Recipe Links
Basil Oglio Fra Diavlo Black Pepper and Fennel Shortbread Crackers Bleu Bacon and Italian Burgers Blueberry Almond Crumble Pie Braised Beef Short Ribs Breakfast Sausage Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies Buttermilk Pancakes California Grilled Artichokes Capressa Fra Diavlo Cherry Garcia Icecream Cherry Sangria Chicken and Polenta Chicken Cacciatore Chicken Vegetable Soup with Broccoli Rabe Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting Chocolate Sparkle Cookies Christmas Shortbreads Classic Hummus Coconut Cake Coq Au Vin Wine Braised Chicken Cranberry Orange Crumb Cake Cream Corn and Lima Bean Succotash Cream of Crab and Corn Soup Devishly Chewy Brownies Eggplant Parmesan Fetticini Alfredo with Bacon and Peas Fusilli a la Vodka Sauce Ginger Chocolate Spice Cookies Gnocci with Broccoli Rabe and Sausange Gramma Daly's Cole Slaw Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter Grilled Swordfish Hazelnut Biscotti Cookies Heavenly Blondies Homemade Italian Sausage Homemade Sauerkraut Hot Artichoke Dip Italian Meatballs Lasagna Bolonase with Ragu Sauce Little Sister's BBQ Ribs Molten Chocolate Cake Olio fra diavlo pasta salad Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake Quiche (Sans the Lorraine) Red Velvet Cake Seafood Francaise Shaved Brussel Spouts & Polenta Cake Slow Cooker Thai Pork and Coconut Rice South Florida Fish Stew Spagetti ala Olio Aglio and Pepperoncino Spiced Pear and Cranberry Chutney Steak Braciole Sunday Tomato Sauce Sweet Potato Corned Beef Hash Swordfish Oreganade Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce The White House Maryland Crab Cakes Tomato Bisque with Chichen and Rice Turkey Paprikash Soup Walnut Shortbread Christmas Cookies White Bean Pasta Fagioli

Build a Better Burger: or, the Great Wall of Clinton

It's finally here:  burger season.  Time to take that mess in the kitchen outside. 

Where it belongs.  

That means I also have to clean up the real mess in the kitchen from winter cooking. It took me an entire day to clean our great room and get the Summer Mantle Ready.

After three years in our new house, we have finally scraped together enough money to build our patio.  We now have a solid launch pad for the champagne corks to make it through the tree trunks.

But I digress.

Normally, a patio would not be such an undertaking.   Ours was a feat of engineering driven by our septic system.  That’s right, our septic system.  Turns out, when you are designing your new house, everything is driven off of the worst test hole on your lot, which determines the grade of the leaching field baffles, which determines the grade of the Septic Tank, which determines the pitch of your waste pipe leaving the house, which determines the grade of the foundation of the house, which eventually determines whether you can have a patio or not. 

Our house sits four feet out of grade in the front, and a good half story in the back.  The land is what the land is.  You work around it.  So our lovely wrap-around porch dropped off three to four feet in some spots, which necessitates the need for a railing. 

Which ruins the view.  Can’t have that.

When we made plans for the patio, it had to serve several functions:  it had to eliminate the need for a railing, so it had to be raised up to the level of the porch, or just a step or two down.  It had to be big enough for a grill, a firepit, and a fountain (eventually). 

By the time the landscape designer was done, it was five feet high, 35 feet long, and 12 feet wide.  Every single block had to be leveled.  Every single angle had to be calculated to come up the porch, bear into the mound that houses the septic tank and still have enough pitch to let the water drain off. 

It made me wonder how the Mayans and the Egyptians built their pyramids without a laser level.

Think you might never see The Great Wall of China?  No worries,  just walk through the vineyard and take a look at my back yard.  

So, its Summer.  Best of the produce, the best of the weather, and the start of burger season.  And now that we have a patio we can avoid that awkward time when it’s too cool in the shade, but not cold enough to go inside.

On my first try, I was able to get the cork through the uprights. 

Which brings me to burgers (bleu bacon and italian burgers).  Not just any burgers, but the kind you have to build.  Like a wall.  And just as much work.  But if I had a dollar for every time one of my guests said, “This is The Best Burger I have ever had” I’d have . . .well . . . ok about 10 dollars.  Not quite enough for a patio.  (I only have to make them another 15,990 times.)

Reader Comments (1)

Your wall looks great!
I'll call soon and we will catch up. Just back from CGF.
Miss you and your funny husband! Love, the tall girl

November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>