my hay fever symptoms have gotten worse so this morning i tried the neti pot. feels like drowning! and i can only seem to get one of my nostril to work (the left one). i did feel a lot better after it was over though.

after 12+ hours of rise, i dumped up the wet dough on a floured cutting board (10:00). it was sticky but not as bad as before, and i managed to fold up the sides and put the dough upside down onto a floured towel in a pyrex bowl for the 2nd rise. 11:30 i preheated the cast iron pot at 450°. after 2 hours the dough did seem to rise a bit but not nearly as much as i'd hoped.

12:00 i dumped the dough into the cast iron. that was a bit of a challenge as some dough remained stuck on the towel. i had to peel off those bits and throw them into the pot. i baked for 30 minutes with the cover on, then 20 more minutes with the cover off. the final result was a bread with a golden crust (i'd wanted more browning). left on a cooling rack, i could hear it cracking open, creating fissures with steam coming out. though not pretty to look at, the inside was super soft and tasty. definitely one of the better breads i've made and i think warm room temperature and low humidity has a lot to do with it.

i called up bruce at 1:00 to see if he was still interested in visiting the deer island waste water treatment plant in winthrop. he was still game, so we left. basically it's the same route as going to revere beach, but instead of taking a left to the beach, we take a right towards the southern tip of winthrop.

deer island is my new favorite place to visit. there was hardly anyone around, with great views of the harbor and several nearby lighthouses. it's a great place for walking or jogging or biking, and accessible by public transportation. and if you like planes, since it's right across the water from logan airport, planes are constantly flying by overhead.

in terms of birds, it was a combination of sea gulls, cormorants, and eiders. when we first arrived, an osprey swooped by us overhead (it was gone by the time i got my telephoto lens out).

from deer island we could see graves light and boston light. what we thought was the pilgrim monument (in provincetown about 50 miles away) was actually minots ledge light. we also saw deer island light and nixes mate.

my favorite thing on deer island are the "eggs," known as digesters. they convert waste matter into methane which is then used to power the plant.

returning home we tried looking for a shortcut but ended up in east boston, which is the area directly around logan airport. from there the only way back to cambridge was to take the underwater tunnels, which meant paying a toll. so instead we backtracked and went back the way we came. we thought it'd be congested with traffic but we actually made pretty good time, despite the detour.

back in cambridge i asked bruce if he wanted bram's sexy leftover underwear. he took a look, said it was too large, and kind of worn out (i ended up just tossing it). i also gave bruce a free blood pressure screening with my blood pressure cuff, because he suspected his HBP medication wasn't working (he takes 160mg of diovan as well).

i went to market basket to get some beef for making jerky. i ended up going with 3.65 lbs of beef bottom round rump roast because it was the cheapest.

3.65 lbs. beef bottom round
(rump roast)
1 cup worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp vietnamese chili sauce
4 tbsp sichuan peppercorns

after some no-knead bread and mussels for dinner, i started the beef jerky preparation. earlier i put the rump roast in the freezer to make it easier to cut into slices. even then it still took about an hour to make all the strips. the marinade was pretty much the same as last time, except i was using a new thick worcestershire sauce. it didn't seem watery enough so i went with 2/3 thick sauce and 1/3 liquid sauce. i also increased the amount of honey as well as the peppercorns.

later in the evening i spotted some curbage on the street corner. i went out and brought in the whole box. it was already late so i didn't bother examining what i found, figured i'd save it for tomorrow morning.