Mack's Corner

This Week

The Kid

I use to teach school at Cypress Jr High. I was also a coach and a Young Life Leader. We had a kid, Tim,  who was always a mystery to me. He was a great athlete, a good looking kid, smart, quick witted, lots of friends, everything you could hope for and I always knew where to find him: in the principal's office. He was in there every day. He was always in trouble. He made the basketball team (not easy, over 100 kids tried out) 3 years in a row and got kicked off the team 3 years in a row. If he wasn't in the principal's office, he was standing in the hall, outside of class, because the teacher had kicked him out. He mostly passed his classes, C's and D's, which was great considering how little time he actually spent in class. He was a great football player, he could catch any pass you threw, but even the football coach couldn't keep him out of trouble. His problem was that he was too playful, he was the class clown and everybody knew it. He did the things that everyone expected him to do. If he was in a classroom and the teacher said something that the class didn't like, everyone would turn to him waiting to hear some smart remark. He always had one. I think his teachers had pink slips ready before he got to class, they knew him too well. The odd thing was that he was at school every day, he never missed….. At the time most high schools had one "trade" class that was unique to that school. Hamilton had metal casting, Melrose had welding, Northside had something. This allowed students to go almost anywhere they wanted. If a kid said he wanted to learn welding, Melrose was it. So at the end of football season (we always had a great football team) we had high school coaches from 15 different schools sitting in the locker room recruiting kids. If a kid decided he wanted to go to Melrose to play football, all he had to do is sign up for Welding. Tim signed up for welding. I never knew if he did it because he wanted to be a different person or because he wanted to play football at Melrose or because he had a girlfriend there, but what happened was amazing.  Nobody knew him at Melrose so nobody had any expectations. He didn't have to be the class clown any more, he could be anybody he wanted. His life changed .. Not only was he a great football player, he also made the principal's list for his grades and became a class leader. He was a super student, all the teachers loved him. He was a completely different person… I was driving home one day and saw him walking home from the bus stop, I picked him up… "I hear you're doing great at Melrose?" .... He looked down, kinda shy …  "Ya, they like me. I don't have to be stupid any more …. " 

God's like that: He put you here to be a great person, a leader. You just have to get past being the person that people expect and start being the person that God expects … you can change your life…

If I start wearing glasses, do you think I'll get smarter? … Maybe????


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

The New South …
One of the great chefs of the south is Frank Stitt. His restaurant is Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham.  This is from his cookbook "Frank Stitt's Southern Table" …. (I'm big on fresh dill. The last time I was at Restaurant Iris Kelly English had it on everything. Just enough to that people will wonder what it is…. We're not making dill pickles) … If you don't have Pompano, any fillet fish will work, even salmon, and tuna.. the thicker it is the longer it needs to cook .. 

Frank Stitt's Pompano en Papillote

5 tbsp butter room temp
2 spring onions or 1 large sweet onion like Vidalia thinly sliced
White pepper (black works too, he's just trying to keep everything pretty)
8 thin lemon slices
2 shallots thinly sliced
Fresh dill
4 6oz pompano fillets (skin removed) or any thin fish fillet

Pre heat the oven to 475

Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, white pepper and cook till soft, about 5 min. Cool..

Cut 4 ..16 by 20 inch sheets of parchment or foil (you can get either at the grocery store). Fold it in half. Then cut around the open side to form the shape of a "D"… kinda like you used to do when you made a heart for Valentines in grade school.

Butter the inside of the parchment/foil and place your fish on one side.  Then place your lemons, onions, shallots, and dill on top of the fish. Salt & Pepper and 1 tbsp of butter on top.  Fold the other side back over to form the "D". (This is where the kids come in, they can do this) Starting at the fold (straight side of the "D") make a 1 inch fold about ¼ inch deep along the curve of the "D".. You will move around the curve of the "D" folding 1 inch at a time so that when you finish, you'll have a closed package, still in the shape of a "D" with lots of little folds around the curve….( If you are worried about finding parchment or how to fold it, don't. This is not hard! If you want, use a big square of aluminum foil.

Put the food in the middle, fold it over, then fold up the open 3 sides… makes a packet. Then put that in the oven. This is actually the way Jean-Louis Palladin did it at his restaurant, Palladin, in Washington D.C. And he's one of the Hoityest Toityest chefs ever.) 

Put it in the oven and bake it till the parchment is puffed up and starting to brown, about 10 - 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish). Move it to a plate, slice it open (lots of hot steam, be careful) and eat it right out of the parchment…..

Here's the cool part: Use any fish you want. Use any vegetable you want. Use any spice you want. Leave out the butter or use olive oil instead. Add fruit slices, like apples, instead of the lemon. Use foil and just fold it over the fish so it's easy… Instant great dinner with no clean up any time you want … you don't even need a plate …

A friend wanted me to give him some recipes that he could cook for his wife that were healthy, easy enough for him to cook and took less than 30 minutes … Here's one of them

Want dessert? Same thing…. Any fruit, apples, bananas, peaches. Brown sugar, butter, cream,  1/2 inch cubes of bread to soak it all up… put all of that in the foil, fold it up, put it in the oven for 15 minutes … magic!!!  Lick the foil clean and put it in the trash …


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 12:49 PM