Monday, May 20, 2013


I woke up at a much more normal 6:00 AM on Sunday. I watched the morning news for a long while and then ran through the Sunday morning chores. I had to go up in the attic, so I did that before it got hot outside. I got down the electric wok that Jake and Carla left me. My cube-buddy Michelle said she always wanted one, so I thought I’d give it to her (I have never used it). I also got down an old, rusted ceramic bowl I got somewhere. I don’t know why I saved it or what I’ll use it for, but I like it. Then I shaved and showered.

I noticed yesterday when I was grilling that the chives were about to bloom, so I went out today and harvested as much as I could without cutting the blossoms. I wanted to harvest them before the stems got woody. I used the scissors to snip them into a useable size and put them in a baggie. I filled a quart bag! I labeled it and stuck that in the freezer for use next winter. Sadly, that’s the only way I ever harvest my fresh herbs. Drying them is a pain and I never seem to use them anyway. So, I use them when they are in season and buy them when they aren’t.

B___ called and we talked for a while. When we were finished, I did the last load of wash for this weekend. I putzed around until the clothes were out of the dryer and I could hang them up.

I finally went outside and fired up the lawn tractor. The clumps of grass that were left in neat rows out back Friday night had dried out, so I wanted to spread them around. So, I essentially recut the whole back yard. I finished up around 4:00 PM. I went in and got the trimmer, but found the battery was dead! Dammit! I stuck it on the charger and went back to digging around the black walnut tree.

I was taking another wheelbarrow load of sod out back to dump in the hole when I saw my neighbor and his wife outside. So, I went in and got the rest of the money I owe him for the shed. I told him I wanted to know what I owed his “guy” for spreading all the dirt. He shrugged it off, saying I shouldn’t worry about it. So, I insisted, reminding him that it was not something I could do myself and that the guy was obviously busting his ass for me. He said he would think about it. Grrr…

I went back inside the house and changed into my shorts. It was hot out there! Even the air conditioner was running. So, before I went back out, I shut all the windows.

The ground was much harder to dig in today. We need rain! But, I “endeavored to persevere.” Some neighbors walked by from down the road, (on their way to the Coney Island for supper) and the lady asked me what I was going to do with the filled in ruts. I explained that was a stupid mistake on my part. She thought I was gonna mulch them and plant flowers, LOL! She told me to have a “blessed day” (I get that a lot around here) and they walked on…

I finished up the dig just before 6:30 PM. I went inside and drank a huge glass of water. Then I took the blower and blew off all the maple tree seeds (or “helicopters” as I like to call them) off the small mulch pile Jake left on the garage apron. I loaded the mulch into the wheelbarrow (it took four loads) and dumped them around the tree.

Sidebar: I KNOW I had a roll of that black plastic edging, but I cannot find it! So, without the edging, I raked the mulch around until it looked level. I was finally done with the damn thing! I took some pictures and went in the house for the night. It was 7:15 PM.

Oddly enough, I was extra careful not to overload the wheelbarrow so my back did not hurt. Nevertheless, my right shoulder (the one I had the rotator cuff surgery on) was killing me. I was unable to raise my arm to level. WTF?

I hate getting old…

So, I started my Sunday supper. As you probably already guessed from my purchases yesterday, I am making Steak au Poivre (French for peppered steak) for the first time.  I had the steaks sitting out for the last couple of hours, to let them come to room temp. I patted them dry with paper towels.

I mixed two tablespoons of fresh cracked black pepper with one teaspoon Kosher salt and spread it on my cutting board. Then I pressed both sides of the two steaks into it.

I had some olive oil (not extra virgin) heating in my cast iron pan on medium-high. I set the steaks in the pan and didn’t move them for four minutes (so they got a nice crust). Then I turned them over with the tongs and cooked them another four minutes. I transferred the steaks to a plate and covered them with aluminum foil.

I poured off the excess oil and returned the pan to medium-low heat. I added some butter and scrapped the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. I added a ¼ cup of cognac and lit it to burn off the alcohol. Then I added ½ cup of beef broth, four tablespoons of heavy cream and ½ tablespoon of Dijon mustard. I whisked that to combine and brought it up to a boil. When it thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, I sliced up one of the steaks and drizzled the sauce over top of it.

OMG! That was freakin’ excellent!!!

I watched some of the shows I had taped, but I was beat. I went to bed before 10:00 PM.

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