WRITTEN ON March 18th, 2010 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Beans, Fish and Shellfish, Mediterranean, No really, what IS for lunch?, Salads

One of the things I’m struggling with, move-wise, is the fact that we’ll now have this whole house to take care of on our own.  That sounds horribly lazy, I realize.  Let me explain.

We have a decent amount of work to do to bring our new abode up to speed. It’s a 1912 Colonial, so its basically 100 years old.  When we had the inspection, the findings were this: surprise!  You’re buying an old house.

Needs a new roof? Check.  Boiler’s shot? Double check.  Purple shag carpet and textured ’70’s wall paper? Check, check and check.  Oh, and we’re converting a coat closet into a powder room and we’re putting in a patio and…the list goes on. And on.

This is not an original problem to have.  Anyone who’s purchased an older house has been through these exact issues. I’m not special.  I just like to complain.

Frankly, I’m terrified of messing it up.  The walls are old plaster and lathe, the floors are original oak plank, the shutters date back to the first year the house was built.  What if I take ownership of this beast of burden and it all crumbles to pieces around me?  Why can’t houses come with a live-in super just like co-op apartment buildings?

The hubster and I ventured to Home Depot the other day to get a loose idea of what what we’re up against.  We’re not moronic enough to assume we can do all the work ourselves (we’re not exactly DIYers), but we are planning to strips tons of wallpaper and rip up the carpets.  Sounds easy enough, right? Riiiight.

First, let me say that few things strike fear in my heart like Home Depot.  The only other thing that comes close is the thought of unleashing my darling husband on our new-old house armed with razors and knives (which, of course, is exactly what I’m doing).  Whenever I enter a Home Depot/Lowes/local hardware store, my heart starts pounding in terror, much the way it does when I walk into Barney’s or Bergdorf’s.  All of a sudden I’m having an outer body experience: seeing just how out of place I am and nervously twitching as I wander aimlessly around, hoping that some kind salesperson will take pity on me, save me from my obvious misery and just tell me what I need.  I’m like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman.  Totally out of my comfort zone. People like me are putty in the hands of hardware store sales people and contractors in general.  I have no idea what I’m looking for or doing so I usually end up buying every last thing they suggest.

Several hours later and still just as clueless, I emerged with $200 dollars worth of tools I don’t know how to use, and a serious appetite.  I needed sustenance. Something full of protein and iron to help my build up my wallpaper-removing, carpet ripping arms. Because if there’s one thing I know about construction, it’s this: those guys always have a proper lunch.

Strength builder

Tuna and White Bean Salad with Shredded Spinach (makes 2 open faced sandwiches)
1 can Italian tuna packed in oil
1 14 oz. can white canellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 large handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh dill, roughly chopped
2 tbsp minced red onions
1 tbsp chopped capers
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve on sourdough toast.

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