Mack's Corner

This Week -

This week 1-26-16

It doesn't depend on you...

I'm sure everybody does this: there are people around that you just like for one reason or another. Sometimes it's hard to say why you like them, you just do. You can sit and talk for a long time and it just feels good. If I don't see them for a while I miss them. I see most of these people on the weekend at church. I saw a friend last weekend that I haven't seen in 5 years, made my whole weekend. She moved to Florida.. oh well!, still miss her .. Saw a couple that I haven't seen in 6 months, had not seen the husband in years.. I always want to ask them to stay but of course they've got stuff to do.  Some of these people have moved or changed jobs or gotten divorced or gotten married or had cancer or something that makes them change when they come to church or they may even just come to church..  All I know is that I miss them, they feel like family and I miss them.. One family I thought had moved to Texas, I was depressed for 2 weeks. Then one Sunday morning they drove up and got out of the car just like it was another day in the neighborhood. I hugged them like they had returned from the dead.. I know they thought I was crazy ..  There's a smaller part of this group of friends who I see most every weekend. These are people I look for and expect to see. If they're not here it feels wrong. I feel like I'm not ready, or I've forgotten something. Sometimes I don't even realize who's missing, I just know somebody is not here.. it screws me up all weekend.. Then there's the smallest group. If I don't see them I worry about them. I want to stop everything and go find them. I send text messages and emails, ask people if they have talked to them: "are they OK", I ask their kids about them. I just want to know that they're ok. I'm so used to talking to them and seeing them that when they don't show up, I assume something is wrong .. See I sound just like my Mom .. I'm probably just being a pest, these are all adults, but I can't help it .. When a tornado or a flood happens, I text or call every one of them .. Here's the thing: How much I care doesn't depend on them. It only depends on me. So if they move, or get married, or change churches, or anything, as far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter. It doesn't depend on them. It depends on me. If I said I would be there, then I'll be there. I don't change. Just call me Mom ..

God's like that: He loves to see us come home. To him there's something missing any time you're not there. Sometimes it may feel like he's being pest, but he can't help it, he loves his kids .. always, always .. and you're one of them. Here's the thing: How much God loves you doesn't depend on you. It only depends on him. So if you move, or get married, or change churches, or decide you don't want to be around God anymore. As far as God is concerned it doesn't matter. It doesn't depend on you. It depends on God. If God said he would be there, then he'll be there. God does not change.

I wonder if I'll get presents for Mother's day?

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

This sounds like Sunday dinner to me.. Easy and Great!!!

André Soltner's Roast Chicken

Mr. Soltner, then the chef of the celebrated Lutece in Manhattan, was explaining a controversial step in his recipe for the bird, which results in marvelously juicy, flavorful meat. When the internal temperature of the bird has come up to around 158 degrees on a meat thermometer, he adds a teaspoon of water to the roasting pan, turns off the heat of the oven, and allows the chicken to steam gently for three minutes. “For the soft breast,” he said. Thyme, tarragon and onion, along with a shower of salt and pepper and just a little butter, do the rest of the work. Amazingly, perhaps, the skin stays crisp. It’s a method well worth trying.

2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh tarragon, removing and reserving the leaves of 1 sprig
2 small white onions, halved
1 poussin or small chicken (about 20 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 sprigs fresh parsley
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the thyme, 2 of the tarragon sprigs and onions in the cavity of the chicken; season inside and out with the salt and pepper.

On the stove, heat a roasting pan over high heat. Add the peanut oil and the chicken and brown on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and place in the oven. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, basting frequently, or until a meat thermometer reaches between 158 and 160 degrees when inserted in the thigh.

Immediately drop 1 teaspoon of water in the roasting pan, close the oven door and turn off the heat. After 3 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and place the bird on a platter. Carefully drain the fat from the pan and place on top of the stove over medium heat. Add the wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan well. Add the chicken broth, the reserved tarragon leaves and the parsley. Simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Whisk in the butter and serve immediately over the chicken.

Butternut Squash, Pecans and Currants

2 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
¼ cup currants
½ teaspoon chili flakes

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the squash in two at the base of the neck, discarding the hollow bulb end or reserving for another use(((I would clean out the buld, peel it and use the whole thing))). Peel the rest and slice into 1/2-inch disks. Toss the squash in a large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste, and arrange in a single layer. Roast the squash, turning once halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, combine garlic and one tablespoon of the remaining olive oil. Sauté until fragrant and tender, about one minute. Add pecans and sugar, and toss until the sugar has melted and the pecans are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk the vinegar into the remaining olive oil. Add the pecan mixture, currants and chili flakes. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the squash on a warm platter and top with some or all of the dressing.


Posted by Mack Oates at 6:00 AM