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This Week

Hold Everything

We've had several big concerts at Hope. Some actually sold out, all 5000 seats. When bands do this they bring all of their own stuff. Even though we have lots of lights and a big fancy sound system, they still use only their own equipment. Mostly because places don't usually have lights and good sound systems. And because they already have the whole show setup with their equipment and they know what to expect. No surprises…. So they bring two 18 wheelers full of gear. All of this is to be hung from the ceiling. One time they brought so much stuff that we had to check with our structural engineers to be sure our beams would hold everything. Of course we had professional riggers doing all of this. These guys are so fast and so good that it's just fun to watch. They hung a 40ft by 30ft light truss, loaded with lights, 4 smaller lighting rigs, about 10ft each, 4 monster line-arrays (speakers), and ran about 2 miles of cable in a few hours. They crawl around, 40 feet in the air, through the rafters like there's nothing to it. They don't really need the catwalk. They usually have already mapped out all the places where things need to be hung before they get here. So the first thing they do, while everything is being rolled in, is hang chains from joists and beams for each position. Then they get out the magic boxes that make everything work. They have these metal boxes that are about 2 feet long and 9inches deep and 4 inches high that have electric motors inside. There's a hook on the bottom and a notch on the side. Hanging below the notch is a bag that looks like a feed bag for a horse. The notch has a gear in it that grabs on to these heavy chains. On the back side of the box is an electrical connection that's connected to a big control board and 2 buttons, one for up and one for down. The guys on the ground feed one of the chains through the notch and into the horse bag, pushing the "up" button. As the chain feeds through the notch the box begins to move up and the chain feeds into the horse bag. When the box gets high enough they connect the hook to the Light truss or the speakers or whatever they are lifting. To lift one of the small light fixtures took 2 of the boxes, one on each side. Once it was high enough to get the fixture off the ground the guy at the control board took control and made both boxes lift at the same speed so that the lights went up evenly. On the big 40 by 30 light truss they had 8 of these boxes (hoists) connected and up it went, easy. Everything was hanging from these black box chain hoists. The riggers didn't have to lift anything. Later, If you were watching the show, you never knew that there were 30 of these boxes holding up the whole thing..

God's like that: We can't see him so we assume he's not there, maybe busy doing something else. But he's right there holding everything together. If you're still standing, it's God that's holding you up….

I wonder if I can get one of those black boxes to lift me out of bed in the morning. I bet my wife would be willing to push the button..

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

Cooking at Home Continued …

I thought I would stick with Anthony Bourdain one more time. This is another recipe from his Les Halles (pronounced le al) cookbook. This also has everything you need to know about making a great meal easy. Standard French bistro food: Easy and great. If I was single this is the kind of meal I would make for myself 3 nights a week. Just because you're single doesn't mean you have to eat junk… Or how about a nice little romantic meal for 2, you could even say it with your best French accent. One pan to clean and you're done…

Cote de porc a la charcutiere

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

4 rib pork chops, about 10oz each (or 1 if it's just you)

Salt & pepper

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp flour

1/2 C white wine

1 C dark chicken stock or any dark stock (beef, veal)

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

10 cornichons, thinly sliced (baby pickle, they are not sweet or dill)

1 sprig of flat parsley chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 375.
In an oven-safe pan (iron skillet, or any pan that does not have a plastic handle)  heat the oil and butter. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Then sear in the hot pan, about 4 min per side, until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 8 min. Check the internal temp of the chops with a meat thermometer at 5 min. NEVER LET THE INTERNAL TEMP GO PAST 150. If you go past 150 all the juice is coming out and it will be dry no matter how much sauce you put on it. (take it out if it gets past 140)… Remove the pan from the oven and put the chops on a warm plate, cover with foil.

Remember the handle of the pan is still hot!!!

Return the pan with all the butter and oil and juices back to the heat on the stove and add the onion. Cook until golden brown. Add the flour and cook stirring for 1 min (this is a roux to thicken the sauce). Stir in the wine and reduce by half while scraping all the brown stuff up off the bottom of the pan. Add the stock. Reduce the liquid by half again. (I would pour the sauce through a strainer at this point, but you don't have to) Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the mustard. Add the corncichons and parsley and any juice from the plate with the chops.

Taste, taste, taste.. "Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet" in balance!!! (say that 1000 times) IF you nee more hot: tabasco, pepper. If you need more sour: vinegar, lemon juice. Salt: Salt, Sweet: sugar, honey, mirin(should be drinkable, Busters?) .. Adjust the seasoning ….

Put the chops on plates, add sauce and eat … Simple! The hardest thing was cutting up the onion and opening the jar of mustard. A salad on the side and you're done.. world class food in 20 minutes, less than $10 for 4 people.. 



Posted by Mack Oates at 10:51