i thought i'd be waking up to an overflowing mess on the kitchen counter from the mason jar, but even after an entire night, there was just a little bit of liquid outside the jar, on the lid. the sauerkraut finally seems to have reached some sort of fermenting equilibrium. i'm also not going to open the jar anymore until the sauerkraut is ready to eat; i've opened the jar every day since i started, sometimes many times. i saw a video last night where this woman was religious in her conviction not to expose her kraut to the bad bacteria-filled air outside. i don't think anything will go wrong with my fermented cabbage, but if something does go wrong, it's probably because i opened the jar so many times.
around 11am my father called me unexpectedly and said he was coming to pick me up. before i could get ready, he was already here. i quickly threw on my jacket and into the car. my aunt and uncle were there, as well as the back of the car entirely full of their things. this is at least their 4th moving trip, amazing how much stuff they have. but this is all their worldly possessions, which can be moved in just a few trips with a normal car. if i were to move, i would need a very large moving truck.
despite it all, my aunt and uncle don't seem to have a sense of urgency, almost to the point of borderline ungratefulness. my parents seem more concerned with their moving than they are. they're entirely dependent on my father to help them move, as neither of them can drive or have a car. and when we gave them furniture recommendations, my aunt seemed to get annoyed, like we were making her get all this stuff she didn't want or need (though the bulk of it paid by my parents as gifts). for instance, i heard that my aunt doesn't want the kitchen island my father and i went all the way to newton to pick up for her, nearly breaking our backs. so my parents have taken a step back, once they've moved, no more advice, they can do whatever they want.
while my uncle was tasked with slowly moving things from the car into the apartment, i went downstairs with my father and aunt to the manager's office to inquire about said internet and cable. my father had heard a rumor from one of the senior citizens who live there that they have a great deal on internet, just $10/month. when i talked to the manager however, she said the only path to internet/cable is through comcast, and i already know the price: the cheapest internet is $50/month (10Mbsp), with another $10/month for basic cable (essentially just OTA stations and a few miscellaneous channels). but she did said something earlier that i picked up on: they do have free wifi in their lounge. in fact, there were two networks, with the passwords taped to her office window for all to see.
we went out to carry the last of their things to the apartment. back upstairs i tried the passwords. before i had time to connect using my own phone, my aunt was pushing her ipad in my face. this coming from a woman who just an hour ago said wifi wasn't so important to her. the first network was for the lounge, and i was surprised to see a captive portal page (fancy). i then tried the other network, and that just connected. both network strengths were pretty robust, thanks in no small part to the fact that my aunt and uncle's apartment was right above the lounge and offices. so it looks like her wifi situation is solved. now all that's left is the cable tv situation. my uncle only wants to watch one channel, the daystar religious network. i was asked to see if there was an OTA alternative.
with that my father and i left my aunt and uncle to unpack their things. i got dropped off back at my place, and i gave my father a jar of hot sauce, the one with the brown sugar.
it wa close to lunchtime, but i could not eat another bite of chicken corn chowder. i started thinking about getting some takeout. i ended up on some chinese food around the corner. the place was surprisingly crowded on such a cold day. the waitress thought i was meeting a friend, but i told her in chinese i was just getting takeout. i got an order of general tso's chicken ($8.95), paid, then went back to my house to wait (10 minutes). in the meantime i took photos of the frost patterns on the glass window of my front door.
i forgot what an adventure eating chinese takeout can be. the variety of food (appetizer, soup, main course), the different sauce packets (soy and duck), the various utensils (fork/spoon/chopsticks), and finally the fortune cookie (my fortune: a fee is a tax when you're good, a tax is a fee when you're bad). since i had the camera already mounted on a tripod, i took the first few minutes taking some small aperture long exposure photos of the food. i ate while watching brian de palma's dressed to kill (1980) on showtime streaming. i've seen the movie before, but back in the days of broadcast tv, so it was all censored. i was surprised to find some explicit content, like angie dickinson's long sensual shower scene at the start of the movie. she must've been 50 years old when that movie came out and she seemed to be in amazing shape until i found out it was a body double.
later i made myself a fruit smoothie composed of a banana, frozen blueberries, and some mango fruit juice. i don't drink a lot of smoothies in the winter because i consider it a warm season beverage, but i've been feeling an overall lack of fruits in my diet, so thought this would help. it has some cleansing property as well as i went to the bathroom a little bit later and felt like i got flushed out.
my mother tried some of the hot sauce i made. she said it was too spicy, that you couldn't use it as a dipping sauce because it was barely edible. at best, the hot sauce could be used in cooking. i told her maybe i could add more brown sugar to balance out the spiciness. she also said it needed more salt. i've yet to retry the batch i have at home because i don't want to open the jar during this critical fermenting step. i actually don't know if it'll even ferment, not with the alcohol i added, and generally not enough liquid. i do see a little bit of bubbles in the jar, but the hot peppers definitely doesn't ferment on the same level as shredded cabbage.
other than the little bit of liquid on the lid this morning, the mason jar didn't leak the rest of the day, so this fermentation equilibrium seems to have some merit, despite the airlock being filled with kraut juice. i feel like i should start another jar, since i have a second airlock-lid assembly. i'll pick up another cabbage next week, if i can't think of something else to ferment.
i told my father some good news: daystar actually has a local OTA broadcast affiliate, digital channel 48-1. i can get it with my terrible first floor reception, so i think my uncle can easily get it from his place as well. the only thing they need is a better HDTV. the one that they currently have is an old sony HDTV handed down by my aunt lili. it's more like an early widescreen proto-HD. it has one HDMI port but gave me a blue screen when i tried to connect a cable box. but the biggest issue is it doesn't have an OTA receiver. my aunt and uncle will need to buy a new HDTV, which can't cost too much these days (you can score a 40" HDTV for $200). i ordered a $15 50-miles powered antenna for them on amazon.
since i had a big lunch, i wasn't particularly hungry came dinner time. i did finally have a korean cup of noodles. my neighbor steve was blaring his music again as early as 6pm. to get back at him, i found a white noise station on youtube, hooked up my speaker to my phone, and blasted the sound from the top of my bookcase directly below the ceiling. the white noise was noisy but also kind of soothing. of course there was no point in watching television myself as i could barely hear the audio. instead i went around the house vacuuming, creating even more noise. he did stop for a while, but later in the evening started up with the music again. i decided not to go all white noise on him, figured to save that ammunition for another time.