Mack's Corner

This Week


This week is Graduation week. Five High Schools and two Jr High's graduate at Hope, about 25,000 people and 8,000 cars. I'm in the parking lot the whole time with 5 other guys parking cars. After doing this for 10 years we pretty much know how it works. Unlike Sunday mornings at Hope it's kinda wild. People don't know where to go, don't know which door to go in and don't know the "Hope rules of parking".  So we don't really tell people where the next best parking place is, we just suggest where they might go to find it, sometimes they believe us, sometimes they don't. At any point in time there are always 15 to 20 cars circling the parking lot looking for that one last empty place. Sometimes they're still looking when it's over??? The funny thing is questions you get asked. The students who were at rehearsal that morning drive up with their cap and gown on and say "I'm a student. Where do I park and where do I go in?" .. "Where did you park this morning?" .. "Over there." .. "Where did you go in?" .. "Right there." … "Right!" .. The teachers always assume that there's "Teacher Parking" like they have at school, so they don't try very hard to get there on time. I had several drive up 10 minutes after the graduation had started, show me their badge, and ask where the teachers park. Of course by then the lot was packed, so to be nice, I told them they could park anyplace they wanted. They usually joined the 20 circling the lot. There were 2 school board members that came. Both wanted to know where their "Reserved Parking place" was. I looked at them kinda of funny??? I guess it's down at the Board of Education, but it's not here….. The strangest thing was the people rolling down their window and telling me they were here for the graduation. You could tell that they thought they had driven in to "Hope-atopia", the biggest church in the free world and that the graduation was going to be in building 86 right between the Airport and World Conference Center, as if there were always 47 things going on every night and there were always 4 police cars parked in the street, lights flashing, and always 10 cops running traffic, and always line of traffic backed up half a mile, and always 2,000 cars in the lot, and 5,000 people walking through the building, and tonight the graduation was part of it, just a normal night at Hope. What they didn't know was that we had canceled everything just for them..

God's like that: People think he's so big that he could never really know about just me. He's got 10,000 things going on all the time and why would he bother with my little problems? What you don't know is that he sees you as the only person in the whole world. You don't have to tell him who you are or describe yourself to him, you're it! You are the one…You have his full attention ..

I'm going to go see if I can find building 86. It should be easy, it's right next to the airport…

Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:
The new thing with big time chefs is cooking comfort food and serving it family style where everybody sits around a table and passes the bowl.
Suzanne Goin kinda started it with her "Sunday suppers at Lucques".
Lucques is her restaurant in Los Angeles. She serves Sunday supper every Sunday night, just like eating at grand ma's only Suzanne Goin is doing the cooking. Thomas Keller started "Ad Hoc" in Yountville as a temporary restaurant until he came up with a better idea. Turns out there wasn't a better idea. The interesting thing is that the people who eat at these places are mostly locals. It really is like going to Grand ma's.. Both Suzanne Goin and Thomas Keller have cookbooks: "Sunday suppers at Lucques" and "Ad Hoc at home" … Here's one from Ad Hoc

Cream of Cauliflower soup

2 heads of cauliflower

3 tbsp unsalted butter   

3/4 cup of coarsely chopped onions

3/4 cup of coarsely chopped leaks (white part only) OR use 1 1/2 cups of onions and skip the leaks..

1/4 tsp curry powder (you can get this at Penzeys, Sweet)


2 cups of milk

2 cups of cream

2 cups of water

Remove the leaves and core from the cauliflower and coarsely chop, you need 8 cups. 

In a large pot melt the butter and add the onions, leeks, curry powder, cauliflower and 2 tsp salt. Stir and cover. Cook about 20 min until cauliflower is almost tender.

Remove cover and add milk, cream and water and bring it to a simmer.
Simmer for 30 min.

Working in batches puree the soup in a food processor or blender or if you have an immersible blender, leave it all in the pot and use that..
When you finish it should look like very fine soupy mashed potatoes.

Put it all back in to the pot and taste it. Probably needs more salt.
Another thing you can do instead of adding a whole bunch of salt is add vinegar. So at this point I like to add about 4 tbsp vinegar… now taste it, does it still need salt, maybe more vinegar….

To serve: you can serve this hot or cold, I like it cold better. Add a little olive oil on top and some parmesan cheese and a grind of black pepper and a hunk of bread and you're ready for a nice summer night. If you want this to be low-cal, use 4 cups of milk and leave out the cream. 2% is fine. If you want this to be fancy, toast some croutons in butter in a skillet and put that on top…. The cool thing is that you can do this same thing with almost any vegetable. Pick your favorite veggie and make soup …




Posted by Mack Oates at 9:05 AM