Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beans, a Bathroom, and a Beetle for Good Measure

What do you get when you mix garbanzo beans, a bathroom renovation, and a red beetle?  A post about my summer. Here it is, already July.  The summer is flying by.  Summer is the time we do a lot of grilling and I begin to crave salads.  Yesterday, I finished up a bowl of tabouli at lunch and immediately wondered what kind of salad I could concoct for dinner (without a trip to the store).  Answer -- garbanzo, tomato, basil.  Yum.

There are lots of versions of this salad on the internet, but this is my take on it.

Tomato Garbanzo Salad

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2-3 tablespoons finely minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt

Mix together beans, tomatoes, basil, onion, and garlic.  Whisk oil, vinegar and salt together in small bowl and pour over the salad.  Mix well.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.  Use slotted spoon to transfer salad to serving dish. 

In other news, we spent nine days last month at our daughter's house continuing the bathroom remodel.  We worked probably eight hours a day, but we were really down to the wire at the end.  The husband was grouting the tiled walls the Saturday she and I moved her furniture in.  Fortunately, the plumber came promptly the following Monday to hook up the faucets, etc.

There is still work to do -- priming and painting and some trim work -- but the hard work is all finished.  New cement board and drywall, tile floor and walls (hard to see here, but there is white subway tile up about four feet and all the way to the ceiling around the tub), new sink and medicine cabinet, new wood trim around door and window and a new bifold door.  The old door opened in and hit the sink.  It had to be closed in order to wash one's hands.  Not ideal.  We had hoped to install a sliding door, but the walls were not large enough to accommodate one.

I think it turned out pretty well.  But about that floor . . . .  The one-inch hexagon tiles come on a mesh sheet to make application easier.  The trouble is, the design has a lot more black in it than what you see here.  "Too busy. Too much black."  So the daughter pulled off about thirteen black tiles for every square foot of tile. That meant that when laying it (while the daughter was conveniently away at work), we had to hand insert white tiles in the wet mortar. Tedious.  Then when grouting, some of the hand-inserted white tiles shifted or even came loose.  A nightmare.  As long as no one looks too closely, however, it looks fine.  As I told the daughter, we weren't charging her for labor, and you get what you pay for.

Finally, I'll leave you with a picture of a little critter we saw at the prairie the other morning.  A cute milkweed beetle resting on a milkweed that is ready to burst into bloom.