This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

Big Foot?

When I was in engineering school at Vanderbilt I majored in Computer Science. If I had had my way I would never have left the computer lab. Every other class was a hassle. But they wanted me to be a well rounded student so I had to take "Humanities" classes. That could be anything from History to English Lit to Economics. The problem with all of those courses is that the whole grade was based on a big paper at the end of the course. I hate writing papers. My best friend at the time was a big paper writer. He could write a 40 page paper over the weekend, turn in the first draft, and get an "A" every time. Reading 10 books in 4 days was nothing to him. We decided we would take a Humanities class together. I told him no papers. So he found one: "Human Geography" … What was that? I figured it was like french people come from France and Spanish people come from Spain… stuff like that??? I didn't know, but we signed up for it. The first day the professor gave out the calendar for all of the tests and told us that all tests would be multiple choice … I love multiple choice because you can guess most of the time .. out of 4 possible answers, 2 are usually stupid, so you pick the best out of the last 2 … easy. That also meant that we could skip class as much as we wanted, we just had to show up for the tests. Turned out the class was about the origin of man and how different groups of people migrated from one land mass to another. This is all about a million years ago and there were different periods and different things that happened that made people move south or north. So the northern Europeans got there by moving across Asia …etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. A whole bunch of stuff that neither one of us cared about. Then the turning point: About the 3rd day of class the professor started telling us about how he spent his summers tracking "Big Foot" in Oregon. What!!!! Big Foot???? He said he was sure he was there someplace and that there were a bunch of places for Big Foot to hide in the bush. You can see how Big Foot and the origin of man would come up in the same class. I guess he thought Big Foot was the missing link? After 3 classes on Big Foot we quit going. Big foot was not on the test. We had not studied at all, but we showed up for the first test. We both made a "D" … so much for multiple choice. By the end of the semester I still had a "D" and my buddy had a "D+"… Not too good for a throw away class. Our salvation was that the final counted for 75% of the grade.  The 200 questions would come from 400 study questions that he gave us. We got the book and started studying. We got all 400 questions answered and then grilled each other on the answers. I asked one question, then he asked one … over and over … We knew more about Human Geography than any 2 people on Earth. It was really interesting. It was like doing your family tree from the bottom up. You could see where one group would split off, then another. You could see how they changed and adapted. The land would change or get cut off by water, so the people would change .. stuff like that. That's why People from Africa don't look like people from France and People from Norway don't look like people from Japan. We loved it .. When the final came, my friend missed 1 question, I missed 2 (I had a bad day). The next person down from us missed 30. Needless to say we made an "A" in the class and could have taught it the next semester while the professor went off in search of Big Foot …          

God's like that, The Bible is like that: You hear some bad preacher talking about all kinds of crazy stuff, the end of the world or a bunch or rules you have to follow and you think "I don't need that junk." But the Bible is so much more than that. You'll never know until you read it yourself... I'm not much of a reader so I've started listening to it on Audible (NKJV Voice Only Audio Bible). I'm half way through Exodus.  Moses just split the Red Sea. I find myself rewinding to listen to a part I missed just so I get all of the characters right and remember who's son was who's … Things are not as obvious as most people would want you to think.

I wonder if he ever found Big Foot? … Maybe that's him in Messin with Sasquatch????

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

I was making homemade pasta last week and I thought I would do a New Orleans pasta dish. You don't have to use homemade pasta, dried works fine .. This is from Paul Prudhomme"s Louisiana Kitchen, one of the 5 best cookbooks ever written …

Chicken Big Mamou on Pasta

Warning: this is pretty spicy. If you're cooking this for kids, use half of the different peppers, black, white, red. And don't use all of the Tabasco.

1 ½ pounds of fresh spaghetti or 1 pound of dried

Seasoning mix:

2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne if you like it really hot or chipotle)
1 tsp white pepper
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
2 sticks of butter
Olive oil, Grape seed oil, or Canola Oil
1 C finely chopped onions
4 garlic cloves peeled, left whole
2 tsp dried minced garlic
2 1/2  Cups Chicken stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 (16 oz) cans tomato sauce (Hunts)
2 tbsp sugar
2 C finely chopped green onions

Chicken seasoning mix:

1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne-much hotter or chipotle)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried sweet basil leaves
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken cut in to 1/2 inch cubes

First make the seasonings mixes:

Put all of the ingredients of each in a separate bowl and combine. Set aside.. remember which is which ..

In a 4 qt sauce pan or a big skillet melt 1 stick of butter and 2 tbsp of oil. Add the onions, garlic cloves and cook for 5 min.

Add the minced garlic and the first seasoning mix.

Cook over med heat until the onions are dark brown, but not burned, about 10 min. Stir constantly …

Add the stock, the Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Bring to a fast simmer stirring often. Cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the tomato sauce and bring mixture to a boil.

Stir in the sugar and 1 cup of green onions.

Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the Chicken seasoning mix over the chicken and mix well.

In a large skillet melt 1 stick of butter and 2 tbsp oil.

Add remaining cup of green onions and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the chicken to the tomato sauce mixture..

Cook the pasta. Drain it.

If your pan that has the sauce in it is big enough, add the pasta to the sauce and combine and let the pasta simmer with the sauce for a second .. Otherwise, put the pasta in a big bowl and add the sauce and combine well..
(I changed the recipe from the book a little to take some of the butter out and to make it easier.)

A big hunk of bread and a bowl of Big Mamou is a whole meal .



Posted by Mack Oates at 11:55 AM