Mack's Corner

This Week

The Day Off

Every now and then I get to have a real day off. Usually when everybody else has a holiday there's something going on here at church…. To me a real day off means I'm not responsible for anything, nobody asks me to do anything, no chores, nobody calls me and wants me to come fix something or wants to tell me their problems. I'm totally irresponsible for the day. I don't worry about what something costs or if I could be doing something productive or if I'm eating too much ice cream. All of that can wait till tomorrow. On a real day off I'm a total slacker and I only do what I want to do as long as everybody cooperates.... "I know going shopping sounds fun. You go, I'll stay here and you can call me later and tell me what you bought.".... "Come over to your house for lunch today? You're having a bunch of people over to watch the game? How about you just show me the pictures next week?" ….. "You want me to cook dinner today? Let's have Cheerios for dinner, I'm ok with that!" …. So here's what I do: I get up early, around 6am, so I could get a head start on everybody. I want to be in full slacker mode by 7am, I can sleep later. I take a shower and put on all my clothes that say "I'm not leaving the house and I'm not doing any work." … Super baggy jeans with no pockets, ugly T-Shirt, house shoes. I want people to be ashamed to be seen with me in public…. I make a big breakfast, cornbread with maple syrup, 2 eggs sunny side up, andouille sausage, The New York Times and a big cup of coffee. If I spill some of it on my shirt, even better! … I turn the TV to a channel showing a romantic/comedy movie marathon and I'm set. By 9pm I've wastched 5 movies.  Then I get up and go back to bed, ready to be responsible again..

God's not like that: He never takes a day off, he always wants to hear your problems, he always wants to help, he always wants to come to dinner. Just ask …..

I think we should have "Slacker Day" once a month. That would be the responsible thing to do.


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

The New South …

John Besh is one of the great chefs of the south. He's also a hero of mine. When Katrina hit New Orleans he was one of the chefs who stayed and fed people for weeks…. His main restaurant in New Orleans is Restaurant August. And he actually works in the kitchen. Get an early reservation (5:30pm or 6pm..) and he'll probably come out meet you.

He has a cookbook out called "My New Orleans". It's easy, it's great to read and it's the real deal. He's also a good teacher…… Before you decide you can't do this, read all the way through and see my substitutions … This really is easy and great …

Crawfish Etouffee

3 tbsp canola oil

3 tbsp flour

1 small onion diced

1 stalk celery diced

Half a bell pepper diced

2 cloves garlic minced (or 2 tsp dried.. Penzeys)

Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme (about 1 tsp if you're using dried thyme.. Penzeys)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 small tomato peeled, seeded, diced

1 quart shellfish stock

3 tbsp butter

1 lb crawfish tails

2 green onions chopped

2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
Fresh ground pepper

3 cups of cooked rice

Substitutions: 1 lb of shrimp instead the crawfish, Water instead the Shellfish stock…

Shellfish stock is easy. Get shrimp or crawfish with the shells still on and peel them. Put all of the shells along with a chopped onion in a big pot. Add 2 quarts of water. Then add 4 tbsp of Penzeys Shrimp & Crab Boil Spices (it's a blend of a bunch of stuff). Bring it to a simmer and let it cook for about an hour. Pour it through a fine strainer and you're done…

To peel & seed a tomato: cut an X on the bottom end and drop the tomato in to boiling water. Count to 20. Take it out and run cold water over it. At the place where you cut the X pull the skin off. To seed it, cut the tomato in half side to side (not top to bottom). Then stick your thumb or finger in to the seed pockets and push them out … now chop up the rest.

Cooked rice:

1 1/2 cups of rice
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter

Put the rice and salt in a pan and fill the pan to one finger knuckle over the top of the rice (about 3/4 inch). Bring the water to a simmer. Cover and put the heat as low as it will go. Cook for 18 minutes. Stir about half way through. When finished, take it off the heat. Stir in the butter… smell it.. I love rice .. Keep it covered to keep warm..

Have everything ready before you start cooking. This goes pretty fast.

We're going to make a roux. Remember equal parts of fat and flour: In a large pan (everything is going in this one pan… a large iron skillet works well) heat 3 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Then whisk in the 3 tbsp of flour… Whisk, whisk, whisk …don't leave… Whisk until the roux turns dark brown. (If it smells burnt or if you see black spots, STOP. Throw it out and start over. This is the only part that will mess up the whole dish. Once you get past the roux, you are home free.) Once it starts turning brown add the onions and reduce the heat. Cook until the onions caramelize (turn light brown).

When the onions have turned the roux shiny and dark (and it smells great) add the celery, bell peppers, garlic, thyme, cayenne, & paprika and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomato and stock/water and turn up heat to high. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer 5 -7 minutes, stirring often. Don't let it burn or stick on the bottom.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the butter. Add the Crawfish/shrimp and the green onions. Season with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and black pepper… Taste it! .. got enough?.. add more if you want…. Once the crawfish/shrimp have turned pink and heated through take it off the heat. Taste the crawfish/shrimp to be sure it's done ….

Serve over bowls of rice….. Yummmmmmm … I could eat this every day.. 


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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 (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 9am.



2 Chronicles 7:14 . if my people, who are called by my name, will pray then I will hear from heaven.

So I need everybody to pray. If you don't pray much, do it one time. You can just say "God help these people. I pray in Jesus's name". That will be good enough. Let's see what God will do. Do it right now!

Christiana, Brian, Brent, Tracy, Craig, Alexis, Joni, Russ, Andi, Emily, Carol, Ronnie, Jack, Brady, Amanda, Smith, Terri,  Miracle, Hutch, Cheryl, Craig, Thomas, Wade, Dalton, Morgan, Brady, Tracy, Pierce, children of St.Jude, Louanne, Jason, Hatley, Cam, Chet, Judy, Addyson, Jay, Greg, Mitzi, Matt, Grace, Jennifer, Scott, Cristen, Alexandria, Cole, Jerry, Ron, Jeremy, A Dillon, Rev Cole, Samuel, Morgan, Terry, Kaz, Lauren, Allison, Christian, Marilyn, Ken, Ashley, EJ, Lora, Paige, Kyle, Franca, B- Family, Dylan, Gary, KJ, Cliff, David, Billie, Julie Ann, Jessica, Pam, Doug, Martha, Jason, Nolan, Hayes, Bennett, Joyce, Layla Grace, Joe, Tina, Chris, Daniel, Jacob, Tyler, Don, Charlotte, Heather, Margaret, S- Family, Kavious, Wayne, Raymond, Cody, Judy, Laura, Sue, Eden, Tammy, Mike, Ron, Ed, Jaxon, TM, Kelsey, Blake, Charlie, Brad, Kirk, Will & Ben, Pat & Tracy, Kimberly, Brooke, Gary, Raymond, Michel, Jimmy, Mike, Carol, Karen, Robin, Joe, Forrest, Metis, Ben, Genie, Walt, Sheri, Lisa, Brooke, Yater, Barbara, Don, Rick & Barbara, Ana & Will & Mary Margret, Jonah, Kay, Jim, Freddie Mae, Meredith, Ron, Saeed, Laurie, Sean, Susie, Phillip, Arnell, Lauren, Will, Carla, Martha, Cara, Luahn, Ljuliana, Max, Parker, B Family, Jane, Graham, Grason, Mary , Bill, Mike, Verne, Livi, Kenny,Angela, Lynne, Mike, Edie, Todd, Danny,  LO, Kenny, Ricky, Suzan, Mike, Jimmy, Sarah, C-Family, Polly, Cassy, Kathy, Jerome, Betty Lou
, JM, Edie, Kathy, Melinda, Joe, May, Jim, Mandy, Teri, Roe, LG, Melanie, Mike, Will, Lynne, Bob, Steve, Don.

See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!



Posted by Mack Oates at 1:47 PM