "Then I assume I'll get an "A" .. being the only one in the class" . He smiled, thought for a minute and said "Maybe so.."  I beamed. I could do this. All I had to do was show up… As it turned out the oriental guys were much better at math than Data Structures, so was the girl from India. They could do calculus but this didn't fit for them.. The 35 year old guy and I were about even and of course the guy in the wheelchair was 6 chapters ahead of the whole class and could have just showed up to take the exam and still had the highest grade in the class.. I got the "A" and the professor and I became great friends …
God's like that:  Here's what you can assume about you:  1. You get an "A" for being the person that God made you to be. You're the only one.… Here's what you can  assume about God: 1. He always loves you and always will, you can't screw that up.  2. He knows all about you, there's nothing to hide.  3. You don't know anything except 1 & 2 ... To finish the course all you have to do is show up, God will take it from there …
I wonder if there are any schools that only allow one student?  .. I could probably get my Doctors degree .. Even be the Valedictorian ..


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
This one is really easy and great. The hardest part is cutting up 3 apples. You could do it just for yourself or for a big party or a nice dinner for 2. I cooked this last week for 20 people. All I did was this same thing 4 times in 2 skillets. After I made the first one, the rest were simple … This is from Gordon Ramsay's cookbook "A Chef for all Seasons" ..
Caramelized Apple Tart
3 large apples
Puff pastry (get the kind that has 2 sheets in the box)
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 400
Get a 9 to 10 inch skillet that will go in the oven (no plastic handles). Get out your puff pastry and let it thaw. Remove one sheet. Cut the corners enough so that the square sheet will fit in the round skillet, but don't put it in yet..
Cut up the apples, peel them if you want. Cut in to quarters from top to bottom and cut out the core. Then cut each quarter in half lengthwise. Then cut across in to small slices.. you should have pieces about 1/2 inch thick and as big around as a nickel. You can make them bigger if you want.. Don't worry about them turning brown, it's no big deal, they're going to turn brown anyway…
In the skillet add the butter, then the sugar, then the cinnamon and nutmeg. Let that cook until it starts to get brown.. i.e. caramel  … don't touch this or taste it, it is really, really hot and will burn you …  add the apples. As the apples cook the juice will come out. Let it cook until the juice is mostly gone and its like syrup  ..
Now, spread the apples out evenly in the pan take your puff pastry sheet and lay it on top of the apples. Then put the skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is brown crisp.
Remove the pan and let it cool. When you're ready put the pan back on the stove for a few minutes, just to heat the sugar back up a little so it won't stick in the pan. Then on a cutting board flip the skillet over and slam it on to the cutting board. The whole thing will come out in one piece.  Slice and serve with ice cream or a little powdered sugar … If you spread the apples out evenly it will be very pretty and elegant looking …. Here's the cool part: you can also do this with bananas, peaches and strawberries(leave out the connimon & nutmeg), anything that will sauté



Posted by Mack Oates at 9:43 AM