For year—yes, I said years—this part of the front of our house was covered with tarps. Sophie grew up playing under them, creating an installation filled with toys and tiny outdoor furniture that she called Fun Land. We had to pay admission to enter it.
But today it's a glorious construction site. We (I use that term loosely—I really mean Husband) have repaired the faulty foundation, wrapped it in copper sheeting, and a concrete company is now building forms for a raised garden bed and some brick steps. As a general contractor, it's hard for Husband to cede control of the homestead to other professionals. He's fussy and exacting, but he has paying work right now, so it's our only way of moving forward. I quizzed him as to how he selected the specific concrete contractor. He is the cheapest? No, not really. The very best? Hmmm . . . maybe. I wasn't buying it. There had to be something else.
When this parked itself in front of my house, it all became clear. They have their own bathroom. Which means they do not need to use our bathroom, which is hugely important. They're lovely men, and it's not that I have a problem with them in my home, but there is nothing my fastidious husband loves more than a clean bathroom. It's a little-known secret that I married him because he pees sitting down. Does that rock or what? And lest you consider this sissy behavior, know that my husband is the manliest of men—all 6'4" flannel plaid clad of him. Very sexy, actually.
The inside of the house, not so pretty. With the jackhamming of concurrent foundation repair, Husband was concerned that the contents of my cabinets could come bouncing out onto the floor, so everything from the front of my kitchen now resides on and under the dining room table. Not very convenient. Husband suggested some "simple dinners" for the next week or two.
Would you imagine that chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto qualifies as such?
It does! It's one of the easiest things I make and a weeknight favorite at our house.
You do it like this:
CHICKEN BREAST WITH GOAT CHEESE AND PROSCIUTTOPreheat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim chicken breast, removing tenderloin. Slice open a pocket in each breast and fill with crumbled goat cheese. Close up the breast and wrap with a slice of prosciutto.
Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in an ovenproof pan. My old cast iron work perfectly for this. Saute chicken for a few minutes, flip each piece, and place pan in the oven to finish for about 15 minutes.
Rice, a green vegetable, and a salad completes the meal.
A little concrete, some brick, and some stone will complete the front of my house for now, later followed by some more shingles and new windows. It's all pretty exciting—work we've been saving and waiting for for years. But recent reports of snow in the Sierras and viewing of this season's Warren Miller movie have caused us to utter the unthinkable: "Screw the house. Time to ski." Almost.