Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 08-25-15

Pay attention

A few years ago on a Wednesday the day started out being just another day. "Wednesdays at Hope" A.K.A. MTV was starting back up that night but all of that was pretty routine.  I was getting ready to go setup tables in the gym for dinner when one of the sound guys who was working in the sanctuary walked by and said "I don't know if it means anything but there's water coming in to the sanctuary on the left side of the stage.. Just thought you might want to know" WHAT!!!!!!  ..  I ran to the sanctuary knowing that there were guys out back working on a drain pipe. Water was everywhere and I ran out back and there was a guy sitting on a fire hydrant with a big wrench and a hose stretched down the drive way.. "You might want to turn that off, you're flooding the sanctuary.."  He got it turned off after 40 or 50 gallons of water poured in to the building. Turns out they were flushing the drain pipe but blocked the wrong pipe. So water flowed back up to the sanctuary instead of to the street sewer pipe. I started scrambling all my guys to get them busy cleaning up the water, wet/dry vacs going, mops going, called the contractor and went back to the gym to start setting up tables. I got 4 tables up and figured out that I was doing it by myself?  Of course all my guys that usually help were cleaning up water.. ok, keep going. Then I get a call saying somebody was here to pick up the 150 chairs I said they could borrow, I didn't know when he was coming, just knew he was coming sometime.. so he came now!!! "OK, you'll have to wait a few minutes, I can't get there now" .. People started showing up to set up chairs. And we got the tables up and I remembered that the guy with the chairs was still waiting. I ran down there and got him going. I went up to my office and sat down for 2 minutes and the electricity went off for about 10 seconds.. no big deal but I knew I had 2 critical air conditioners that usually shut off if they loose power, so I went to check on them. They were both off. I usually keep a ladder near by so I can get up to re-start them, but I had just told one of my guys that he could use that ladder some place else that morning, so I had to go find a ladder. I got back, I was half way up the ladder and the fire alarm went off on the other side of the building.. I punched the button on the Air Conditioner to make it go and went to check the fire alarm. Of course there was no fire, just a messed up fire alarm from the electricity going off. I waited for the Fire truck and then walked through the building with the fire guys. When I went back to put up the ladder and I found that the air conditioners were still not working, I had a fan blowing but not cold air, breaker poped. Messed with that for 30 minutes, got them going and went down to check on the water clean up. Then I realized it was 4pm, Dinner starts at 5pm, Yikes!! Had to go unlock doors, and turn lights on.  While I'm running through the building I got 4 phone calls. Other stuff was messed up from the electricity going off, but no hurry.. dinner started, visited with a few people, remembered the 4 things, went to go fix them, got back to hear most of Eli's lesson, Stacked chairs and put up tables from dinner and went back to my office.. "How was your day Mack?" .. "It was pretty exciting.."

Gods Like that: Every time stuff like that happens, I start paying attention because God uses us to change other people's lives and some times it takes weird things to get us in the right spot at the right time. Some people get mad when things don't go the way they wanted, I pay attention. If you get stuck in traffic, don't get mad pay attention. If your plane gets delayed or re-routed to a different airport, don't get mad pay attention. God puts us in certain places at certain times for a reason. I don't know what the reason was that day, I may never know, but maybe God used me to change someone's life. Maybe one of the firemen or the chair guy or one of the people who came to clean the carpet. I don't know. I didn't have to preach to anybody or quote scripture (I never do), I just had to be willing for God to use me. The cool thing is that I don't get mad or frustrated any more, because the bad stuff might be the start of the next adventure. Try this experiment, pray this prayer right now: "GOD USE ME TODAY." And then see what happens. Pay attention!!!! If nothing happens, try it again tomorrow. If God wears you out, maybe you can give it a few days before you try it again. JUST TRY IT .. do it now.


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

One of the great eating experiences in the world is breakfast at Brennan's. PK and I went there on our honeymoon. It takes about 3 hours so take the newspaper and prepare to drink lots of coffee. Here's what I had that day:



2 oz. Napoleon brandy
4 oz. half & half
1 oz. simple syrup
1⁄4 oz. vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

Combine brandy, half & half, simple syrup, and vanilla extract in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and pour (ice and all) into a chilled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with nutmeg.


Brennan’s Spiced Baked Apple with Double Cream

Serves 8

8 large Red Apples, washed and cored
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1/2 cup Water
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 pound Butter
2 tablespoons of cinnamon

Cream Mixture:
2 2/3 cups Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Vanilla
3 Tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut a slice off the top of each apple to make a flat surface. Stand the apples upright in a shallow baking pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples, put the pan in the oven, then fill baking pan so that there is 1/2 inch water in the bottom of the pan. Bake the apples in the hot oven for 50 minutes to an hour until tender. Remove from oven.

Glaze: Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan, mixing well, until warm and blended, sugar desolved. Brush glaze over apples. and place in individual serving bowls.

Cream Mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the cream, vanilla, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Pour 1/3 cup of the cream over each. Serve immediately.



This take on eggs Benedict incorporates a rich red wine sauce.


2 cups plus 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1⁄4 yellow onion, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup finely chopped ham
1⁄4 cup minced mushrooms
1 tbsp. flour
3⁄4 cup beef stock
1⁄4 cup dry red wine
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 egg yolks, plus 8 poached eggs, for serving
1 1⁄2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper, plus more for serving
1 medium tomato, cut into 4 slices
1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices Canadian bacon
8 Holland rusks ((or toast or half a baggle or best: english muffin))

Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallions, and onions; cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add ham and mushrooms; cook 4 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add stock, wine, Worcestershire, thyme, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook briefly until slightly thick. Stir in 2 tbsp. parsley, and season with salt and pepper; keep red wine sauce warm.

Heat 2 cups butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-low heat. Skim and discard film from surface. Pour clarified butter from pan into a bowl, leaving milky sediment behind. Fill a 4-qt. saucepan with 2" of water; bring to a simmer over medium heat and rest a heatproof bowl over pan. Add egg yolks, vinegar, cayenne, and 1 tsp. water to the bowl; cook, whisking constantly, until a thick sauce has formed, 4-5 minutes. Begin adding clarified butter in a thin stream, whisking, until all butter has been added to make a smooth hollandaise.

Heat oven to broil. Place tomato slices on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with cheese, and broil until cheese is melted and browned, 2-3 minutes; set aside.

Heat remaining butter in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook, until warmed. Divide rusks between 4 plates; put 1 slice bacon on each. Spoon 2 tbsp. red wine sauce over bacon, and top with a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise over eggs. Garnish plates with tomatoes, remaining parsley, and more cayenne.



8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 cup banana liqueur (((or Burbon, Brandy.. any brown whiskey except Scotch)))
4 bananas, peeled and quartered
1⁄4 cup white rum (((if you used brown whiskey, you can use it again here)))
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a 12" heatproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 4 minutes. Add liqueur and bananas; cook, until bananas are soft and slightly caramelized, 4-6 minutes. (((Don't burn your house down and don't panic if the flame gets high, it will go down soon. Also don't get stupid. You only need 1/4 cup not a whole bottle. IF it doesn't light all you missed is the show, the whiskey will evaporate quickly))) Add rum, and using a match or lighter, ignite to flambe; cook until flame dies out. Spoon bananas and sauce over ice cream.


Posted by Mack Oates at 10:02 AM