this day was spent in anticipation of the snowstorm that would arrive in the late evening. even though i've lived through many snowstorms, it always makes me feel anxious. at least this year my parents' hired a snow clearing company so i no longer have to go to the cafe and help shovel. however, the solar panels in belmont will needed to be cleared at some point, and we usually like to do it right after the storm so the snow doesn't have time to freeze solid and become impossible to remove. but that's a problem for tomorrow; today there was nothing to do but wait. i watched the weather report, every day the forecast seems more ominous: today the precipitation was at 10-18"+ with winds of 30-40mph. the last time we had a big snowstorm was march 2019, 20 months ago. last winter was very unusual in that we didn't get any snow.

instead of eating lunch, i went out for a walk on this cold day to visit a few pokemon gyms. i ended up leaving pokemons in 4 places with the hopes of reaping some coins. it was cold enough that my hands began to hurt without gloves.

when i returned home by 12:45pm, i decided i would cook my package of bacon outside on my smokeless foreman grill. i cooked them in two batches as i watched the delicious bacon smoke billow away into the sky from inside the house. once they were done, i made a bacon & egg sandwich. the sandwich was flat but delicious based solely on the addition of aldi's everything bagel spices i got a while back and was finally trying it now. i thought it was just some sesame and poppy seeds, but there are also sea salt and fried garlic and other deliciousness. i think the sandwich would be even more delicious if i add some avocado, but the one i bought on tuesday still isn't ripe enough to eat yet. i saved the bacon grease and actually cooked the egg in some of it.

later in the afternoon i went out once more after the UPS wrongly delivered another package was that meant for a different address. a young woman came out of the house when i arrived, i asked her if she was the name on the mailing address, she said that was her roommate and took the box for me.

i didn't go to any supermarkets today nor would i, the day before the storm (though technically the snowstorm would be arriving late tonight). i had plenty of food in the house, and the snowy inconvenience would last a day at most. in the late afternoon early evening i watched as neighbors one after another made their way to star market for last minute groceries.

indian butter chicken
(2 servings)

7-8 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp salted butter

1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp salted butter
4 oz. half and half

cilantro, chopped

1 cup basmati rice
1 cup water

14 oz. diced tomatoes

1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala

1.4 lbs. chicken thighs

cook 1 cup basmati rice in rice cooker. sautée vegetable ingredients with butter in instant pot on high temperature. add can of diced tomatoes and remaining dry spices. layer chicken on top and cook on high pressure 10 minutes. wait 10 more minutes before releasing pressure. remove thighs. stir in half & half, butter, garam masala with handmixer. add back cut up chicken. served over basmati rice with chopped cilantro.

even though i was hungry, i didn't start making dinner until almost 9pm. i was making the famous urvashi's instant pot indian butter chicken. i cooked a cup of long grain rice first because i wasn't sure if i could run both the instant pot and rice cooker from the same kitchen circuit without popping the fuse. turns out i didn't need to worry, because the rice was already finished cooking long before i even started on the instant pot. i looked at a few recipes, everyone seems to be doing something different, but i ended up following the one created by an indian woman, figuring that would be the most authentic.

urvashi's butter chicken doesn't call for onions but i added it anyway. she also doesn't sautée her vegetables but i did just to release some of the flavors. i used a binder clip to hold the inner pot in place so it wouldn't move around when i stirred, a tip i learned online. i used almost 1.5 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken thighs, but it didn't seem like enough, and i could've easily added the other half. when it finished pressure cooking, i removed the chicken and used my hand mixer to blend the remaining ingredients into a sauce. the recipe calls for an immersion blender which i don't have. using a hand mixer meant there was some splattering and the sauce would still be chunky. while i mixed, i added the half & half (recipe called for heavy cream), butter, and another teaspoon of garam masala.

not counting all the jiu niang experiments, the butter chicken is just my 2nd instant pot recipe. to be honest, it wasn't that good. maybe because i used really old spices that'd been in my cupboard for years. or perhaps it was the old butter i used. but whatever it was, the dish tasted kind of bland. the chicken was super tender, no complaints there, but it didn't really have any flavor, like maybe i should've marinated it first. the sauce was typical of indian dishes in that there were a lot of spices, but it wasn't anything special. i should've used ground ginger instead of minced ginger because i couldn't chop up the ginger fine enough and there were little chunks of ginger with every bite. i feel like some of my stovetop indian recipes were more delicious than this instant pot version. i don't deny the convenience, but the recipe didn't wow me. i'm still not an instant pot believer.

it started snowing in the evening. the only reason why i knew that was by looking out the window, since the snow was totally silent. it was windy outside, and i could see the snow blowing in multiple directions, but it wasn't howling. i grabbed several devices, trying to capture the essence of the snowstorm: wide angle lens, telephoto lens, superzoom video (on my panasonic lumix), even my zoom H1 microphone made an appearance as i tried to record some of the wind sounds (including my DIY dead cat).