i had to take care of some housekeeping issues today, literal and figurative. i vacuumed the house, but also paid my property tax ($490) for next year (we pay twice a year). i submitted some paperwork to the massachusetts unemployment office, including my SF-50 form from the census officially announcing my termination date plus a copy of my last pay stub. in the late morning i went to market basket to get a few ingredients for lunch.

for lunch i decided to make an avocado-bacon-cheese grilled sandwich using the smokeless foreman grill. i washed the removable grill plates beforehand, don't know what kind of chemical was on there to begin with. i preheated the grill and it smelled new, cooking off that factory odor. once the grill was ready (light turned red to green), i put two strips of bacon cut in half. everything seemed okay at first, no smoke, so i was pretty amazed, but once the bacon started cooking, there was smoke after all. it came from the two vents at the back of the grill. after a few minutes it did stop smoking, but i think it would've been the same result with a non-smokeless grill as well. i ran the window fan and standalone oscillating fan but turned them off when the smoke stopped.

i didn't know how long to cook bacon so i just eyeballed it until it looked crispy enough. i then assembled the sandwich - whole wheat bread, guacamole (avocado, garlic, pink sea salt), extra sharp cheddar cheese, tomato slices, bacon - and put everything back on the grill. the sandwich was soft enough that the grill cover basically smooshed the sandwich. next time no need to press the sandwich, toast the bread instead and let the residual heat from the bread and bacon melt the cheese. the drip tray collected a good amount of bacon fat for just 2 strips of bacon. i poured it into a plastic container before the hot oil warped the plastic, i then transferred the liquid bacon fat to a small glass jar. not sure what i'm doing to do with it but bacon fat is a commodity item.

just when i was about to eat - 1pm - my father stopped by to drop off a few things, including almond milk (for making smoothies) and frozen fruit, but he forgot the bananas. he also brought some batter fried eggplant slices stuffed with spam. they were freshly made and my father told me to eat them before they get soggy. it tasted a little weird, the texture is crispy on the outside but slimy on the inside, including the eggplant and spam.

only then was i finally able to eat my avocado-cheese-bacon sandwich which took me an hour to make. the sandwich was good - like a grilled cheese sandwich - except instead of ham and cheese (which is how i usually make it) - it's bacon and cheese and avocado and tomato. i'm not quite sure if it's healthy or not: the whole wheat bread and tomato and avocado are healthy, but you have the bacon and cheese which don't seem that healthy. i didn't butter the bread like i'd normally do with a grilled cheese sandwich, so at least there's that.

once the foreman grill cooled enough to touch (it actually took a while, i was surprised how long it kept warm), i removed the cooking plates and washed them. earlier i'd wiped off some stucked food with a dry paper towel but there was still bits and pieces that i couldn't remove, like melted cheese. i was afraid they wouldn't wash off but a sponge make easily work of them. i also washed the empty drip tray. there were some dried food grease but after soaking it a drop of dish soap for a few seconds, the grease magically rinsed off, no scrubbing needed. if i could soak the cooking plates, then i wouldn't need to scrub them with a sponge at all. i was going to leave them to dry, but decided to hand dry them with paper towels before putting them back onto the grill.

i biked down to the post office to get some shiny halloween forever stamps. there was a long line outside 9 person deep. it almost made me decide to come back another time, but i had nothing else to do so i figured i could wait. i ended up waiting 25 minutes before i finally made it inside (only 2 person are allowed inside at a time). the clerk was very excited when i told her i wanted halloween stamps, and she went to her stamp box to get them. it came in a sheet ($11) which i already knew from seeing them on the USPS website.

coming back i bumped into garden david. i didn't recognize him, he saw me and shouted my name. he was just in the community garden harvesting the last of his vegetables.

after raking and sweeping the tiny yellow locust leaves from the backyard and the sidewalk, i walked down to the community garden to do some cleaning (inspired by david). the garden committee sent all the gardeners an e-mail today warning of the killing frost that will arrive here thursday-friday, and to remove any tender plants and collect any remaining vegetables. there was a handful of other gardeners there today, all busy tending to their plots. i did some cleaning (uprooted all the tomatoes and eggplants, cut back the lemon balm, harvested some eggplants, tomatoes, and cayenne peppers) but will need to come back at a later date to do a more thorough job. at the very least i need to divide my chives, which have grown out of control. this will be a good opportunity to give my plot a little tillage, pull up anything i don't want to keep for next season.

for dinner i cooked two organic turkey veggy burgers on the smokeless foreman grill. i waited for the grill to go green before putting on the patties. i also used the timer function, set it to 7 minutes. these smoked a lot more than the bacon, but because veggy turkey burgers don't have a lot of grease, the smoke was mainly water vapor from the frozen patties, and not oily grease smoke that precipitates and lingers. after 7 minutes the grill beeped a few times but kept cooking. they didn't look done so i flipped them over and cooked them for a few more minutes.

the finished patties looked more like chicken burgers, and was a bit green (from the vegetable ingredients). i added some sliced tomatoes and onions, then slathered some additional condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup, relish). it didn't taste like beef burgers, more like chicken burgers. they weren't bad, but also weren't so delicious that i'd get them again, they're just kind of meh. they were filling though, i had zero desire to snack afterwards, something that happens when i have dinner that don't fulfill my nutrient cravings. this brand - applegate - not only is it organic turkey, but it also includes sweet potato, white beans, kale, and roasted onion, so a lot of proteins in an unassuming patty.

after using the smokeless foreman grill twice today, what do i think? keep or return? i'm still on the fence. a standard 4-serving slanted drip tray foreman grill sells for $40. a rapid cook version is a little more, $60, which is almost what i paid for my smokeless ($70). the smokeless feature is just marketing talk, it's impossible to make a grill that doesn't smoke, it's the laws of physics. i may end up just keeping it because i got a good price on it. i could get a regular foreman grill but at almost the same price, the only benefit is it'd be slightly smaller (10x12" instead of the 12x14" of the smokeless, and who knows how high). i didn't like that the smokeless grill didn't come with any utensils; i used chopsticks to move around my bacon and turkey patties. i still don't quite understand how it's "smokeless technology" works; supposedly there are vents in front and the sides of the grill that sucks in air and recirculates the smoke inside the grill, but i put my hand in front of the grill and didn't notice any air draw.