i started getting whatsapp text at 8am this morning. normally i'd ignore them and go back to sleep, but there we so many that it piqued my interest. turns out they were from freddy, asking for my help in logging into his laptop (which he left at home) and sending him a computer file he forgot to upload into the clouds last night. i fired up his machine, which was doing an update, so it wasn't until 30 minutes later did i finally copy the file onto a USB thumb drive and e-mailed it to him from my own computer.

the big news this morning was the meeting between obama and trump at the white house. they'd actually met before, at the infamous 2011 white house correspondents' dinner, where obama roasted trump, while trump sat in the audience barely withholding his seething anger. now more than half a decade later, the two men are meeting in person, the president and the president-elect. obama seemed presidential and cool as always, while trump definitely looked like a proverbial fish out of water, his first time at the white house.

i started making kvass a few days ago, based on the advice of sophia. i think they're ready to drink, but i only added a tablespoon of honey to each jar, so it's not sweet enough for my taste. i want to let it ferment a few more days for more fizz, but if i wait too long, eventually it'll start to become vinegar. right now it tastes like slightly carbonated water with a hint of sugary pear and ginger. the one i made with barlett pear and cactus pear (the reddish one) tastes like a combination of both.

my father had taken all our backyard quince fruits and started cooking them yesterday in order to make jelly. had i known i could've given him proper instructions but i found out afterwards. making quince jelly is an elaborate 2 day process that involves straining all the liquids the first day, followed by a day of stirring and reducing the quince juice down to its jelly essence. for one thing, he added too much water, which in itself is not so bad, it just means it'll take longer to reduce down. and today he told me instead of slow dripping the quince juice from the quince pulp in cheesecloth and a strainer, he just sort of winged it and squeezed out the juice from the pulp manually. he also began reducing the liquid so now it was a yellow-reddish color, down to about 6 cups of liquids, all without adding any sugar yet. he asked me if i had any jars; i only had pint sized canning jars, he said he'd find some substitutes.

so i packed up my things and rode the motorcycle to porter square to see if they had any smaller-sized canning jars. it would've been nice if they did, because i had a 50% off coupon. but all they had were pint-sized ones. i then went to star market. earlier i'd gone to the one near my house, because i remember at one point they carried them, but not this time. likewise, i had no luck at the porter square star market either. finally i went to the ace hardware store. they had it, a big display case, in all sorts of sizes and colors and accessories (like metal and plastic lids). i bought a box of dozen half pint quilted glass jars for $10. i strapped it to the back of my motorcycle and rode off to belmont.

my father brought the quince jelly liquid so he could finish cooking it at home. besides, he didn't have a candy thermometer at the cafe, and you need one to monitor when the jelly is ready. he also needed to add the sugar. we ended up only putting in 5 cups of sugar (normally it's a 1:1 ratio between liquids and sugar) after a taste test found it already sweet enough. he kept on stirring on the stove for about an hour, that's why he didn't have any white foam like i had when i made my quince jelly.

i was busy outside planting the 6 boxes of larkspur seedlings: 2 behind the garage, 2 behind raised bed 4, and 2 in the western perennial garden. i hope to collect more from my community garden plot; no point in leaving them behind when that area gets razed for a public pathway into the park.

my mother called me back inside, said the jelly had reached ready stage temperature. although the jelly still looks liquid in the pot, it was already solidifying on some of the cooler surfaces like on the candy thermometer. which my father continued to stir, i went about sanitizing 6 jars with hot boiling water. once the jars were ready, my mother began scooping out the liquids into the jars, before finally my mother took over. the liquids was just enough to fill 6 jars perfectly. now we just set those jars aside and weight for the lids to pop inwards to let us know it's been properly vacuumed seal.

i got home before 7pm, freddy came back before 8pm. he asked if i'd already had dinner, and proposed we try the burger place tomorrow night, as thanks for helping him retrieve that file earlier this morning.