Mack's Corner

This Week

Swimming with Dolphins

My son Macky was born 3 months premature in 1983. He had Cerebral Palsy (CP) and mentally he was about 2. He was a great kid, a really great kid. When he was 12 Make-A-wish gave us a trip to Florida to go swim with the dolphins. Macky loved to swim. We could put a life-preserver collar on him and he would swim all over the pool for hours. But there was a problem with the dolphins: Macky didn't understand dolphins or what he was supposed to do with them or why they are in HIS pool. They meant nothing to him, they were just in the way. There was no wonder, there was no amazement. To him it was just a thing. It would be like me or you walking through a room with a bunch of boxes on the floor and we had to push them out of the way to walk through the room. All Macky knew was that we wouldn't let him go swim because we were supposed to be petting this thing…. So there we were in a pool with a dolphin. The dolphin was trained to swim up beside us so we could stroke its side and be able to say we touched a real dolphin. I held Macky's hand and rubbed it on the dolphin as he looked at me like I was a total idiot, he just wanted to go swim. Then the trainer got the dolphin to make that noise they make that sound like they are laughing. That scared Macky. Then the last thing: The dolphin started  squirting water at Macky right in the face and doing that laughing sound… Because of the CP Macky's legs didn't work very well, so he had been carrying his whole weight with his arms and hands for his whole life. He was very scary strong…. The second time the dolphin squirted him, Macky got mad and grabbed the dolphin by the nose and wouldn't let go. Then he reached over and punched him in the face. I grabbed his hand and made him let go and Macky looked at me like he was ready to fight. We decided it was time to get out. I was laughing so hard I was crying. Macky didn't understand that either, he just wanted to go swim… 2 days later we were supposed to go swim with 2 other dolphins. I thought that wasn't a good idea so we sat on the dock. Then the magic happened: The trainer gave Macky 4 small rings and told him to throw them out in to the water. When he did the dolphin came bursting out of the water catching the ring on his nose and swam over to Macky so he could take it off and throw it again. Macky thought this was the funnest thing in the whole world. He laughed and laughed. He would throw a ring out and boom, out of the water like a missile came a dolphin after it, all the way out of the water, then back in with a big splash, and back to Macky to throw it again. They did this over and over. It was a great day. That 45 minutes was magic….

God's like that: We don't understand why things happen. We just want to do what we're supposed to do, the same thing we've always done but it gets interrupted. Why? Why does everything have to be so hard? You're ready to fight and it feels like God is spitting in your face.. Why? Are you trying to tell me something God? So tell me, and let's go back to normal…. Sometimes it's hard to believe God is really in control, and if he is, what is he doing… "I believe, help my unbelief" .. Don't give up, keep talking to God, yell and scream if you want. Tell him to show you that you're at least on the right track. Be strong, pay attention. God puts you in places for a reason, and the reason may have nothing to do with you. Be active, the magic will come..

I could listen to Macky laugh forever and let it wash over me all day…


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

This is another Rick Farmer recipe:

Pan Roasted Tilapia(fish) with lemon Beurre monte sauce and Jasmine Rice…
For the Tilapia:
2 lb Tilapia fillet
salt and pepper
1/4 c. olive oil

For Jasmine rice:
1 1/2 c. jasmine rice
2 3/4 c. water
1 Tbs olive oil or butter
salt to taste

For the Beurre Monte' Sauce:
juice from 3 lemons
2 Tbs. water
3 sticks butter 3/4 lb (cut into small cubes)

****So really all you have to buy is Rice, 3 lemons, and the Tilapia. 

For Jasmine rice:
Heat the oil in the saucepan. Add the rice and cook until all surfaces of the rice have been coated with oil and the rice begins to release its fragrance, (about 3 min.). Add the water and salt. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to very-low. Cook for about 12-15 min or until the water is all absorbed. Fluff with a fork… Smell it!!! It's great!! Just plain rice.

While the rice is cooking make the sauce:

For the Beurre Monte' Sauce:
(This is really cool sauce. You can make it for anything. It is butter emulsified in to water. What this does is keep the butter from breaking, it keeps the butter in an emulsification. Here's a really great thing: if it does break (separate) then all you have to do to get it back is get 2 more tbsp. of water in a separate pan, bring it to a boil and then whisk the broken sauce back in to the water slowly. It will re-emulsify in to the new water and un-break the sauce. Since it's just butter and water, you can flavor it any way you want. Use lemon juice like Rick does below, or Tabasco, or herbs, or roasted garlic.. etc … serve it over fish, steak, shrimp, bread, vegies, baked potatoes.  

Bring water and lemon juice to a boil. While whisking, slowly add the butter cubes, a few at a time until used up. Whisk, Whisk, Whisk!!  Season with salt and white pepper (Black pepper is ok too). Hold warm on stove-top..

For the Tilapia:
Season fish with the salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Heat sauté pan to near smoking. Add olive oil. Add the fish to the pan and brown very well on the first side. Carefully turn the fish and reduce the heat. Continue to cook until fish is fully opaque.

Serve with any quick veg (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans..etc) = big pot of boiling water + 1 tbsp salt in pot + veg... cook about 2 min depending on veg..

Cook the veg in the rice pan, drain, set aside. Then in the same pan start the rice. Make the sauce in your iron skillet. Put the sauce in a bowl and keep warm. Don't clean the skillet. Add the oil to the left over butter and cook the fish. Quickly wipe out the skillet, add a little sauce and sauté the veg to re-heat. Serve rice, fish on top, veg on side, sauce on top … The only thing that takes any time is the rice and you're cooking everything else while you're waiting for that. You should learn how to make rice and make it often, it's too easy… So if you're good, this whole meal takes 18 min


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 11:29 AM