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Mack's Corner

This Week


The way you can tell a professional painter from a non-professional is by the amount of paint on the painter. Pros always look clean. I am not a professional painter! Every year or so we re-stripe a big part of the parking lot (2100 parking places total). 25 gallons of paint will do about 1/5 of it. I bought a fancy striping machine a few years ago just like the ones the pros use. They're real expensive but I've paid for it about 6 time's over by doing my own striping. So a few years ago it was time for the yearly paint job. Got my paint out, started the engine, ran 5 gallons of water through the paint machine to be sure it was nice and clean, got a clean tip (the thing the paint goes through that makes the spray pattern), mixed the paint (about 2 parts water, 10 parts paint), and started painting. Everything worked great. After the first 5 gallon bucket of paint I noticed that I had a little paint on my shoes so I thought I would go change shoes (I kept my painting shoes in the back of my truck just for this). I got my shoes changed and got another 5 gallon bucket of paint,  got back to the paint machine, which I left out in the middle of the parking lot. I mixed the paint, loaded the machine, pulled the handle and nothing happened, no paint. Something was clogged up. So I killed the pump and took the nozzle off and looked at the tip. The tip has a tiny hole where the paint goes through, but if it's clean you can see light through it. No light. So I cleaned it and rubbed on it and swished it in the water. Still no light. So I thought I would put it all back together and see if the pressure from the pump would blow it out, otherwise I had to go get another tip. I tried it without the tip and paint was coming out. I put it all back together, turned the pump on as high as it would go and holding the paint gun out to the side in my left hand, pulled the trigger. There was a noise like a horse makes when it sneezes. I looked just in time to feel a blob of paint hit my eyelid. I let go of the trigger and looked down. I could see paint on my shirt and pants. I thought "Maybe it's not too bad, I'll go wash up and come back and finish. I can get through the rest of the day and nobody will even notice". I got in the restroom and looked in the mirror.  At first glance I thought I looked ok, then I looked up again. The reason I looked ok was because everything was covered with white paint. I looked like a human Jackson Pollock painting. It was a perfect camouflage pattern. I couldn't see myself! I was covered, I could still see my pupils. The only way nobody would notice is if it started snowing really, really hard. I put everything up and went home, thought maybe my wife could salvage my shirt and jeans. I was a mess, my painting shoes were spotless.

God's like that: We walk around with things from our past that make us feel guilty, things we've done, thinking that nobody sees it or knows it. We're so covered with it that it almost looks normal. God says he'll wash all that away. You may remember it, but he won't. He makes us new all over again... no spots .

I washed my hair about 47 times. I think I've still got some behind my left ear, still, I think?


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

This is a Joel Robuchon potato recipe, this one is too good to pass up.

Gateau de Pommes de Terre Duchesse = Golden Ham and Chive Potato Cake..

Butter (for the pan)

2 lbs of potatoes

1 tbsp salt

4 tbsp unsalted butter softened

1 medium onion finely chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Nutmeg to taste

4 large egg yolks (no whites)

4 oz unsmoked salt cured ham like prosciutto, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped

Preheat oven to 300.

Coat the bottom and sides of a flat cake pan with butter. (this is a 9 inch round, flat cake pan. Non-stick works best. If you don't have a non-stick pan, spray a little Pam in it after you butter it. Of course it doesn't have to be round.

Peel and rinse the potatoes, cut in to 2 inch cubes (if you've got small potatoes, just leave them like they are). Place the potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Add the 1 tbsp of salt to the water and cook over moderate heat. --- don't boil! - Cook until a fork inserted comes out easy, about 20 minutes.

In a skillet combine 1 tbsp of butter and the onions over med heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft - 3 to 4 minutes, set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and pass them through a food mill or a ricer or just mash them up. A food processor works too..

With a wooden spoon stir in the nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp), the remaining 3 tbsp of butter, and the egg yolks (one at a time)

Continue stirring vigorously until the butter and yolks are thoroughly combined. The mixture will be thick and slippery.

Fold the onions, ham, and chives in to the potato mixture. Transfer it to the buttered cake pan and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon.

Place it in the preheated oven uncovered until the potato cake is firm and brown on top (45 to 50 minutes)….

Put a cutting board on top of the pan and flip it over to get the potato cake out. Then put a plate on top of the cake and flip it again. Now the pretty is up. Slice in to wedges.

This is best right out of the oven, eaten off of the cutting board (forget the pretty side thing). This is great with a salad or for breakfast (a wedge of this with a fried egg on top would work for any meal).



Posted by Mack Oates at 09:08