This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Sure, no problem, how hard can it be?

A few years ago we were getting the sanctuary ready for the Christmas eve services. We were putting up Christmas trees and moving lights and spraying snow. When we were done Chase, one of our amazing light guys, said "Hey Mack, there's one of the big moving lights up in the catwalk that I need on stage. Do you think you could get it down for me?" and I said "Sure, no problem, how hard can it be?" …. God should have made us so that every time we say the words "Sure, How hard can it be?"  that our ears would start ringing and lights start flashing in our eyes and we fall on the ground saying "No I can't do it! No I can't do it! …. So there I was Monday morning committed to taking this light down. I explained to my partner Jay what WE were doing (he actually knew what he's doing. That's why WE were doing it) and he looked at me like I was insane. Turns out that the light weighs about 200 pounds and we're dropping it 40 feet. You can't just pull it out and walk down the stairs with it or tie a string to it and lower it down. You have to have a big rope and several pulleys and a big chain. Who knew! … Jay rigged it up and I was the anchor. That meant I was supposed to catch it if he dropped it… Hummmmmmmmm?  ….He started unbolting it and said "OK you got it!"  An hour to find all the stuff and get ready and 2 minutes to slowly lower it to waiting arms ….

God's like that: As the light was going down I was thinking of God lowering baby Jesus down to us. How hard can it be? He had been getting ready since the beginning of time. It was only a woman having a baby. But this wasn't like dropping your kid off for the first day of school. This was God giving Jesus to us knowing what would happen ….

Luke 2 (KJ)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

See you Christmas Eve … bring a friend! ....


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

I love real eggnog, not that weird stuff you buy in the grocery store (is there such a thing as artificial eggnog flavor? Who decided what it tastes like?), but real eggnog. The only problem is how do you make it? Like beer and blue cheese it's a mystery and probably a mistake. I'm sure this evolved from somebody trying to preserve milk by pouring whiskey in to it and realizing they had created milk punch. Then probably a bread baker adding some sugar and a few eggs for richness = eggnog .. If you've never had homemade eggnog then you have to do this, it's easy and the kids can help and it's really good.

Eggnog:

9 eggs separated (room temp)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

3 cups of chilled whipping cream

3+ cups milk (whole milk works best, but any will do)

One washed out gallon milk jug and a funnel

Candy thermometer or instant read thermometer ($1.50 at the grocery store)

Separate your eggs: Get one small bowl and your clean mixing bowl. Break the eggs over the mixing bowl in to your hand. Let the whites slide between your fingers in to the mixing bowl. When you're left with just the yolk in your hand put it in the smaller bowl.

You can do this in one mixing bowl and one big "Folding" bowl as long as you do it in the right order. (the folding bowl, my term, is just a big bowl that you will use to Fold all of this together. Just get a bowl big enough to hold at least 1 gallon). To whip egg whites you need a clean mixing bowl and a clean whisk or beaters. If there is any fat like cream in the bowl, they won't form peaks. So we have to do the whites first.

Start whisking the whites slowly until small bubbles form, then you can whisk a little faster. If you're doing this by hand don't worry about doing it faster, just keep whisking. When peaks start to form (pick the whisk up out of the whites and a trailing peak should follow and flop over = soft peak) add 6 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking it in as you go. The whites will start to look glossy…. Dump all of the whites in to the big "Folding" bowl..

Put the yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar in the mixing bowl…. In the old days we would have just whisked this together and added it to the whites, but you don't really want to be Rocky and eat raw egg yolks any more. So we need to cook them a little. Plus, I think its better this way. So get a sauce pan and put 1/2 of water in it and heat it to a simmer. Then put your mixing bowl over the water (not letting it touch the water) and whisk the yolk and sugar. You need to whisk it over the simmering water until it gets to 150 degrees (use your candy thermometer). Once it gets there, you need to keep it at that temp for 1 minute. DON'T LET IT GET PAST 160! Remember eggs turn in to scrambled eggs at 170. If it starts getting too hot, pick the bowl up off of the simmering water… Keep whisking!!!! …. You will end up with a very thick, pale yellow mixture.. Take it off the heat and let it cool. The best way to cool this is by getting a big bowl (can you tell I have a lot of big bowls) and put ice in the bottom along with enough water to cover the ice. Then set the mixing bowl in the cold water and whisk the eggs. It will cool down quick. Otherwise, stick the mixing bowl with the hot yolks in to your freezer.. you need them to be at room temp, keep whisking and checking, shouldn't talk long … add this to the "Folding" bowl …   

Last, whip the cream. Cream doesn't need a clean bowl like the egg whites, it needs a cold bowl. So now that your mixing bowl has been in the freezer or on ice, you're ready. Put the cream in the mixing bowl and whisk. Again start slowly until it starts to form small bubbles and look foamy. Then you can go faster.  Whip until you get soft peaks, no more. (if you're doing this in a mixer, don't over whisk or you will get butter).. Add this to the "Folding" bowl…

With a rubber spatula or a big spoon and the Folding bowl, fold everything together. Run the spatula around the edge of the bowl and fold the mixture in to the middle of the bowl. The idea here is to mix it without pushing all of the air out of the Whites and Cream … keep folding until all of the yellow of the yolks is blended in to the whites…… Stir in the milk ….

(Normally this is where you would stir in 1 to 3 cups of Bourbon (add 1 cup, stir and taste it. Then add more if you want. Don't get stupid … At this point you're done…)

(But remember we're doing this with the kids so without the bourbon) you need check for thickness. If it's too thick to drink, add a little more milk (maybe a cup). Don't add too much or you'll start taking away from the flavor…

Now get a funnel and pour the whole thing in to the gallon milk jug. Always shake it up before you serve it, it tends to separate ..

Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top… After you taste this, you'll never buy that stuff at the grocery store again ..

Standard rules apply: drinking eggnog in your PJ's within a week of Christmas = zero calories. Christmas morning = -200 calories. That's negative calories, so you can have it with that leftover pumpkin pie you were thinking about all night ..

Mack

 

Posted by Mack Oates at 11:36 AM