Mack's Corner

This Week

Pass the meatloaf
There were only 2 times that I remember when my mom made me go be friends with a kid because she was friends with the kid's parents. The first time was a Saturday morning, it was raining, but there was a great football game on TV, good day to stay in, watch the game, goof off, and eat leftovers. I was ready to get comfy and settle in when my mom walked in, looked at my brother and me and said "get dressed, you're going to this party!".. I had hoped she had forgotten about it. We had been invited to a birthday party for a kid we didn't really know, but my mom knew his mom,  and it was her kid's birthday and we were going. I remember the kids name because it rhymed like Beaver Cleaver and he was named after Beaver's dad… at least that's what I thought. So we went to Ward Ford's birthday party. I was thinking maybe this would be OK, we'll eat cake and ice cream and watch the game over there, that won't be too bad, I didn't really care where I watched it …. Mrs. Ford had other ideas. Her idea of a party was games, little kid games!  If I had been 3 we might have been ok, but I was 10. No TV, just little kid games! It was like being in prison for 3 hours. All I remember is looking out one of those windows that's at eye level in the basement and at ground level outside and watching it rain …
The second time was when my mom and dad were invited to dinner across the street, 100 feet from our front door but we had to go play with their kid. I think his name was Bennett, he went to some private school and his mom wouldn't let him play with us for some reason. There wasn't anything wrong with him, she just knew how she wanted him to be and that's how he was. He didn't know anything about football but we tried to get him to come be the center. All he had to do was hike the ball, but his mom didn't like that, too rough….  So, it was a Sunday night at 6pm. The reason I know is because it was the same night as the last part of "Daniel Boone" on "The wonderful world of Disney". My brother and I thought this was the greatest show that had ever been on TV and we had been waiting for it all week, the big climax …. But we had to go to dinner with my mom and dad.. "Come on, we'll be fine. We can stay here! It's just across the street. We'll ruin your dinner, it will be lots more fun without us!!!!" … "OK OK OK OK, we'll go" …. We'll watch it there, every kid in America is watching Daniel Boone tonight, Right!!! … Every kid except Bennett. He didn't like Daniel Boone and his mom didn't let him watch TV when he had "company" … I told her it was OK with his "company".  I was making every deal I could make but it was no use. This was 1964, No TiVo, no VCR, we just missed it. I've never seen it. I don't know if Daniel got to the Alamo or not, maybe he got lost… who knows? I sure don't. I was stuck playing checkers and eating meatloaf with a kid I didn't know.
God's like that: Sometimes things happen that you can't explain and are out of your control. You do everything you can to get around it but you're just stuck and you have to wait it out. God doesn't promise to make the problem go away but he does promise to be there with you. That's what friends do..
Checkers anyone? … pass the meatloaf, we're gona be here for a while ..


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
Everybody should have this cookbook! "How to cook everything" by Mark Bittman. This is the best beginner-cook cookbook ever. You can get it in paperback for $17 and cook out of it the rest of your life. I just now opened the book. Here's the recipe it opened to:
Chicken thighs with soy sauce and lemon: page 372
1 tbsp oil (canola, veg, olive…any)
2 lbs chicken thighs or mixed chicken parts. Pat dry
1 tsp minced garlic (1 clove)
1 tbsp minced lemon zest
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste - or Tabasco
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup water
Juice from 1 lemon
First: To mince you garlic, get 1 clove and lay it on your cutting board. Now lay the side of your knife flat on top of it and hit the knife with your hand. This will smash the garlic and the skin will pull right off. Now with the back edge of you knife (opposite side of the sharp edge) mince the garlic in the same way you would if you were cutting it with the sharp side … cool huh? .. Learned that from Chef Rick Farmer ..
To mince the lemon peel: If you have a microplane grater, use that, it works great. If not use a standard vegetable peeler and peel off the yellow part of the lemon skin then mince it with your knife..
Heat the oil in a large skillet .. pat all of your chicken dry with a paper towel. This will keep it from making the hot oil pop.. Water and hot oil don't mix… Put the chicken in the skillet and brown over medium heat. You are only browning, don't worry about cooking it through..
Remove the chicken to a plate and let the pan cool.. Burnt garlic tastes terrible. After the pan has cooled for a couple of minutes, add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes on medium heat. Add everything else except the lemon juice, stir..
Add the chicken back to the pan and turn it a few times in the liquid. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low (simmer) and cook for 30 minutes, turning twice.
While that is cooking, make some rice or cook some pasta.. instructions on the box…
When the chicken is done, remove the chicken and add the lemon juice to the sauce… Stir - taste - re-season.
To serve: put the rice/pasta on a plate, chicken on top, sauce ….
A little salad on the side and you're all set … 35 minutes for the whole thing, feeds 4 and all you had to buy was chicken, garlic, rice/pasta and a lemon.. less than $10
It's so simple you can even take credit for it …



Posted by Mack Oates at 10:00 AM