my father unexpectedly called me this morning while i was still in bed scrolling through my phone. he said he could come pick me up because it was too cold outside for riding. i protested at first but finally agreed. temperature was in the 20's, which wasn't that cold, but he was coming out anyway. he got me around 11:30am, we stopped by the cafe so he could pick up the slow cooker while i went to my sister's place to see if i could convince hailey to go outside and use the bathroom (she wan't interested).

the first thing we did when we arrived in belmont was to start cooking the corned beef in the slow cooker. my mother didn't think there'd be enough time to prepare it, but 6 hours of high heat slow cooking until dinner was plenty of time for the corned beef to be ready. we didn't add any vegetables, just enough water to submerge the meat and i added an additional tablespoon of pickling spices for additional flavor. for lunch i had some pan-fried dumplings and some grainy soy milk (unstrained).

in the afternoon i went to the basement grow room to water the plants with mosquito bit treated water. it's been a tremendous success, other than some fungus gnats that we caught early on with the yellow sticky traps, i haven't seen any additional gnats. our problem is mainly with the mealybugs who are good at evading detection and we have to be ultra-vigilant in order to prevent any outbreaks, and the aphids, who seem to congregate on the tender cactus tips and gardenia flower buds. i sprayed the aphids with foamy insecticidal soap and used alcohol-dipped cotton swabs to remove the few mealybugs i found on the gardenia and jasmines. temperature on thursday is supposed to reach 55°F, i might do another round of outdoor spraying with neem oil.

my mother kept checking on the corned beef every half hour. she point a plate on top of the beef to keep it from floating up. by 6pm the corned beef was finally done cooking and ready to be assembled into reuben sandwiches. while my father sliced the beef into thick layers, i toasted the rye bread in some butter and put on a slice of baby swiss cheese to melt. on the other piece of bread we slathered a layer of russian dressing. slices of corned beef were stacked onto the bread along with a layer of hand-squeezed thin sauerkraut. these sandwiches were pretty decadent, although i found the bread to be too thin. i have another corned beef in my own fridge that my mother suggested i bring over next weekend for a second round of reuben sandwiches.

today was a great day for solar energy. even though it was very windy, the panels didn't care as long as the sun was still shining. the cold temperature also made for more efficient energy conversion. we made the most single day electricity amount so far this year, and more than this time last year.

my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. i brought along the spare luxauto grow light that we weren't using so i can start germinating some seedlings within the coming weeks.