i took my usual shortcut to the cambridge public library to return 2 knitting books (mostly unread). ever since they renovated the high school next door and created more outdoor space, the area is always crowded with teenagers, either on break or enroute to their next class. these aren't the same suburban kids i grew up with, but city kids, seemingly wise beyond their years. they might as well be aliens, since i'm so far removed from their culture. it was a little hard navigating through the teenage gauntlet but i made it to the library in the end.

next stop was the bank in union square (to deposit the final payment from client N), taking a new route up kirkland-washington, over the lincoln park school bridge, and a left turn into hawkins street (bypassing the busy heart of union square). here the city of somerville was in the process of putting up some christmas trees.

finally, a visit to market basket to pick up some groceries for the week. hard to believe but thanksgiving is just next thursday (not this thursday). this is the calm before the storm; i'd imagine this weekend and next week will be crazy in the super markets. i got some ingredients for making pulled pork, which will last me through the rest of the week. they didn't have any pork butts, which might've been the reason for the crowd of old brazilians and italians hovering outside the meat department. they did have picnic roast at $1.59/lb so i bought 7.88 lbs ($12.53).

earlier, before i left the house, i tried to get in touch with my upstairs neighbor steve. he must've forgotten it was street cleaning on our side of the street today (every third tuesday). they (the tow truck mafia) were already towing cars down at the other end of the street and it was only a matter of time before steve's SUV (one of his three cars) would get towed as well. finally i sent him an e-mail (at least i tried).

there was a reason why the picnic roast was selling so cheaply; a good chunk of it was skin and bone, something i didn't realize until i tried to cut it into smaller pieces. picnic roast is another name for pork shoulder, so there's also a lot of tough tendons and sinews. i should've just paid a little more for a better cut of meat; instead i spent the next half hour trying to separate the pork from the bone, and slicing off the skin. i was left with a large shoulder bone, which i put in the freezer, maybe to make some broth at a later date.

in the end, i probably got about 5-6 lbs. of pork from almost 8 lbs. of picnic roast. into the crockpot went a cup of rice wine, one chopped onion, some chopped garlic, a bit of salt, and some fresh ginger. i filled the pot with enough boiled water to cover the pork pieces then turned the dial to high. let the crockpot begin! time: 12:30. a late start (normally i'd begin around 11:00) which means i won't get to enjoy pulled pork until later in the evening.

watching my neighbors sweep their sidewalks made me go out and do the same. since the street cleaning cars weren't here yet, leaves could be swept into the street for easy disposal. afterwards i went into the backyard and raked the oak leaves (from a large neighboring tree), enough for two barrels.

my amazon.com order arrived today (made last wednesday night). in the box was my new 40 oz. stainless king thermos. i have no complaints, it's everything as advertised. what i like most about it is that it's actually smaller in size than the old dunkin' donuts (glass-wall insulated) thermos (26 oz.) but can hold 150% more liquid (40 oz.).

also in the box is my new shimano freewheel ($11.73) and a shimano freewheel remover tool ($8.77). i'm hoping i'll have a chance to replace it tomorrow (i need a vise) if it isn't raining too badly. riding my bike with a broken freewheel makes me nervous because i don't know when it's going to fail again and leave me stranded somewhere on the road.

i stopped the crockpot at 8:00 (6.5 hours later) to shred the pork, carefully dump the fluids (thick with oil) in a pyrex bowl, and put the shredded pork back into the crockpot with about 28 oz. of kc masterpiece barbecue sauce, ample squirts of hot sauce, and about half a cup of cider vinegar (i like my barbecue on the vinegary side). it was 8:30, i cooked the pulled pork for another half hour.

marco came home around 8:00 but left soon afterwards to go out for a run. when he came back dinner was ready, his first pulled pork experience. it had a nice flavor, sweet from the barbecue sauce, spicy from the hot sauce, and tangy from the cider vinegar. next time, i may want to add even more vinegar.