Mack's Corner

This Week

VBS and the whale..

VBS is in a few weeks. I was trying to remember the things we did in VBS when I was a kid. I don't remember doing all the fun stuff they do now. We never had water day or food fight day or bounce rides or face painting or live bands or movie night. I think the funnest thing we ever did was glue popsicle sticks on the backs of cockroaches and pretend they were locust. It was a low budget operation. The only Bible stories we ever did were Moses (see locust above) and Jonah and the Whale. I guess they were easy for little kids. I'm not sure why you want to teach little kids about the seven plagues and being attacked by frogs, but they did… Wednesday was frog day. Everyday a different kid got to be Moses. His main job was to lead us through the wilderness which amounted to 2 laps around the building while the teacher stood in the door and watched. We never actually went anywhere, just like Moses. Jonah was fun. We made a whale out of a refrigerator box and everybody crawled inside. The teacher closed us up in there and gave us some crackers and a flashlight through the blow hole while she went out for a smoke. She said she would come back and tell us when we got to Nineveh (this makes me laugh). By then we usually had the blow hole much bigger and were making crude noises.. For some reason we always made a hand print ashtray. You make a round disk out of clay and smush your hand print on top and cook it in the oven… It was cute the first 3 times, then my mom started pitching them in the trash. I never did understand what that had to do with Moses .. I only remember one teacher, Mrs. C… She was the only thing I really liked about it. All the kids loved her. She read us stories and rocked the little kids when it was nap time. If you got hurt playing, you would run past 4 other teachers to get to her for a hug. We always knew she would be there for us. She was just another kid's mom who wanted to help, no great talent, no great knowledge … She was a big deal to us …

God's like that: He takes normal people and turns them in to a deal. Did you ever think you could change somebody's live? Did you ever think that the God who made the whole world would use you to change it. That's one of my favorite things about God, he lets us help, he lets us be part of the plan ….

I think I'm in charge of the frog room at VBS. If you come in, try to keep the door closed…


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

Cooking at Home …

I'm forever going to the grocery store or the farmers market and seeing something in-season that looks great but not really having any plans of cooking it as part of a meal. Either it doesn't really go with what I'm cooking as the main course or nobody in my family likes it except me or I just don't want to buy a whole cauliflower to eat by myself.. What to do???? Pickle it!!! I'm not talking about pickles like your grandmother put up where you have to have all the jars and pressure cookers and stuff … this is easy pickles. They won't keep for 8 years, but they will keep for a month and it's really easy and good..

This is from Thomas Keller's Ad-hoc cookbook..

Basic pickling liquid:
1 cup champagne vinegar (really, any good white vinegar will work)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

You can make this as big or small as you want. It works out to 2 parts vinegar, 1 part sugar and 1 part water.. simple!

Bring this to a boil and pour it over the vegetable. If you want you can add spices or herbs … here's some ideas.

Pickled Carrots:
10 baby carrots peeled, cut in half top to bottom
1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
1/4 jalapeno seeded

Put the curry in a sauce pan and heat it over low heat, stirring, until it gets fragrant. Then add the carrots, jalapeno, and pickling liquid. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour in a container and let it cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to a month..

Pickled cauliflower:
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups 3/4 inch cauliflower florets from 1 1/2 pounds of cauliflower.

You could do this just like the carrots, but Keller does this one a little differently …Put the pepper flakes in the pickling liquid and bring it to a boil.. let it cool..

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and blanch for 5 min, until crisp-tender. Drain. Transfer to a container and pour the pickling liquid over. Cool to room temp. Cover and refrigerate for up to a month..

Pickled red onions:
2 large red onions
1 1/2 cups of red wine vinegar
3/4 cup of sugar

Cut the onions in half, top to bottom. Cut out the hard root core by cutting a V shaped wedge from the bottom. Peel it… Lay the onion down on the flat side and slice 1/8 inch slices. Put the onion in a container. Put the vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Pour it over the onions. Let it cool to room temp. Cover and refrigerate for up to a month..

This is a great side dish. You could pan fry a piece of fish (hot skillet, 1 tbsp olive oil, piece of fish, salt and pepper…2 -3 min on each side..done) and add this as a side and have a great meal….. or put this on top of a salad or on a hamburger…




Posted by Mack Oates at 11:06 AM