Mack's Corner

This Week

Say What?

When I used to work for a little computer shop I handled tech support calls all day, 75 - 100 calls everyday.  Communication was the biggest problem.  The conversation usually went like this: "Mack the little round thing isn't working anymore  It just quit, I can't do anything!" …. "What little round thing?" .. . "You know, the one next to the button."  … "What do you mean you can't do anything? Do you mean the power went off or do you mean aliens have tied you up" …. If I wasn't getting anywhere in about 3 minutes, I knew I was going to have to go there to fix it.

I've got a little experiment I do with my wife. If I've got something I want to do, Dinner, movie, buy a big screen TV…something like that, I think about it real hard and wait for her to say "Hey let's go see a movie" or "I think you should go buy that big screen TV, I've got just the place for it ". Now maybe I talk in my sleep or something, but it seems to work more often than you would think. Every once in a while she looks at me says "OK let's go" …"go where?" … "To the movie, didn't you want to go to the movie?". .."Well yeah, but" …"Let's go!"  That's really weird, cause I can't remember if I really asked her or if I just thought about asking her. 

God's like that: When bad things happen to us there's always someone that comes up and says "I know how you feel" and then they tell you some story that's kinda like yours. But really they don't know how you feel. They would have had to live your life, had the same relationships and be in the same place. They would have had to be there, to see what you see, and know what you know. They can't do that, how can they know how you feel. God knows, he's been there all along.  From before you were born, he's known you, been with you. He's loved you before day 1. 

Maybe I've got a memory problem instead of a communication problem?  What's that stuff you're supposed to take for that?



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

Did you ever make Pesto? It's so easy and good on anything. You can eat it with crackers or chips. Put it on fish. Mix it in with mashed potatoes. Garnish a steak. Server it on toast or eat it with a spoon. Basil, Pine nuts, Garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper … that's it! Put that in a food processor or use a mortar & pestle if you want to really get in to it … Crush everything together and you have pesto. Easy!!!

Here's Mario Batali's Trenette with Pesto, Beans and Potatoes (Trenette is just pasta - skinny spaghetti)

2 cups packed basil leaves (this is a lot of basil. Figure 2 big bunches)

3 tablespoons pine nuts

1 garlic clove, crushed (lay a clove on its side, lay the flat side of a big knife on top and hit the top side of the knife to smash the garlic clove. Pull the skin off.)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving (or Pecorino Romano cheese works just as well and it's lots cheaper.

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4 pound baby red potatoes - optional

3/4 pound haricots verts (fresh green beans) - optional

1 pound trenette pasta or linguine fini or Capellini or any long thin pasta (Get good pasta like De Cecco in the Blue & Yellow box <> )

In a food processor, pulse the basil leaves with the pine nuts and garlic until a paste forms. Add the olive oil and puree until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl. Stir in the 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and season with salt and pepper. …. THAT'S YOUR PESTO!!

In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain and let cool slightly. Cut the potatoes in half.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the haricots verts until al dente. That means cooked but still crisp to the bite. They should turn bright green.
Using a slotted spoon (don't pour out the water yet!!) , transfer the beans to a colander and rinse under cold water. This stops the cooking.

Using the same water… Add the pasta to the pot and cook over high heat until al dente (follow the directions on the box exactly if you are using De Cecco pasta. It works perfectly every time). Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Use the same colander that you put the beans in. The pasta can still be pretty wet. 

Add the cooked potatoes, beans and the pesto and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve, passing additional Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

To re-heat leftovers: Heat an iron skillet, add some olive oil and put the whole mixture in the skillet. Stir it around constantly so the cheese doesn't burn. The pasta and the cheese and the potatoes will brown a little. When it's hot all the way through, you're ready, add some more cheese... You may even like it better like this. If you do, next time put it in a skillet after you mix it up..

Skillet browned pasta is really good … Want to have it for breakfast??? Whisk 2 eggs together and add that to the hot pasta in the skillet. Stir till the eggs set. Add some Tabasco and you've got breakfast for a king/queen.

This would be great to take on a camping trip. A big tub of pesto pasta, eggs and an iron skillet, cooked over an open fire…


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 8:42 AM