it was not as rainy this morning as i'd imagined. in fact, it was currently dry, which prompted me to take the opportunity to walk down to the somerville rite aid to pick up my prescriptions. i brought an umbrella just in case. there was the lightest of misting, not enough to warrant using the umbrella.
after soaking overnight, the dried white hominy didn't look all that different. i finally got around to putting it in the slowcooker by around 11:30am. i didn't know how much water to add, but i remember reading something about adding 2 in. of water above the hominy so that was the rule i followed. if it really was going to expand, it would definitely need all that water to do so. i decided to cook the hominy 2 hours on high before cooking an additional 4 hours on low.
with li set to return from hawaii at 2pm, i had one last thing i needed to do with was to clean the aquarium, something i promised him i'd do before he got back. not that he thought it was dirty and was complaining, but he's pushing me to get some fish instead of just having an empty plant tank, and i think adding some fish will definitely help with the java ferns, which haven't been thriving ever since i stopped keeping fish. i started cleaning at 11:30am and didn't finish until an hour later. there was a layer of algae film covering the bottom of the tank. it was too thick to suck up with the water vacuum, so i had to scoop out the goop with my hand before i could siphon the water out. i ended up removing nearly all the water, as it was simply too dirty.
i had a chobani blueberry yogurt for lunch along with a strawberry fruit juice banana smoothie. i ate while watching episode 2 of the deuce on HBO streaming. it feels so much like the wire, since it's produced by the same showrunners and features many of the same actors. it's a good show, but i wouldn't recommend it for everyone, as it talks about the beginning of the porn industry, a very adult subject matter.
my father stopped by in the afternoon unexpectedly. he brought along the two cobra brand two-way radios that one of my grand uncle's tenants left behind some years ago. they never worked, and we were suspecting that maybe it was left behind because they were simply broken. one of the radio does work, transmits and receives, and can also get NOAA weather channels. the other never worked. but my father managed to figure out that GMRS channel 1 on the baofeng radio corresponds to channel 17 on one of the cobra radios but channel 15 on the other.
as it began to grow later and later, i started to wonder where li was. was his flight delayed? did he decide to stay additional days in hawaii? i sent him a text message but he didn't respond right away, so i assumed he was on a flight. hours later he finally wrote back, said he was coming back tomorrow at 2pm, not today. when i saw his itinerary it must've been hawaiian time, which means he leaves hawaii sometime today, but wouldn't arrive until tomorrow. so it looks like i have another free day!
even after cooking on high heat in the slowcooker, the hominy didn't show any changes. i started to wonder if i got the right kind of hominy. but when i checked the hominy again with just an hour left before it was finished cooking (low heat), i was surprised that each corn kernel had finally expanded to about 4x it's original size. it was pretty amazing. the expanded kernels reminded me of boba tapioca balls if they were white. i tasted a few, relatively tasteless (i didn't add any salt to the water as some instructions said it'd inhibit expansion) but with the slight hint of corn flavor. making hominy from dried corn kernels is a real labor of love. after it finally finished cooking, i split the portions, half to be used in my mexican chicken soup, half to be frozen to be used at some future date.
* making mexican chicken soup
while getting a cooking pot i noticed what looked to be either flour grains or maybe tiny white mold growing on the pots. while trying to figure out what it was, i suddenly noticed the white dots were actually moving. they're alive! grossed out, i ended up taking all my pots and washing them. they seem to be coming from that area of the kitchen. i never noticed them before, and i think i must've disturbed something when i rifled through the empty bin looking for aquarium cleaning equipment. they weren't termites, too small. maybe baby spiders? but i looked at one with a magnifying loupe and it didn't look very spidery. after a web search, i think they're most likely (harmless) mold mites. but i don't have a mold problem! and that area of the house doesn't have any water pipes so it couldn't be moisture related. whatever it is, if it is indeed mold mites, once winter arrives and i turn on the heat, it will be too dry inside the house for mold to grow and the mites will simply die.
there was simply no way i could release the monarch butterfly tomorrow, knowing what the weather would be like. besides the rain, there would be strong winds, and temperature in the 60's. so i decided to keep it indoors after it emerges, and release it thursday morning when the storm blows offshore. i have several empty aquarium tanks in my basement but i ended up using something better: an acrylic pastry display box my father gave me a while back for growing plants but i never used it. take out the trays and it's a tall clear box, perfect for temporarily holding a butterfly. i also read that newly emerged butterflies typically don't feed in the first 24 hours. hopefully that'll buy me some time for a thursday morning release.