i'm very proud of my savory breakfast oatmeal recipe. as far as i know, nobody makes it like i do. it's something i created entirely on my own, inspired by a delicious breakfast porridge i had at the khao yai national park in thailand a decade and a half ago. to create the deluxe version is actually fairly involved, combining 10 ingredients. some of it is a little hard to come by, and might require a visit to the local asian grocery store. things like furikake, white ground pepper, black vinegar and fried garlic. i've found instant oatmeal gives a better texture versus old fashioned rolled oats, which not only takes longer to cook, but still comes out a little hard on the palate. you can use any kind of precooked meat; normally i prefer the al fresco apple maple chicken sausage, but this time i tried the hilshire roasted garlic chicken smoked sausage kielbasa, which works just as well. the meat must be grilled; sometimes i cheat and cook it in the toaster oven but it doesn't taste the same. i use a 20+ year old george foreman grill to prepare the chicken sausage. another new thing i tried this time was adding a piece of anchovy. you could barely taste it in the finished oatmeal, but adds another layer of umami complexity.
i left my house at 1pm, but not before getting intercepted by renee for some forced free IT help with her computer. she didn't know how to navigate the OSX file directory structure and didn't know how to export her pages document into microsoft word so she could attach it to an e-mail.
i briefly went down to beacon street to take photos of the Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' now blooming. it's nice to know that even though i don't have any flowering cherries in my own backyard, there are plenty of varieties around the neighborhood.
i finally made it to belmont by 1:45pm via fuji bike. it was another nice spring day, temperature in the 60's, with a breeze that still required a jacket, but felt much warmer in the afternoon sun. i spent the next 2 hours doing yardwork, mostly reducing the piles of maple branches. i filled two refuse bins, using a combination of anvil pruners, loppers, and pruning saw to cut the branches down to size. in between pruning i weeded some dandelions and creeping bellflowers and tilled the raised beds. the additional manure and peat moss i added to each raised bed made the soil especially fluffy. my seedlings will enjoy growing in this amended soil this season.
i left by 4pm, making a stop at the cafe. earlier i read the e-mail the 3rd party walmart vendor sent me, said that yes the batteries we ordered were sent to the wrong address, and normally it'd take a week to get the refund, but they were refunding me immediately. that wasn't what i wanted, i wanted them to send me the batteries regardless, even if i have to wait for the shipment to be returned and resent.
i found out that a neighbor at the start of my street has a pair of KV plums growing in his front yard. they're a good size, but like our backyard plum, there wasn't a lot of flowers, but still more than what we had. maybe this year none of the KV plums are making a lot of flowers for whatever reason.
when i got back home i wrote back the vendor, who to his credit replied right away. he said he'd be willing to send me the batteries free of charge, but unfortunately they were all out of stock. i wrote back saying that once my original order returned to the warehouse, that please resend it. my suspicion is they never intended us to receive the batteries, not at those prices, $5 for a pair when normally they'd be $90. instead of cancelling the order out right (and be labelled as false advertising), they "mistakenly" send the package to the wrong address, and when it doesn't arrive, just issue me the refund. i don't know what will happen, the original deal was too good to be true, but i'm willing to play e-mail tag a bit longer, so how this will resolve.
i went to star market briefly to pick up some cape cod potato chips on sale ($2/bag). i bumped into jeff while he was on his way to get some groceries as well.
i had a bowl of salad in the early evening before having half of the leftover pasta from yesterday. penne alla vodka doesn't taste so good as leftover, but i heated it over the stove, which beat the microwave at least. i wanted to throw in a piece of anchovy but ended up sprinkling some capers just to add some more flavor.