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Mack's Corner

This Week

Sweet Darling

I went to a Red Birds game a few years ago, ate a few hot dogs, sat in the upper deck. I think the upper deck costs more (I didn't pay for the ticket) but I like the lower deck better, more people, better food, more foul balls. I always like to be doing something when I go to a baseball game, sometimes I keep score, but I can't ever remember if the shortstop is 5 or 6 so I usually do it wrong for a few innings till I hear the announcer call a 6-4-3 or a 5-4-3 double play then I go back and fix it. This time instead of keeping score I was eating peanuts. It takes me a whole game to eat a bag of peanuts. I'll crack one open, get rid of the "skin" and one at a time eat both sides, then watch a few batters and get another one. It's just something to do. I always wonder how they get salt inside of a peanut and why they can't get the skins out… skinless peanuts, how hard can it be? So I was eating peanuts and there was a light rain the whole game, I got a little wet, but who cares, I'm not there for a beauty contest, I've been rained on before. I stood up for the 7th inning stretch, looked down and saw that the peanut skins had all stuck to me. I looked like a big paper mache project. I was glad I didn't have to go home to my mom. She would have shaken her head and called me "Sweet Darling" (code for: you're unbelievably dumb but I still love you) and told me to go out in the backyard and take off my clothes so she could hose me off, knowing that anyone that came home wet and covered with peanut skins couldn't be trusted in the bathtub unsupervised. My wife didn't make me go in the backyard, but she did call me "Sweet Darling"….

The rain got really bad the next day, but I was in a hurry. As I was driving along, at 60mph, I realized I was going down the street sideways, I was facing the sidewalk not the guy in front of me. They say when you're hydroplaning that your tires are not touching the street, that you're riding on top of the water. I don't think you're up high enough to stick your fingers under the tire, but you're still not touching. It feels like someone could push you right off of the road if they were standing beside you. Of course, when you do realize it, your brakes don't work, you tires just spin, and you're floating through space totally out of control, wondering what will make you stop! It kinda happens all at once. Well, Sweet Darling! Now what?

God's like that: We'll be going along thinking everything is OK, then all of a sudden you're sideways, totally out of control. You were really out of control long before you were sideways, you just didn't know it. The best part is that we can always go home, God will always wash us off and he won't call you Sweet Darling, he'll just understand ….

Maybe I'll just go back to keeping score, who cares if it's wrong, it's not like I've got to turn it in  …


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

This one is from the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone Restaurant in Napa Valley. Think of this as pasta flavored with mushrooms. If you can get your head around the idea of having pasta or rice flavored with small bits of mushrooms, beef, chicken, fish or pork.. instead of the American Idea of meat with pasta as a side dish then you'll be healthier and richer... Most of the world uses meat, fish, and cheese as a flavoring for pasta and rice. We skip the rice and pasta part and eat nothing but the flavor…. It's kinda like if you had fries and decided that the potatoes were the side dish and the catsup was the main part of the meal.

Pasta with Wild Mushrooms:

4 tbsp butter (or olive oil)

2 tbsp canola oil (or Olive oil)

1 1/2 pounds of wild mushrooms (Wholefoods is the only place I know that has wild mushrooms… or you can just use normal mushrooms)

1 cup finely chopped shallots

1 1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes (or canned will work too)

1 tbsp fresh thyme (dried thyme works too)

2 tsp chopped fresh sage (optional if you don't have it or can't find it)

1/4 cup dry Marsala (Optional - or any good white wine. Don't use junk or else this recipe will taste like junk) or water

1 cup whipping cream (optional on if you use it and how much)

1 cup vegetable stock

12 ounces of fettuccine pasta (Get good pasta like De Cecco in the Blue & Yellow box )

Freshly grated parmesan cheese (Add freshly grated parmesan (or Pecorino Romano, it's cheaper) cheese if desired. Don't use that powdered junk. Use real cheese or leave it off. Buy a hunk of good parmesan or Pecorino Romano and use small amounts. It may seem expensive, but it will last for months if you don't get stupid with it. Use it for flavor. It's NOT supposed to be eaten like cheddar. It's more like seasoning.. It's worth the money to buy a good cheese grater or Microplane just for this. A little good olive oil and a little good cheese makes anything better… soup, scrambled eggs, pasta, oatmeal, rice, veggies, chicken….  

Melt 2 tbsp of butter with the oil (keeps the butter from burning) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots. Cook for 12 min till tender.

Mix in tomatoes, thyme, sage, and Marsala and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates… about 2 min.

Add remaining 2 tbsp of butter, cream, and stock and simmer until reduced to sauce consistency. About 4 min. (if you left out the cream, or use olive oil instead of butter.. whatever… just reduce it down to about 1/2 a cup). Season with salt and pepper… Taste! Taste! Taste!

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the box. (If you use De Cecco it will come out perfect.). Drain and add the pasta to the sauce. Mix well so that you get sauce on all of the pasta...

Grate Parmesan cheese on top and serve..  Magic!


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 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Except on Tuesdays, they start at 9:15 am.

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


Posted by Mack Oates at 10:04 AM