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This Week

This week 06-30-15

Almost sounds like a movie

Both of my parents went to the University or Texas. For people in Texas, it's simply "The University". I once told my aunt that a friend of mine went to UT-Knoxville and she said (not trying to be funny, but asking an honest question).. "I didn't know we had a campus in Knoxville?". My parents went there in the 40's. My Mom lived in a dorm called SRD and my father was a waiter there. The girls actually sat down at big tables and the waiters served dinner and breakfast family style. All of my Dad's life long best friends were waiters at SRD and every one of them married a girl that lived there. This group of guys that waited tables called themselves "The SRD Dark Horses". Don't ask me where that came from. Except for my Dad, Dan, they all had funny old-timey names, Olie, Duke, Wally, Perry...  There's a plaque in the dorm with all of their names. So while we were there, my sister wanted to go see it. We got there a little before 9am, right in the middle of classes starting and as we walked up dozen's of girls were coming out. Shorts, flip-flops, back packs, iPhones... guys on small, fast motorcycles waiting .. then we walked in and stepped back in time. That old building smell, crystal chandeliers, old cowboy paintings, elegant queen-ann chairs, a giant grand piano, lead glass windows that looked like they were melting, gold leaf trim, hand carved picture frames, big ball room dance floor, in the dinning room brown linoleum floors, ladder back chairs, long polished mahogany tables. I expected Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to come dancing through. Now I know why my Mom loved this place so much, it was her. I could see her sitting there, dressed for dinner, hands folded, lips pursed, very proper, expectant and assuming, and my Dad with his big smile and wavy black hair and small town charm, home from the army, carrying himself with the confidence of a "Blood Oates", serving bowls of food and winkiing at her. Things were not functional, they were romantic. They both dressed up to go to class. My dad smoked Camel straights and they drank coffee black from a perkolator. The most advanced technology was an AM radio. Ernest Hemingway had just written "To Have and Have not" and the war was over... almost sounds like a movie ..

God's like that: A lot of people think God is old, that his ways are romantic ideas from the past. In some ways that's true, he's the same God he's been for hundreds of years, and his ways have been around for a long time. But he's also here right now, he reads the paper, listens to Itunes, sees twitter, understands text messages. He had you in mind when he wrote the Old Testament and knows the names of all your grand children and great grand children. He's way out in front and right there next to you. He sees you waking up and going to sleep. He knows your favorite song and all of your Facebook friends.

Maybe I should take dance lessons, you never know when you'll step in to a time warp ... Probably have to buy a white tux too. Fred had one.


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

This is so easy. The hardest thing is lighting the grill.
Warm Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Grilled Chicken - From Cat Cora

6 ounces red or black quinoa (1 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into half-moons
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (any vinegar)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each), cut into 1-inch cubes

Put the quinoa in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat(Don't burn them), stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate quickly!!. Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cumin, cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Light a grill. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and thread onto 4 skewers. Season with salt and pepper and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes total.

Mound the quinoa salad on plates. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and serve the chicken skewers alongside.


Posted by Mack Oates at 10:17