This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

I don't need no stinking Holiday Inn, I've got a tent!!!

I've been thinking about New Orleans, I actually went there on my Honeymoon. When PK & I got married she planned the wedding and I planned the honeymoon. We got married downtown at Calvary Episcopal Church at 10am. The whole service took 12 minutes. It was still a pretty big wedding. There were a couple of hundred people at the reception. All of my best men/groomsmen wore morning suites with striped ties. About 45 minutes in to the reception PK threw her flowers and we headed to the car wedding dress and all. We went to her parent's house, changed clothes, got our bags and were half way to Jackson by noon. I had booked us a room at the Monteleone Hotel. It's on Bienville Street between Chartres Street and Royal Street, 1 block from Bourbon Street and 4 blocks from Jackson Square, right in the middle of the French Quarter. It's a very old hotel, very elegant. Kinda like going to the Peabody. I had never slept in a king size bed before so I figured I would splurge and get a room with one. I also thought that would mean a bigger room. We opened the door. The room was about 10 feet long and 15 feet wide with a bathroom on the other side. The bed was 8 feet long and 6 feet wide with the bathroom on the other side. You had to craw over the bed to get to the bathroom. I really don't see how they got the bed in there. We didn't care, it just made it more fun. We ate dinner that night at the Pontchartrain Hotel, which at the time had a very nice restaurant. (John Besh has since taken the restaurant over and re-opened it. Can't wait to go.) The next morning we walked down to the Café Du Monde for breakfast, drank coffee and ate about 20 Beignets. So far my honeymoon plans were great. On to phase 2, PK wanted to go to the beach and I knew we were going to spend all of our money in New Orleans so I came up with this great idea: We would camp on the beach!!!! Navarre beach has a KOA campground and I had a tent. I think it costs $5 a night, way cheaper than the Monteleone. To get to Navarre beach you drive over a bridge. Just as you get off the bridge, there's a Holiday Inn. I thought to myself "I don't need no stinking Holiday Inn, I've got a tent!!!" I got the tent up and we went out to sit on the beach, PK loved it. For dinner that night we went to Captain Anderson's, a famous seafood place in Destin. I had heard about this place from college friends. It was just like they said it was. Half restaurant, half dock, fishing boats tied up right outside, waves splashing under the floor, smells like the sea, seagulls everywhere. My grandfather always told me that the best fish to eat was Pompano. They had it on the menu, so I got it.. so did PK. According to the waiter it had been caught that morning, no more than 6 hours out of the water. It was good, I think. We got back to the beach, watched the sun go down, held hands, got in our sleeping bag, zipped up the tent. Romance was everywhere!  I was making Don Juan look like a beginner. Then about 2am it started. I got sick as a dog. Stuff was coming out of me from everywhere. I ran to the community bathroom.  As I walked back to the tent PK came running past me heading to the bathroom. As she walked back, I came running past her again. That's how it went for the next 3 hours. When we woke up the romance was gone. We were tired, hot, and sand seemed to be in everything. She reminded me about 50 times that we drove past the Holiday Inn so we could sleep in that stupid tent and spend the night in the community bathroom. I was looking more like Ferd Burffel than Don Juan. That was 38 years ago. She still likes me.

God's like that: Just because you screw up doesn't mean he leaves you or gives up on you. He's in for the long haul. He will never ever, ever, ever leave you, ever. Talk to him, tell him what you need, tell him what you worry about. He's the best listener ever …

PK said our camping days were over, she's more of a Princess than a pioneer, and I'm not taking restaurant recommendations from any college kids, ever  …


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

John Besh is one of the best Chefs in New Orleans. His cookbook  "My New Orleans" is one of my favorites. Here's his Red Beans and Rice.

Red Beans & Rice

2 onions, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded & Diced

1 stalk of celery diced

2 tbsp of rendered bacon fat (save the fat when you cook bacon)

1 lb dried red kidney beans (don't use canned, it won't work)

2 smoked ham hocks (grocery store, may have to ask)

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3 green onions chopped

Salt & pepper


3 cups of cooked rice

In a large pan/pot that has a cover, add the bacon fat, onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook over medium heat.

Once the onions have become translucent add the kidney beans, ham hocks, bay leaves and cayenne. Then add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches

Increase the heat and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow the beans to simmer for 2 hours. Periodically stir to make sure that the beans don't scorch on the bottom, adding water if necessary, always keeping the beans covered by an inch or more of water.

Continue cooking the beans until they are creamy and beginning to fall apart when stirred… taste, taste, taste ..

Remove the ham hocks and cut the meat from the bone. Chop up the meat and add it back to the beans.

Stir in the green onions and season with salt and pepper and Tabasco. Serve over Rice…

To make the Rice: Put 2 cups of rice in a pan and add enough water to cover the rice by 1 inch. (about the length of your middle knuckle on your finger). Add 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring it to a simmer and turn you burner as low as it will go. Cover the pan and cook for 18 minutes. Check it and stir it about half way through. When it gets close to the end check it more often. If it gets done before the 18 min take it off. Now stir in 2 tbsp of butter …

If you have leftovers, just add the rice to the beans and stir it together. It will be even better the next day…

Standard rules apply: This is best eaten while standing in the door of the fridge at midnight in your PJ's with a spoon. Want a great breakfast: Heat up a bowl of this and put a fried egg on top, a little more Tabasco, toast and jelly on the side.. doesn't get any better than that.


Want to be a ConeHead or a Tram Driver? 
Email me ...


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 1:36 PM