after 31 days, my kombucha ferment was finally ready. normally it wouldn't take this long, but this was a fresh batch using refrigerated scobies with no starter tea. even then, it still probably wasn't the strongest kombucha i could make, but that heady vinegary smell told me it was time to start a new batch.

out of the 5L jar i fished out all the scobies. there was a new scoby a few weeks ago, but trapped CO2 had pushed it almost out of the jar, and when i went to go push it down, it was so slippery that it slid to the slide of the jar and i didn't want to fish it out. instead i just let the kombucha form a new scoby. this newest scoby is much healthier looking but not as thick as i'd like to see. i put the scobies into a ceramic bowl and put the bowl covered into the fridge. that probably wasn't idea, next time i think i'll just leave out the scobies soaking in starter tea, just to keep the bacteria from becoming dormant.

to make the sweet tea, i used the following ratio: 1 gallon of water + 1 cup of sugar + 8 teabags (black tea). because the new jar i'd be using was 5L, and a gallon is approximately 4L, i scaled everything up: 5L of water + 1.25 cups of sugar + 10 teabags.

i poured in the sugar before the water started to boil, which in hindsight probably wasn't a good idea because the sugar then melted to the bottom of the stock pot while i was heating the water. i also started to soak the teabags while the water was just starting to boil. that probably also isn't a good idea, but the boiling water could rupture the bags and i'd have tea particles in the tea. next time steep the teabags after turning off the stove. i left the sweet tea to cool.

my mother came over in the afternoon. i showed her my sichuan paocai; she filled up a jar to take home and ate a bowl of fermented cabbage and radish while she was here. she went to go use the bathroom but ended up taking a shower at my place, a first time in the 12 years i've owned this house. she said my hot water wasn't very hot, i told her that's the way i set it up, so i never have to bother with the cold water knob in the shower.

afterwards i went with her to the porter square michael's to look for opus yarn (prism color). they didn't have any so we used our coupons on some patons classic wool roving yarn, while my mother bought some additional acrylic yarn.

in belmont i checked out the shelf-back faucet fixtures my parents have on their bathroom sink, circa mid-20th century. the faucet's been leaking and we can either repair it or replace it. later when my father came home from the cafe we took time to see if we can disassemble the fixtures (yes we can, at least the hot water knob).

after dinner my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. i brought back 3 glass lasagna pans for my eventual flan i'll be making next week. my father also brought 2 different sizes of wooden wall-mounted coat racks. i've decided i need some coat hanging when i come into the house, besides the closet. originally i thought i'd just get a freestanding coat rack, but that'd take up too much space in my living room. then i thought i could get a wall-mount coat rack and attaching it to the wall of my foyer, but the area in question has a lot of obstructions (doors, table, heating vent). now i'm thinking maybe mounting the coat rack to the door of the closet. there's only 4 hooks but that's enough for my needs. my father returned home soon afterwards.

i knew sunmeng received my cambridge postcard on monday (sunday night boston time), but was surprised when she told me tuesday morning (monday night boston time) that she also received my new york city postcard, which i mailed out a week later. that leads me to conclude that mail from NYC-china is much quicker than boston-china. new york city is actually the main sorting center for the northeast. all international mail mailed from boston goes to NYC first. i know this because frances' norwegian shipments all pass through the big apple. i asked WWY to check our mailbox and she got her 2 postcards as well. as for the 5 other people i sent, i haven't heard back from them.