the temperature today was a blue sky 30°F, but with wind speeds around 50mph, it felt much lower. the snow and the rain last night left sidewalks in a mess of slippery ice. it's with these conditions that i walked down to harvard square today to pick up michael's new macbook pro. he called me yesterday (while i was just about to leave market basket) saying they just got it. he wasn't at the store today but his older sister was, and she handed me the laptop, still in the box unopened. i carefully walked it home, feeling a little smug cradling an expensive computer in my hands.
when i got back home i remembered to buy a powerball ticket, with tonight's jackpot at $1.6 billion. i have a habit of using my quarters to pay for the $2, a chance to get rid of my loose change.
in the afternoon i biked down to the cafe to replace the cablemodem. my agent took the cablemodem's MAC address and serial number, even though i told him these numbers were already in my account. i waited for all the lights on the modem to go on, but when i couldn't get online, the agent put me on hold. during this time, the modem started working, didn't even ask me authenticate like in past cases. but minutes later the modem lights went out again and the agent return, telling me he reset the device because he couldn't see any diagnostic status on his end. i told him it was working just fine before he did that, and we waited for the lights to go back on again before the modem started working once more. so in the end, i'm not sure if he even did anything. but the modem is working now, and hoping it won't experience the intermittent dropped connections like the old modem.
i returned to belmont thinking we'd have pizza for dinner tonight, but instead we had some fish head stew, which is the furthest away from pizza and my least favorite thing to eat. after dinner i biked back to cambridge; my father wanted to give me a ride (he was going to my grand uncle's place anyway) because it was so cold, but i insisted on going my own way. i was pretty bundled up, and had on my wool mittens which kept my fingers from freezing. the hardest part wasn't the cold, but the rough icy conditions of the bike lanes, forcing me to ride in the street as much as possible.
i made some tea eggs in the evening. making them now meant i could steep them overnight and have them ready to eat by tomorrow. i bought 2 dozen brown eggs from market basket yesterday (2/$5 sale) but added 6 white eggs i had in the fridge to make a grand total of 30 eggs. originally i was going to use my thick bottom pot, but i couldn't fit all the eggs and submerge them in water without having everything boil over, so i used a tall stockpot instead (i really should invest in a big cooking pot).
i filled the pot with cold water until the eggs were barely covered. boiling the eggs in cold water instead of hot water prevents them from cracking. i also added a teaspoon of salt, my mother said it helps with the peeling. learning from last time, i cooked on high heat to boil the eggs faster, but it didn't seem to really improve anything as it still took over 20 minutes for the water (with the eggs) to boil.
after a few minutes of boiling, i turned the stove to low. i took out the eggs and into the simmering stock pot i added: 1 tea egg spice packet, 1 tea egg tea packet, 4 additional tea bags (black tea), a handful of sichuan peppercorns, 4 tbsp of salt, and 1 tsp of sugar. sugar is a new ingredient, suggested by my mother. last time i used 6 tbsp of salt, which turned out to be a little excessive, so i dialed it back this time to just 4 tbsp. i ran the boiled eggs under cold water so i could hold them without burning my hand as i started cracking them with a spoon. i'm pretty thorough when it comes to cracking, making sure i hit all surfaces of the egg. in my notes i said that brown eggs were better for tea eggs because the shells are tougher (less prone to flaking), but i found that brown and white eggs are about the same, the only difference is the color.
after the eggs had been cracked, i put them back into the stock pot and let everything simmer on medium-low for about an hour. last time i simmered them for 3 hours, but i didn't really think it was necessary since i steep them 24+ hours anyway. after an hour, i turned off the stove and left the eggs to simmer overnight.
just by coincidence, i was watching television right when they were having the powerball drawing a bit before 11pm on WCVB. i copied the numbers onto my ticket as they rolled out of the drawing machine. none of the numbers matched except for the last one, the powerball number, which is the most important one anyway, which meant i'd won $4. sure, i didn't win the jackpot, but winning $4 is better than nothing. the last time i won was also by matching the powerball number, but i think that time i also matched one other number ($4 prize regardless).