it was raining this morning but a cool refreshing rain, temperature in the upper 60's. i opened the windows to air out the house but actually had second thoughts as i was afraid it might make it too cold inside. i managed to decrease the room temperature down to 77°F, in preparation for later this week when the temperature will go back up into the 80's.

around noontime all the local channels were breaking in with coverage of the cape tornado. i'm not meteorologist, but i noticed the weather pattern a few days ago, northern winds along the coast with southern winds inland, a perfect scenario for tornadoes. but we rarely get tornadoes here in new england, and if it does happen it's usually out in western massachusetts, where there are more expansive spaces for the winds to blow unobstructed. i don't remember ever hearing about them happening on the cape.

for lunch i finished the last of my pineapple cake along with some leftover salad (garlic parmesan dressing). i had another interaction with my upstairs neighbor leon, he wrote me e-mail asking which of the basement bikes belong to steve. being from amsterdam he's all about the cycling. we ended up in the basement together to take a look, and there was only one bicycle. of course i had a fleet of bicycles leon could ride, but he's not renting from me, so i shouldn't feel obligated to provide bicycles for steve's tenants.

annie came home a bit after 5pm. i heard her boiling water and i asked her if she was interested in trying out some aeropress coffee. she'd expressed interests in see how i make my coffee, but i normally don't drink coffee during the summer so never had an opportunity to show her. but ground coffee doesn't keep for long and i needed to use it up before the flavor becomes stale. i let her try some decaffeinated hazelnut blend. she takes her coffee with half & half but no sugar. she said it was really good, even though she's only had coffee a handful of times, and this was back in china with her friends. i made myself a cup as well, half & half along with 2 teaspoons of sugar. she said it's her mother who likes coffee, and has a cup every morning otherwise she can't function. china being more of a tea culture, people there mostly just drink instant coffee because nobody knows how to brew it otherwise. annie expressed interest in getting an aeropress for her mother. later i showed her my moka pot, my other way of making coffee. the only thing i don't have at home is a coffee maker.

hainan island hot sauce
(1 pint)

14 oz. habanero peppers (37)
2 head of garlic (20 cloves)
2-1/3 tbsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup of chinese baijiu
2-1/3 tbsp brown sugar

the habanero peppers i bought from haymarket on friday are starting to dry up and go bad, so i had to use them up tonight. this was my 3rd time making hot sauce (december 2016, october 2017). a jar can last a long time: my mother is still eating the hot sauce i made back in 2017. this kind of sauce tastes better the longer it ages, the ingredients fermenting into more complex flavors.

that last batch was made from hot peppers i grew in the gardens: orange habaneros and red hungarian wax. none of my habanero seedlings survived this season, and of the hot peppers i planted, i won't have enough to make sauces. but why go through all the trouble of growing my own peppers when it's so much easier just to buy them, especially if i can score a lbs of habaneros from haymarket for just $2.

i should've followed the 2017 recipe but instead i used the old 2016 recipe, which called for a large amount of chinese baijiu, which is unnecessary. baijiu is added for flavor and complexity, and also used to disinfect any harmful bacteria hiding in the ingredients. too much baijiu can impart a bitter taste to the sauce (although over time the bitterness disappears). i ended up going with 1/4 cup of baijiu, when i could've just used 1/8th cup.

the final sauce smelled delicious, and both annie and i tried some. i noticed earlier it wasn't as hot as in the past, maybe because these were old peppers, lost of some its potency. nevertheless, it's still much hotter than your typical hot sauce. there was also just the right amount of saltiness, i was afraid maybe i didn't add enough. now i'll just let it sit out on the counter to ferment and increase its flavor.

for dinner i reheated the leftover salt & pepper porkchop from friday afternoon. it wasn't the greatest but it was edible. not sure what i'm making for dinner the rest of the week, i'm still thinking italian sub, will go down to market basket tomorrow to score ingredients.