The first three homes I owned were brand new. New paint, new appliances, new construction. Given that I never lived in any of those for longer than eight years, I had little to do in terms of upkeep and repairs.
But I've been in my current house for nearly 21 years...and holy shit....this was the summer to pay the piper. We've had workmen here non-stop since April. First, my roof was looking a little rough. I was offered the option of replacing it for $100,000 or having the cedar shakes refurbished for $8,300. I've always been good at math and my refurbished shakes look great.
Then my 20-year old fence fell over from rot. 265 feet of cedar fence costs a lot more today than it did back in 1996. Then I had to have the house and barn re-painted. Then my range/oven suddenly died after 13 years of very heavy use...followed shortly thereafter by one of the dishwashers.
So it's been a crazy summer...but the last of the workmen will depart this afternoon. We are looking forward to having a very serene and private August. Around 4:00pm this afternoon, I'm going to crack a Stella Artois. I'm going to go out on my deck and prepare my Weber to grill some steak. I'm going to listen to the quiet and relish the fact that it's just Becky, Zorro and me.
1/4 pound butter, softened (Kerrygold recommended)
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
10 chives, minced
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
24 ounces skirt steak, cut into 4 portions
- Cream the butter with a fork, adding thyme, chives, shallot, salt, pepper and vinegar.
- Prepare a grill for direct cooking over high heat.
- Grill the steaks for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Season with salt and pepper as you grill.
- Remove steaks from grill and tent with foil, letting them rest for 5 minutes. Spread each steak with a tablespoon of butter and serve.
Wine pairing: Malbec. A Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec if you are really lucky.