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This week 06-23-15

A Field Trip every day!!

I've decided that I should have been a truck driver. The idea of getting up early, driving a few hundred miles, having breakfast at a truck stop about 9am, dropping off what ever I've got in the truck and then driving home really sounds great to me.(I know it's not that easy, but it is in my mind) I think this is a hold over from taking field trips when I was in school. A field trip day was always the best day. It meant everything that I was worried about went away. I didn't know what was going to happen, so it was an adventure. I couldn't plan for it. I couldn't dress for it. I couldn't even stress over it. It was freedom that I was forced to do...

My wife was planning a little vacation a few years ago and trying to figure out how to book the airlines. We were headed west but everything wanted to go east first or have a 7 hour layover. One flight went to New York first, then Chicago then west. We would have been flying 8 hours and not gotten across the Mississippi river yet. One flight had us leaving at 6am (be at the airport at 4:30am!!!) and arrive at 11:50pm (midnight). I'm sure flying around the country, seeing the sights would have been fun in 1960 but I really didn't want to do that. I don't really like flying too much, It all looks the same after a while. Plus it hurts my brain. I have this thing going on where I'm always trying to think of the most efficient way to do things, especially getting from one place to another. It's the non-stop traveling salesman problem running different paths, trying to figure out the quickest route and still hit all the stops. Going to the east coast first didn't seem to be very logical ... I told PK (wife) to check and see if there's a flight out of Little Rock. I guess if you start on the west side of the Mississippi, flights tend to go west. You wouldn't think a river would have such an effect on an airplane?? Anyway she found one, a one hour layover, but both legs of the flight were going west almost in a straight line, what a concept! And, best of all, I got to drive to Little Rock. FIELD TRIP!!!!! It was like being in the 6th grade again. Leave early, stop and have breakfast some place, get to the airport early, get a newspaper and cup of coffee. It was almost more than I could stand. Plus I got to drive for 2 hours and feel like I was really leaving. I love a good field trip. I don't really care where I'm going..

God's like that: To me 99 percent of following God is the trip. I don't know where he's going, I don't know who I'm going to meet, I don't know where he'll end up. All I know is that I want to go, front seat, pass the donuts please!

I wonder if we could start Hope2 in Oxford. I bet I could come up with a reason to go down there almost every day. Breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast, the New York Times, A Field Trip every day!!!! Every Day!!!! Whoooooo Hooooo!!!!


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

This is from Food&Wine. I love the idea, but it's too big of a hassle the way they do it, so I changed it.. 2 pans

Chicken and Rice Salad with Pine Nuts and Lemon

1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
Fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
2 cups long-grain rice
1 1/3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons golden raisins (any raisins)
6 scallions including green tops, chopped

(the pan is easier, BUT be careful don't burn them!! Stop as soon as you can smell them, get them out of the pan on to a cold plate!) In a large frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Or toast the pine nuts in a 350° oven for about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the oil slowly, whisking. This is a vinaigrette. You can also put it all in a jar and shake it or a food processor. If it separates, just whisk it some more.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas; cook until just barely tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a strainer, transfer to a large bowl. Add the rice to the water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. (The pea flavor will be in the rice) Drain, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. In the same large frying pan, let it get hot first (really hot), add some olive oil (Wait! let the oil get hot. It should sizzle when you touch the chicken to the pan)then add the chicken. Cook turning till done and nice and browned. Remove the chicken, let cool slightly, and then cut into approximately 1/2-inch chunks.

Add the pine nuts, rice, chicken, raisins, scallions, and vinaigrette to the large bowl and stir gently to mix. Yummmmmm If you make enough for 2 meals, add something else to it to change it. Cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, Ripe olives, Roasted Garlic (foil, head of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.. cut the pointy end of the garlic off, put it on a piece of foil big enough to wrap it up, add olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in the foil and put the whole thing in the oven at 300 for 45 min - 2 hours, not important. When you take it out let it cool, hold it by the root end and squeeze the garlic out. Now taste one of the great wonders of the world.)

Of course you could substitute the rice for any grain or pasta. Notice what a big difference the lemon juice makes and how it adds to the salt effect. This is a perfect dish to experiment on our Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet idea. It may need more hot(like tabasco or a chopped up serrano pepper) .. but Pepper=Hot, Lemon Juice=Sour, Salt=Salty, Raisins=sweet. Everything else is Umami and doesn't really affect the balance.

Note: Murray's Cheese has opened in 3 Kroger stores. Poplar plaza, Sanderlin, and Houston Levee. It's great!!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 11:47