Why are tiles so complicated?
Nothing else we have to buy for this house renovation is so fraught with difficulty as tiles.
Oh, sure, we've argued about paint color and have had heated discussions about toilets (in the store, naturally).
But nothing compares to trying to select and order simple ceramic squares – or rectangles, as the case may be.
The first time we ordered tile we came within nanoseconds of irreconcilable differences (US speak for divorce)
The second time we ordered tiles it went fairly well – other than that little, in-store math break-down I had.
Thinking that we may have found the nirvana of tile stores, we went back yesterday to get tiles for the second bathroom upstairs.
We have 2 boxes of floor tiles left and almost 2 boxes of wall tiles.
Mon mari suggested that it would be nice if I could find some way of using them.
I replied that I would try.
I didn't want to do the two bathrooms in identical tiles.
Mon mari did not, does not and never will understand why.
There was nothing in the store that I liked completely. I liked a tile but not the listel (small, decorator tiles used for accent) or vice-versa.
The only tile that would allow us to use our existing stock was black.
I hated it.
I tried to work with it.
I ended up finding small, mosaic tiles that would work with the black, some white that would work, and so on.
In fact, after about an hour of piecing this and that together, I had a look a really liked.
Mon mari was happy.
We went to stand in line to order the tiles.
When it was finally our turn, I explained what I wanted and the nice man wrote up the order… then apologized.
That tile is not longer available.
Neither is that one or that one.
It begged the question – if they're not available why do you have them on display?
Mon mari may have been a wee bit miffed.
He kindly instructed me to 'just get something'.
Fifteen minutes later I had alternate choices, not wonderful, but workable.
I was desperate.
He didn't like them.
(I have a hard time with the 'get anything, I don't care' immediately followed by the 'but not that, I don't like it' – It was almost 5pm though, bit of a long day)
We went to another store.
I went in alone. (He was looking for ceiling boards – which he hadn't been able to find in 3 other stores… I'm sure that didn't add to his frustration a bit).
He was lucky I went in alone, because they had nothing but various dark brown, gray and black shades of the tile he didn't like.
I must admit I was cursing him, quietly, of course, for not letting me buy the identical ugly tiles an hour earlier.
I looked at every single tile, carefully, to determine if it was at all usable.
As it turns out, my efforts at the previous store paid off. I was much more creative in my approach, not being hampered at all by what the manufacturer thought should work together.
By the time mon mari found me I was positively giddy with delight (or was it exhaustion?).
I managed to cobble together wall and floor tiles, with some really interesting accent tiles tying them together.
Not only was everything available to be ordered (nothing is ever, ever in stock) it was on sale!
I really hope I like it when I see it with clear eyes in the daylight…..
In two weeks.
And mon mari found his ceiling boards.
We drove home content with our days work.
What does one eat after a long, long day of driving and shopping?
Something easy that allows one to enjoy the much needed glass of wine while it cooks.
This is a savoroy pie, filled with peppers, onions and spinach. I used a bit of sausage but you could easily use cooked chicken, beef or ham; just not too much or it won't 'puff' properly.
Yorkshire Pudding Pie
6oz (180gr) bulk sausage, or link, removed from casings
1/2 medium onion
1/2 green pepper
1 rib celery
2 cloves garlic
8oz (250gr) frozen, chopped spinach
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup shredded cheese, (2oz, 60gr)
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp olive oil
Peel and chop onion, garlic. Chop pepper, celery. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper, celery, garlic and sauté until tender. Add sausage and brown, breaking it up as it cooks. When done remove from heat. Thaw spinach and squeeze dry. Add to meat mixture along with basil and mix thoroughly.
Slice tomatoes thinly: 5 – 7 slices per tomato.
In medium bowl lightly beat eggs with wire whisk. Add milk, flour, salt and nutmeg. Beat lightly to just combine; a few lumps are okay – over-beating is not. Put remaining 2 tsp olive oil in 10-inch glass baking dish and run it around to coat the bottom. Pour in the batter mixture. Spoon meat/spinach mixture over top to within 1 inch of sides of dish. Layer tomatoes on top of meat and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 425F (215C) for 30 minutes or until edges puff up and are golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve.
Now I'd better put pencil to paper and make sure I ordered enough tile…
Mon mari just remembered that he forgot to tell me we need some for the tub surround…
I see another glass of wine in my future.