i woke up at 7:30am to get ready for my 9:45am MGH dermatology appointment in boston. i decided to take the subway into the city because there was still frozen snow banks and the weather was a bit cold. however, i did see a handful of cyclists commuting down beacon street and elsewhere, and i felt a little jealous. maybe not so much the cold, but this time in the morning was rush hour and i wasn't looking forward to the crowds.
i left for porter square a bit before 9am. it's been 97 days since i last rode the subway (although i did take the commuter rail to north station back in early february). there was a lot of people but at least i got a good standing spot inside the subway car and it was just 4 stops to the charles/MGH station. i stood next to a very pretty woman twirling her hair and checking her phone. a passenger getting off banged into us with his backpack. the floor was sticky from some dried soda.
arriving at the station, it was a short walk to the dermatology building, located not on the main MGH campus but a few blocks away on staniford street. since i'd been there before, it was pretty routine, nothing to fill out, just had to sign in and take a seat in the waiting room where there was free wifi. a nurse led me to an exam room, asked a few questions, then left me to wait for the doctor. i was there for a possible wart, but it disappeared a few days after i made the appointment. i was really there to get rid of a few milias, but the doctor said they were benign and common and i should just leave them alone.
afterwards i walked down to nearby haymarket. it was relatively early and produce tents were still setting up. i didn't really have anything in mind i wanted. the orange sellers weren't even there yet. i left with 2 boxes of strawberries ($1/each), a bag of carrots ($1), a lbs. of ginger ($1), a large daikon radish ($2), and two heads of napa cabbage ($1 each, for making korean kimchi). i asked the vendor if he could weigh the cabbage for me (i wanted to see how much i was getting) but he got really angry and said they were just a dollar and he wasn't going to weigh them. i ended up dealing with his partner.
i could've taken the faster commuter rail back to porter square but i took the subway instead because i needed to go to harvard square to check out yulia's latest computer issue. she called last weekend, only now did i finally have time. so of course since that time the computer hasn't crashed, and it was a weird problem too, seemingly random and can't be reproduced. i double checked that all the automatic updates were turned off, and manually updated the OS X security patch, though i don't think that'd do anything.
afterwards i walked home, my obligations for the this week finally over. i heated up a leftover feta cheese spinach pie for lunch. i went out one more time to the dollar store to pick up some plastic cups for planting seeds (color tinted clear 16 for $1, i bought $4). i bumped into bruce, on his way to the liquor store. coming back, i went to star market to stock up on some canned soup on sale. i also picked up a single apple to be used as a substitute for asian pear in my kimchi recipe.
today was sunny but with periods of cloudiness. production never once reached 6kW, which so far has been the plateau. still, we managed to make 25.6kWh by day's end. the next few days are supposed to be very sunny so i'm looking forward to another record production day.
my lamp splitter base sockets arrived today. i ordered them from ebay less than 2 weeks ago from a chinese seller. they were a dollar a piece so i got 3 even though i only needed 2. i need these to make a pair of DIY lowel ego lights for food photography. however when i went onto amazon to buy the 27W CFL 5500K light bulbs, the prices had gone up by $9. i'm in no hurry, i'll wait until the price drops again, or search for alternatives. these bulbs are ideal because the ikea light cord i'm using can't go over 75W, so even with two bulbs it's still 54W.
around 8pm i got to work making my sauerkraut with the cabbages that've been in my fridge since last weekend. the sooner i got started the better, since it takes the sauerkraut several days to mature and develop it's sour taste. i still have several jars of old sauerkraut (and one car of curtido) from about a year ago; i'm planning to throw them out eventually, but i want to save some so i can do a taste test comparison between (very) old sauerkraut and fresh sauerkraut.
i had two heads of green cabbage so i made two different type of sauerkraut: one is the traditional with caraway seeds, the other is a sichuan paocai inspired sauerkraut. after shredding both cabbages (each one weighed about 2.5 lbs. each, standardized head of cabbage weight apparently), to one i added one tbsp of salt1 plus one tbsp of caraway seeds; to the other i added one tbsp of salt1, 7 chopped thai chili peppers, 3 tbsp of red sichuan peppercorn, and one tbsp of chinese baijiu. after mixing the ingredients, i left the cabbage on the counter to reduce for a few hours. i should've worn gloves because tiny microscopic cuts on my hands got really painful when exposed to the salt plus the hot chili peppers.
for dinner i made a grilled ham & cheese sandwich. i ate the leftover baklava for dessert. it was sickening sweet and the filo pastry got stuck on the roof of my mouth.
around 11:30pm i went back to the kitchen to pack the sauerkraut into jars. one head of cabbage reduced to sauerkraut should fit inside a 1 quart jar with some compressing. i barely got mine to fit. for the sichuan sauerkraut i used a different 1/2 gallon jar which was a lot roomier. i put the lids on with the airlocks and left them on the counter sitting in bowls to ferment.
1 the proper sauerkraut ratio is 3 tbsp of salt per 5 lbs. of cabbage. so i should've really used 1.5 tbsp of salt instead, but i don't want my sauerkraut to be too salty.