after fermenting in room temperature overnight, i checked the status of my v4 jiu niang this morning. there was hardly any liquids. my father called to tell me to put the jiu niang someplace warm. during the winter there is hardly any place in my house that can be considered warm. i've already wrapped up in the jars in a towel, but i decided to put the jiu niang in a box and move them to the top of the fridge, where temperature there occasionally reaches 70°F (while the rest of my house is 60°F during the daytime). i'm not very confident that slow fermenting will produce good jiu niang. if anything, slow fermenting runs the risk of other bad bacteria taking ahold of the cooked glutinous rice.

i couldn't bare to throw them out last week, but i'm finally tossing out my 1qt and 2qt ballarini pots. these have served me well for almost 2 decades, but they're too scratched up to safely use anymore. i have my new t-fal set, and although i don't think my new set are the same quality as the ballarini, i simply couldn't continue using my old worn-out pots anymore. i took some final photos before putting them in the trash. i did however save my 5qt dutch oven. that also has scratches, but not as bad, and i may use it for non-food projects like make soap.

i did a little bit of programming today. an old fan of the weblog got in touch with me after so many years, and informed me that my blog post archive system (in the navbar) was down. i finally took a peek at the code last night, i couldn't believe i wrote it because i almost couldn't make any sense of it, it was so complicated. this morning, after going back and forth and tracing what it was doing, i figured out it was because i needed to upgrade my mysql code to mysqli, since the previous version is no longer supported in the latest php. most of my blog code is just a patchwork of bug fixes, one of these days i should just start the whole thing over as an exercise in implementing some modern coding. i have a vague wishlist of blog features that i've long since forgotten about but maybe it'd be nice to bring some of that back. for instance, a working comment system (one that can filter out spam and impervious to injection attacks).

i had various lunch options - jiu niang soup, omelette, bacon, granola yogurt - but i ended up cooking a bowl of indomie mi goreng with a poached egg. the portions are just right for a light meal and there's just enough cooking involved that it makes me feel like i've earned it. i ate while watching the news, saw that the latest snowfall forecast is for 8-14"+ of snow in the boston area. so my decision to garage the motorcycle was a smart choice after all, i don't think there will be much riding after this latest snowstorm.

i wanted to make a grocery run but the fact that a snowstorm was arriving wednesday-thursday meant the super markets would be crazy. but i really had my heart set on making some indian butter chicken in the instant pot and i needed some more ingredients. first stop was star market, where it wasn't crowded at all but there were definitely more cars in the parking lot. there was a sale on boneless skinless chicken thighs ($1.99/lbs.), i got one for myself and one for my mother. i also grabbed a bag of red seedless grapes.

after returning home, i got on my bike and went to market basket. even though my weather station said it was 38°F, it was definitely much colder because there were ice puddles. i was a bit underdressed, and while i was riding there, i thought, "wouldn't it suck if i had to wait in line to get inside?" sure enough that's what exactly happened. i wasn't angry because it's the right thing to do as market basket is normally crazy before snowstorms and the holidays, so this was just preemptive crowd control. but i only had a light jacket and there were 20 people ahead of me in line while we waited in the shadows. i bumped into my 2nd uncle - i probably see him more than anyone else in my family besides my 2nd aunt - who was there to return some cans before getting in line himself. i heard him reciting bible verses in english to no one in particular behind me in line.

i picked up a christmas ham at market basket. their circular said there was a sale on carando spiral ham at $2.49/lbs, but they also carried market basket brand ham for just $1.69, which is the one that we like. i picked up the ham today because i figured the rest of the week i won't be able to get to MB once the snow begins to fall.

as there was still an hour of daylight, i walked down to the UPS store to return a baofeng recharge cable we accidentally ordered. unfortunately there was a line here as well, 8 customers deep. at least i wasn't waiting in the shadows, but the glare from the low lying sun on the horizon was uncomfortably blinding, my transition lenses were no match. the return was quick when it was finally my turn to go inside the store, took just a few seconds of scanning a code on my phone.

my father called me while i was in line, asked if we turned on the heat at binbin's house the last time we were there. i definitely remembered we didn't, and he asked me to drive there tomorrow to turn on their heat so their pipes don't freeze. but i was looking at the weather forecast and it said tonight the temperature in burlington will drop down to 12°F. i told my father this in the early evening, he and i both agreed that it'd be wiser to go to binbin's house tonight and turn on the heat.

after work my father came to pick me up. he came inside briefly to check on the status of jiu niang, which hadn't changed very much from this morning. we opened one of the jars to smell it, there was a slightly sour smell that made me think the rice had already gone bad, but my father was still optimistic that it still had time to turn sweet. we stopped by the cafe to get my mother. we had a quick dinner of kimchi fried rice at my parents' house before my father and i left for burlington.

we've never been to binbin's house in the evening, it was a nice change because we could also check that the timer lights were all working. i turned on their thermostat and we waited in the basement for their furnace to kick in. i went through the rest of the house checking that the heating vents were working. for some reason all the vents on the second and third floor were closed, i think it's because heat from the first floor will naturally rise to the other floors. their forced air heating is pretty efficient, in the time we were there the temperature went up from 47°F to 49°F. i set the thermostat to 50°F, no reason to keep the house too warm if it's empty. we also adjusted the water heater temperature to vacation mode (something we should've done a year ago), or better yet, simply turn off the hot water heater (maybe do it next time).

from burlington my father gave me a ride back to cambridge.

i discovered a new favorite show, hulu's the great starring elle fanning and nicholas hoult, about how catherine the great came to power in russia. it's supposed to be a historical dramedy but takes self-professed liberties with some the actual events, a fact that i discovered when i wiki'ed the biography of peter III and catherine. still, that doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the show, as i'm a big fan of elle fanning, her natural earnestness a great fit for her character.