i packed up my things - including 3 jars of jiu niang of various vintage - and rode my bike to belmont. since i store my bike outside (under a tarp), the chains were rusted from being out in the elements and not being used for a while. temperature was in the mid 30's, at least better than the 20's, and it was a sunny morning.
i ran into my parents on their way to the cafe to pick up some supplies for the hot pot dinner we'd be having tonight. when they came back, my mother made some chicken noodle soup for lunch. my mother asked if i brought any more of my jiu niang, i told her i had 3 jars. both my parents tried it, they said it was very good (sweet) jiu niang. this is my 3rd successful glutinous rice fermentation after 4 failures of varying degrees. i'm not sure what else is there after this. the only other remaining challenge is to see if i can scale up the recipe, using up a whole 5 lbs. of glutinous rice (10 cups) in a single ferment. i could also purposefully make rice wine, in which case the warm instant pot will come in handy to accelerate the fermentation. i think my next food project is to go back to one of my classics, the blueberry muffins. i still have bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer i need to use up.
in the late afternoon my father and i took apart my aunt's bose wave music system to see if we can fix it. it seems to operate fine, all the options come up, no problem with the menus, but it simply won't play sounds. not just from the speakers themselves, but also when i tried it with the headphones, no audio either. i looked at a few youtube videos, nobody had an answer to the problem. a few people were shown fixing the circuit board by tracing the circuits and desoldering and replacing components, but that's beyond our expertise. we did see an online repair service via ebay: for $115 they'd fix any bose wave music system, including parts and i'm assuming return shipping (though you'd probably have to pay to ship it there, i'm guessing another $20). that seems to be the only option. there's really nothing wrong with the unit other than the fact that it won't play music, it's worth fixing.
when dinner came around with had hot pot. my sister arrived with her dog to partake in this rare food event. the last time we had hot pot was almost 2 years ago, for chinese new year, at the cafe because my parents didn't want to stink up the house. typically we made a pilgrimage to an asian supermarket to collect all the hot pot ingredients. because my parents though going to a supermarket now that there was a holiday coronavirus spike was too risky, they instead cobbled up ingredients they had at the cafe. so it was a hot pot dinner, but not a spectacular one, just an okay hot pot with found ingredients. for the most part they had all the typical hot pot favorites: sliced beef, sliced lamb, quail eggs, squid, taro, enokitake, napa cabbage, tofu squares. my godmother dropped off a bottle of mio sparkling sake. i had a few sips, it tastes exactly like my jiu niang rice wine, with the sweetness, characteristic jiu niang flavor, and the carbonation - except it's been filtered so instead of milky cloudy it was crystal clear. it tastes very good, almost just like a sparkling soda. the only thing lacking is the alcohol content, just 5%, but as much as a typical beer. the rice wine i made has a much higher alcohol content (though we haven't been able to measure it, just know by taste).
i went home afterwards, though my parents were suggesting i take one of the cars because it was cold outside. i checked the temperature before i left, just 31°F, not too bad, a few degrees shy of what it was this morning. as far as cold is concerned, it wasn't all that cold, and i could use the exercise (on the bike) to burn off the excess calories. at about the midway point i was pleasantly warm, though it was still a struggle since i haven't been biking in a while and i've lost some of my endurance.
i was dismayed to find that my upstairs neighbors had returned home. with that came the loud television sounds in the living room. because of that i didn't bother contacting them about their packages; i'll just dump it outside their front door tomorrow morning.