i went to the supermarket in the afternoon to deposit some cans ($1.20) and pick up another dozen eggs (sale 99¢). when i came home i started making my tea eggs.
i've always known tea eggs from their chinese name (茶葉蛋). they're commonly sold on the streets in taiwan (at least when i was there). as ubiquitous as they, and as much as i like them, it never dawned on me that i could make them at home. the process isn't very hard, just boil some eggs, crack the shells, then soak them in tea. variations come from cracking techniques and the additional spices added to the tea.
i looked up some recipes online but asked my mother as well, who has occasionally made tea eggs in the past. i ended up using pre-packaged flavor packets - one tea bag, one spice bag (containing five-spice powder, star anise). the instructions on the box (written in chinese, i had to get my mother to translate) said to add soy sauce, but my mother said that wasn't necessary, since the tea itself will already stain the eggs. she told me to add a lot of salt - 2 tbsp - and a small (1 tsp) amount of sugar.
i'd purchased a dozen eggs last week, but the box instructions recommended 20-30 eggs. that's why i purchased another dozen, but these were brown, while the ones i got earlier were white. the brown ones were also slightly smaller (which is the preferred size).
i first boiled the eggs in a large pot for about 10 minutes. i noticed one of the white eggs had a large crack, but nothing seemed to be leaking so i kept it, figuring i was going to crack them all later anyway. i don't remember ever making hard-boiled eggs before so it was interesting to watch. the eggs themselves would release streams of bubbles, which meant the shells were porous to some degree.
after the eggs finished boiling, i poured out the hot water and filled up the pot with cold water to cool the eggs. i then started cracking them with the back of a metal spoon. the cracks will give the eggs their characteristic marbling pattern. i wasn't sure how much force i should use, and occasionally i made dents in the shells instead of just cracking them. i also noticed that the white eggs had thinner shells that tended to flake off compared to the brown eggs (in the future, go with the brown ones).
once all the eggs were cracked, i put them into the crock pot, along with the flavor packets and the salt/sugar. i then filled up the crock pot so the eggs were completely submerged. right away the white eggs became brown and the brown eggs got even darker. cooking the eggs in the crock pot is something i came up with; i didn't find any recipes that used one. simmering/soaking can last anywhere from 20 minutes to hours depending on which recipe you follow, but my mother told me when my godmother makes tea eggs she simmers them on the pot for 3 whole days. her tea eggs are so tasty that even the yolks are imbued with flavor. that's what i'm trying to strive for.
with my tea eggs slowly simmering, i left for belmont in the late afternoon. since i hadn't riden my trek allant in a while, i rode that to belmont. it's a taller bike and i definitely notice the slightly elevated perspective. i can't tell if i'm traveling faster (i probably am, just based on the larger wheels) but i certainly notice it on hills, it takes less effort to climb with a lighter bike.
i went with my father to see the victory garden. we were surprised to find an asian woman working in the overgrown plot next to ours. i waved hello but she said nothing, and when she saw my father talking loudly on the phone, that scared her off completely and she basically ignored us afterwards.
he'd already pulled up all the korean melons weeks ago. in its place he planted more rows of radishes. the radishes and beans we planted at the end of august had already germinated; the radishes should be ready in 2 more weeks at the rate they're growing. the beans are still iffy. we managed to harvest one last cocozelle squash before uprooting both the cocozelle and zucchini, since they weren't going to bear anymore fruit. we also picked an orange tomato, leaving the green ones on the vine with the hopes that maybe they might mature. after planting some more radishes, we watered the plot and left.
i checked the tea eggs when i got back home. after 5 hours of slow cooking the shells were soft. the best way to tell if these are any good is to simply try one, but i'll let it cook overnight and test one tomorrow morning. i noticed a thin film of oil in the surface; i don't that has anything to do with the eggs, but rather it's residue from the last time i cooked pulled pork with the crock pot. i don't think it affects the flavor of the tea eggs.
later in the evening, drew showed me a slideshow of his recent field trip to detroit to check out the architecture there. at one point his class even broke into the old detroit railroad station.
september is where all the new shows premiere. at 9:00 i watched the mob doctor (FOX), which wasn't bad. i'm not sure how far they can carry the premise of a young surgeon who reluctantly does favors for the mob, but there isn't any other good shows on at that time so there's no competition. at 10:00 i watched revolution (NBC), about a post-apocalyptic future where there's no electric or power of any kind. it's a promising show, with giancarlo esposito as a bad guy, and tracy spiridakos (easy on the eyes) as the female lead. it sort of reminds me of flashforward, another promising show with an intriguing scifiesque twist, but over the course of the season they kept stretching their credibility until it got to the point where i stopped watching. hopefully revolution does fall in that same trap.