the constricted neck of the sichuan paocai jar is perfect for keeping the floating vegetables submerged. the fido jar also has a constricted neck but it's higher up, and my brine level doesn't reach that high, so the vegetables float to the top and the top layer might be dry. to compensate, i shake the fido jar whenever i can, to sort of sink the vegetables a little bit. with the sichuan paocai jar i don't have to do any of that. the paocai is definitely fermenting. i smelled something awful today that i thought was the trash (even though i emptied it last night) until i realized it was the burping paocai jar. the more burps the better, likewise the stronger the smell the greater the taste.
in the late morning i biked down to the porter square star market to get some fried chicken and some fruits on sale (grapes, clementines, honeycrisp apples). i washed down my fried chicken lunch with some hey song sarsaparilla soda.
afterwards i made another batch of jiu niang. i've lost track which batch this is, i'm going by date now and what special steps i'm taking. this particular version i'm using a pack of expired angel leaven (2017) but instead of slow fermenting for 3 days, i'm quick fermenting in the instant pot for 24 hours. this will let me know once in for all if the fermented glutinous rice will turn sour because i'm using a yeast ball or leaven powder. after this i will have tried every iteration of jiu niang making.
i read some advice online that says whenever i go into another room, always take something that belongs in that room, and vice versa. that seems like a good way to declutter the house so i've been following that advice this week. there's still clutter, but i think overtime the house will slowly get more organized.
i went to market basket in the early afternoon. there was only 6 people in line, and i made it inside in less than a minute of waiting. i gathered the ingredients for making korean street toast, a promising recipe i found online. my sister texted me, said there was some "beef hand pies" at the cafe if i wanted to pick them up. after i got home i called my mother, told her i already had leftover fried chicken i needed to finish, she said i could come by tomorrow when she was making a fresh batch.
what i really wanted to do was to fly the drone today. it was the last sunny day before clouds roll in tomorrow for the next few days. i walked down to the community garden since that was a good launching spot. i realized it's not actually ideal. there were actually a lot of obstacles and the paths were muddy, however nobody was around, so found a clear spot and sent my drone into the air. unfortunately i didn't check my location carefully enough, and the drone flew right into the branches of an overhead tree. i watched as it sputtered and waited for it to crash to the ground, but it actually regained its balance and i quickly landed it. i examined the drone, by some miracle the props weren't damaged (just a few light scratches). so i moved out away from the back of the garden to get some better clearance and put the drone safely back in the air.
so my plan was to see how far i can fly, but the shot i wanted was to circle harvard's memorial hall. when i reached the chemistry lab (1900 ft away) my RC signal was down to 2 bars and i didn't want to risk pushing the drone any farther and losing connection altogether. i was still 700 ft away from memorial hall. i hovered in the air, took some photos, and decided to come back. during that time, my dji fly app crashed twice. it didn't freeze, it just bounced me out of the app. i was able to go right back in, but it was weird.
i think if i really want to circle memorial hall, a better (closer) place to launch would be cambridge common. another great place would be from sacramento field. i'd have a better view of the sky, which in theory means less obstruction and perhaps a longer distance. the only reason why i didn't try flying from there is there are more people walking around the perimeter tracks. but worth a try the next time i fly from the neighborhood.
i decided to take a detour and fly over my house to get a few photos before finally flying back to the community garden. while i was there a woman actually came into the garden. i'd never seen her before, she seemed to be doing a survey of the garden, inspecting each plot carefully (maybe she lost something). after she did a tour of the gardens she left. once she was gone i bought the drone down. once again, if i can avoid it, i rather not land the drone on my hand. instead i put it down on the dirt path. i was afraid the prop blades would hit the ground, but when it lands it comes in very gently. i packed up my drone and returned home.
the big news today was the second impeachment of trump by the house of representative. i basically had the tv on the whole day, turned to some news channel. when we got closer to the actual voting, all the major networks broke in with breaking news coverage. it was a forgone conclusion that trump would be impeached since the democrats have the majority in the house. the question was how many republicans would defect and join the impeachment vote as well? the answer was 10, while 197 other republicans decided what trump did didn't warrant an impeachment.
what happens now is a bit more murky. senate republican majority leader mitch mcconnell has already said he wouldn't reconvene the senate to take up the impeachment trial before trump leaves office. after that democrat chuck schumer becomes new senate majority leader, and he gets to decide when and if an impeachment trial will happen. it's a little no-win for the democrats, because if they do have the trial, it takes away attention from biden's new administration. but if they don't have one, then it means trump escapes punishment for causing insurrection against the US government. democrats might push the trial until after the first 100 days, but by that point the momentum might be lost, as people start to forget about trump. or maybe trump will continue to be a pest while out of office, in which case an impeachment trial is very much a reality.
at the 6 hours mark, i opened a jar of fermenting jiu niang. there's was some liquid at the bottom but when i took a sniff there was no discernable smell other than that of wet rice.
when early evening came i ate some more fried chicken. my sister was asking me if i got a powerball ticket (jackpot now at $550 million) so i went to the liquor store around the corner and bought two tickets, one for me and one for her.
later in the evening i finished the rest of the fried chicken. all that grease finally caught up to me and i ended up with explosive diarrhea. after a shower i felt better and ate an apple.
it took a while to find out the powerball numbers, since the powerball website had crashed, too many people logging in try to get the numbers. my sister had two matches while i only had one, neither of which qualified for cash prizes. friday is the mega millions drawing with a jackpot of $750 million.
before going to bed, i checked on the jiu niang once more, after 12 hours of heated fermentation. not much had changed since the 6 hours mark, maybe a little more liquid at the bottom, but when i opened the jar there was no smell and the cooked rice grains were still whole. i sampled some rice, bland flavor, no sourness. i take that as a good sign. also on the glass are the mycelium of the jiu niang fungus. that's also a good sign that things are happening even if i can see or taste it just yet.