My parents have this beautiful backyard. Like really really beautiful. When I was in high school my dad and brother tore down one of the awful porches that was attached to the back of their house, with the intention of rebuilding it. When I was in college, my parents finally decided to pay someone to come and finish rebuilding said porch. They also decided to pay someone to landscape their backyard and build a huge deck. So their whole backyard is surrounded with flowerbeds full of rosebushes and hydrangeas and little magnolia trees. My dad dug a giant hole and had someone come put a koi pond in (complete with a waterfall that our dog liked to lay in as a puppy). And then they bought sod, and we spent two to three days raking the yard flat and laying sod and watering it.
My and Gerrit’s backyard, on the other hand, is nothing compared to this. The first Spring we were in our house, it was pretty bad. We spent a lot of Saturdays trying to plant stuff, and cleaning up trash that was in all the neglected corners of the flower beds. We watered our yard in the summer and Gerrit sprayed all kinds of stuff on the grass that was somehow supposed to keep it healthy and growing.
And y’all. Somehow with all of the work we did, I think our yard actually looks worse now than it did last year. Well, at least it looked worse until we mulched EVERYTHING last weekend. And then Gerrit tilled up our entire backyard with the intent to seed it. So I’m really hoping we are going to get some form of grass at some point and will not be living with a mud pit for the next year or two until we finally break down and buy sod.
The one glimmer of hope in all of this though, has been my herb garden. I planted it under the kitchen window last Spring, with really no idea what I was doing. And thankfully, despite my gardening ignorance, my herbs stayed alive. Some of them even through the winter. And my parsley stayed alive despite the fact that Gerrit accidentally sprayed half of it with roundup a couple of weeks ago. And they are still alive despite me having transported them all into pots temporarily so that I could till the flowerbeds and then move them to another spot. It is a victory.
And it means we can enjoy things like this, even now before planting season, with rosemary from our own garden. I love flank steak. It’s kind of a staple in our family, one of those things that my mom feels like she is always feeding us when we come over for dinner, but one of those things that we don’t mind having repeatedly. The great thing about flank steak is it’s a relatively cheap cut of meat, it doesn’t take long to cook (or in our case most often, grill), and it can be marinated with all kinds of flavors. In this case, some red wine vinegar and garlic and soy sauce and some rosemary that I have managed not to kill so far.
Rosemary Martinated Flank Steak
adapted from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Wait Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
8 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 (2 lb.) flank steak
1. In a zip top plastic bag or in a large shallow dish, combine the soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and rosemary. Stir together. Add the flank steak, turning to make sure that all of the flank steak gets coated in the marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove the flank steak from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking it to allow it to come to room temperature. Remove the flank steak from marinade, and discard the marinade. Place on the grill, and grill 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until it is cooked to your preferred doneness.
3. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. To serve, slice in thin strips against the grain of the meat (kind of diagonally from top to bottom). Serve warm.