the temperature today almost reached the 80's. it was time to plant my seedlings. i wanted to apply some plant-tone fertilizer but it was in belmont. i would've brought it back the last time i was there but i didn't want to keep it in my backpack and made it stink of excrement. i'd need the car to transport the fertilizer, which would also let me bring all the leftover seedlings to belmont to plant. i moved all the seedlings out onto the backyard porch one final time before they're scattered to the various gardens.

my condo insurance company called me this morning. the annual premium this year ($1129 due in june) has gone up nearly 30% compared to last year's. so all this week i've been contacting other insurance companies (progressive, geico, amica, liberty mutual, allstate, statefarm), looking for someplace cheaper. i use progressive for my motorcycle so i figured they'd give me the best rate with the combined policy discount, but for a similar coverage it'd cost me $1400. all other companies had about the same around, around $1200. it was starting to look like maybe my current company wasn't so bad after all. the only place that was cheaper was geico, with an annual rate of $886, but it was for a lesser coverage. anyway, the call this morning was with an agent looking at ways to reduce my premium. my particular coverage is based on my property value, hence its increase every year. there's $171k in personal property protection, which is an unheard of amount because all my personal property combined is probably no more than $20k. the only thing i can adjust is increase my deduction from $500 to $1000 (saved me $100) and lose identity fraud protection ($30).

in the late morning i went to market basket via bicycle to get a few ingredients so i could make pozole. i'd already soaked the dried hominy overnight. i got some pork sirloin (2 lbs. $3.45). i also got some smoked ham that was on sale ($1.29), figured i could add it to the pozole for some additional flavor. the slow-cooker recipe i found called for 2 cans of enchilada sauce. i've never seen it before, so instead i just got a can of chipotle sauce ($1.89).

after having some cereal for lunch (special K w/almonds $3.99), i began preparing the pozole.

slow-cooker pork pozole 

olive oil
2 lbs. pork sirloin, cubed
smoked ham, cubed
1 15 oz. can chipotle sauce
1 cup dried hominy, soaked
1 white onion, chopped
brussel sprouts
6 thai chili peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
chili powder
dried oregano
barbecue sauce
cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt

i cut the pork into cubes then seared it in a pan. the pork let out too much juice so it wasn't searing properly until i poured out the liquids. i also added the leftover brussel sprouts karen left me. cooking the pork created a lot of smoke and the house smelled like seared sirloin the rest of the day. once cooked, i added the pork to the slowcooker, along with the other ingredients. i poured enough water into the cooker to cover everything. i also added some leftover barbecue sauce, as i thought it looked a little bland. maybe instead of water i should've used some sort of broth. but i hoped after 7 hours of cooking, the pork and ham would release some flavors into the liquid.

once that was done, i took the motorcycle to belmont (1:30pm) to pick up the plant-tone and switch vehicles. i saw some highway department trucks parked outside my parents' place. i thought nothing of it, until one of the workers suggested i move my motorcycle as they were about to prune the large maple tree in front of the house. i moved the motorcycle as well as the car in the driveway, just in case.

that maple tree is in rough shape. it won't be long until it's completely dead and they'll have to come and chop it down. however for today they were just concerned with removing several of the dead branches. i've called the town tree department in the past about pruning a very long perpendicular branch that hangs over the driveway. the branch is almost as long as the tree is tall. but because that branch is still healthy, they won't cut it. besides, if they were to remove that large branch, then almost half of the tree would be gone, and by that point they might as well chop it down completely and plant a new tree in its place.

i stayed in belmont long enough for the tree guys to finish working, so i could move back the car and motorcycle. i ended up staying there for almost an hour, watering the plants in the backyard before waiting in the living room and playing with my phone.

i finally returned to cambridge by 3pm. it took longer than usual due to the ongoing road work in belmont and cambridge. earlier i'd already picked out the seedlings i wanted to plant and put them in a plastic tray rack. i strapped everything to the back of my bicycle and slowly pedaled by way to the garden.

i ended up planting the following: 2 thai basil, 2 best boy tomatoes, 2 cherry tomatoes, 2 heirloom mortgage lifter tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 4 japanese eggplants, 4 habanero peppers, and 2 mixed hot peppers. it took a while to figure out where i wanted to plant them, as there are already preexisting perennials in the garden. for this first year in the new plot i'm just going to take an organic approach and improvise, planting where ever there's space. any thoughts of using an organized grid system will have to wait until next season. into each hole i added a scoop of plant-tone fertilizer. i have a good feeling i'm going to get some healthy plants this year. around 3:30pm shadows from the tall maples on the left edge of the community garden started creeping into my plot. by 4pm it was completely in shadows. i never had this problem back in my old plot. but that's still a good amount of sunlight, and a lot better than most of the other plots which have even more shadows.

back at the house, i packed the remaining seedlings into the back of the car and drove back to belmont. i stopped briefly at the cafe, where my grandmother and aunt were there, to drop off the dog food shipment that arrived in belmont earlier. i also gave my father a printout of the NBA conference championship tv schedule for my grand uncle.

it was 5pm by the time i arrived in belmont. i didn't have the energy to figure out where to plant the seedlings, so i left everything in the backyard, will come back tomorrow to finish the job. i got on my motorcycle and returned home to cambridge.

the house was filled with the smell of the slow-cooked pozole. i taste tested the broth and after so many hours, the flavor had improved, and didn't taste like water anymore, but something more savory. it finally finished cooking by 8pm. i scooped out a bowl of pozole garnished with some chopped cilantro. i also added about a teaspoon of salt into the pozole because i felt it was a little bland. it tasted okay, but i don't know if it can compare with traditional pozole. in hindsight, i should've looked for the enchilada sauce, as it would've added more flavor. using just the chipotle sauce gave everything a smoky taste, but also made everything very spicy. i can handle the spiciness, but it's not for everyone. the hominy had finally finished cooking, they were bigger than before, soft and chewy with a sweet taste (from the corn).