Mack's Corner

This Week


For some reason every time I look at my alarm clock it says 2:00am or 4:00am and I don't think I've heard it go off in a year. If it says 4:00am I just get up and do something, answer email, make breakfast, something. After all I've only got an hour to kill till I would get up anyway. But if it says 2:00am, I kinda panic. I've got 3 hours to kill and I know I'll probably do it lying in bed wide awake and then about 10:00am I'll crash like somebody let the air out of me, won't be able to lift my head, my legs won't work, arms won't work, won't be able to remember my name. Maybe I'll get one of those shirts with my name on it like gas station guys used to have. It can be my 2am shirt. Then at least I'll know my name and everyone will know that's my 2am shirt and won't give me anything that requires a brain or puts people in danger.  When I was 20ish I would see 2:00am and think "Great!!! 4 more hours" and go right back to sleep. It was like an unexpected gift. I guess it depends on how you see "4 hours in the dark". Time to sleep, time to be scared, time to lie awake, time to think. I have a friend who just gets up and cleans her house, I guess you've got to do it sometime.

Many years back I went to see the last "Matrix" movie at the movie theater. 400, 30 year old men, 400 cell phones, 400 PDA's, 400 Black shirts, 400 Sunglasses (it was night time), all so excited, so much speculation as to what might happen, so many endings they had already figured out, each one wanting to know if he was right. They had it all figured out. "If this happened in the last movie the this was absolutely the way it was going to end… Right???" But…… no answers ……. Everyone was ready to wrap it up, be one with the matrix, understand the whole thing, the meaning of life …. But it didn't happen..  I guess the writers figured speculation was better than conclusion.

God's like that. We want everything to be IF - THEN. If you do this then this will happen, every time, if I don't do this then this won't happen, every time. God sees it differently. If you pray, will God do what you ask?... Maybe… Will you have a better relationship with God? Yes. If you give money to the church, will you get rich??? … Maybe… Will you learn to trust God? Yes. If you read the Bible, will you gain wisdom??? …. Maybe … Will you hear God speak? Yes. If you come to church, will it change your life??? …. Maybe … will you be in the presence of God? Yes. He promises things we don't always want, but really we need. And he gives us things we don't expect and couldn't have planned for. I guess it depends on if you see it as a gift.

I've got to go get some more sunglasses, I keep breaking mine when I practice my running up the wall backflips (that's what Matrix guys do… run up the walls). Maybe if I take my long black coat off I could do it better??? I'm still trying to figure it out…

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

I love Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. All you need is a skillet and about 5 minutes ..

"Think of it as a blank canvas," says Thomas Keller, who serves a buttery Gruyère-and-brioche version at Bouchon Bakery in New York City. In other words, experiment. Just remember a few tricks: Use a low, even source of heat, too hot and the bread will burn before your Gruyère gets a chance to melt-and let the finished product rest for a minute, like you would a fresh-off-the-grill porterhouse. It's not 3 a.m. after a frat party, and patience, like a quality Gouda, is a sign of maturity.

The French Evolution - Chef Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, California, and Per Se, N.Y.C.

1 Tbsp. butter

2 slices brioche

2 oz. Gruyère, thinly sliced

Southern Comfort - Chef Harrison Keevil, Brookville Restaurant, Charlottesville, Virginia

1 Tbsp. butter

2 slices rustic bread

3 thick slices high-quality pre-cooked bacon

3 thin slices Granny Smith apple

2 Tbsp. Duke's mayonnaise (optional)

2 oz. Swiss cheese or Gouda, thinly sliced

The Crispy Caprese - Chef Terrance Brennan, Artisanal, N.Y.C.

1 Tbsp. butter

2 slices pagnotta (Italian country bread)

1 ripe tomato, sliced

Several sprigs fresh basil

3 oz. fresh burrata or mozzarella

1. Take your cheese out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time, It will melt more evenly that way. And use butter at room temperature. (Don't worry if you can't do this.. just cook it slower.. everything will melt just fine)

2. Preheat the oven to 350.

3. Preheat an iron skillet over medium heat.

4. Assemble the sandwich on a plate. Butter the outside of the bread and place the non-cheese ingredients-bacon, basil, whatever-between 2 slices of cheese to keep the bread from sliding off.

5. Add 1/3 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet and cook to brown.

6. Lay the sandwich in the pan. Pay attention, You're looking for a really crusty dark brown on this first side." This usually takes 1 1/2 minutes.

7. Flip, then cook for an additional 30 to 45 seconds.

8. Spread the remaining butter on the just-browned side, transfer the sandwich to a baking sheet, and place in the oven for a few minutes- (or just leave it in the iron skillet and put that in the oven) how long you keep it in depends on how melty you like your cheese.

9. Pull out your masterpiece and let it sit for a minute.

A Thomas Keller Grilled Cheese sandwich.. yummmm … Here's the great thing: Add anything YOU LIKE on the inside or the outside. Like peanut butter, smear some in there. Fried egg? Put one on top. Hot peppers, add them .. whatever you like. As he says "It's a blank canvas."


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 8:56 AM