my mother and sister sent me price change updates for the cafe this morning. i made the necessary updates on the website as well as their digital payment database.

in the afternoon i made some errands. being inside the whole day, i didn't realize just how hot and humid it was. first stop was the community garden, where i hadn't visited since last wednesday because of all that rain. i wasn't there to water - there'd be more rain today and throughout the week - i just wanted to check on my plants. it's not my imagination but somebody has been stealing my garlic chives. it's not critters because animals like rabbits don't like the taste. it's definitely human, and if i had to guess, it's definitely an asian person. it's kind of a dick move and there's nothing really i can do to stop it other than to guard my plot 24/7, which is impossible. if it gets really bad, i could set up some kind of fencing, but that's sort of the final solution. i'm just worried about my tomatoes and eggplants once they ripen.

after my garden visit, i went to return a shirt my mother had bought on amazon. i noticed amazon no longer does simple scan returns at the UPS store anymore; i can still return stuff there but they have to be packaged up with a new shipping label. instead i was rerouted to the nearest whole food, where they do simple scan returns. it's my first time returning something there, it was kind of weird. customer service took the shirt, scanned my code, and i was all set.

next i went to market basket. i only needed to get some scallions, but i called my mother earlier and she asked for scallions as well as some cilantro. while i was there, there was a manager sale on chinese sausages, so after calling my mother asking how many to get, i bought 3 packages. i paid use the cafe debit card.

finally i biked to the cafe to drop off the supplies, but also to update the prices on the chalk board signs. because i wrote out the signs, i should be the one to update them as well. this way the price changes aren't obvious, like when you see handwritten signs where the prices are in a different handwriting, you know it was a price change.

i stayed for about 1-1/2 hours - making the revisions - before finally leave after 4pm. after being outside for a little bit, i got used to the heat. it's not too bad, especially in the shade, and with a breeze. however when i got back home, it felt like i had the AC on because of how cool it was inside the house.

hungry, i had some pita bread with tzatziki. around 6pm it got really dark and it started to rain. it was just a band of heavy storms, and looking out the window i saw lightning. it passed by quickly though, and although it was still cloudy afterwards, the rain did manage to drive out some of the humidity and the temperature dropped back down in the lower 70's.

instant pot century egg
& pork bone congee
(3-6 serving)

2 lbs. bone-in spare ribs

3/4 cup short-grain rice
6 1/2 cups water
ginger, julienned

1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

1 century egg, chopped
3.5 oz. package pickled radish
scallions, chopped

blanch pork in boiling pot of water for 3 minutes. add rice, water, ginger, salt, sesame oil, ground white pepper, and pork to instant pot and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. let cool (natural release) for 20 minutes before venting remaining pressure. remove pork, discard bone, shred meat, return to instant pot. add chopped century egg, medium sauté to thicken congee. once desired consistency reached, serve with pickled radish and scallions.

i'd already decided i'd be making my instant pot century egg & pork bone congee (rice porridge). it'd give me a chance to use up the frozen spare ribs i had in the freezer and would give me a chance to use the new instant pot duo plus.

i didn't begin making the congee by 8pm, figuring it'd be finished by 9pm just in time for the start of game 1 of the NBA finals. but it ended up taking longer than i expected. blanching the pork took a while because the pieces were frozen together and i took them directly from the freezer without thawing first. i ended up having to break apart the portions using a cleaver after an initial blanching, before a second blanching. i also forgot just how long it takes to pressure cook: about 20 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure, 35 minutes of pressure cooking, then 20 minutes of additional non-pressurized simmering. i didn't eat until 10:20pm.

the new instant pot duo plus didn't come with much instructions, but i'd used enough of the old one to be somewhat familiar with the controls despite some changes. i do like the new preheating/cooking/keep-warm indicators, takes out some of the guess work from the rather vague displays of the old instant pot. the newly designed pressure release toggle button is okay, but it still makes quite the mess when it's releasing pressure; i kind of pressure the old style, where you can sort of push it around with a long wooden spoon so you don't accidentally burn yourself from the steam.

the final result was pretty delicious, but part of it probably also had something to do with the fact that i was really hungry. i didn't add the pickled radish and chopped scallions to the entire congee, just enough for a single serving in my bowl. this way the radish and scallions stay crisp instead of becoming soggy.

i wasn't paying too much attention to game 1, especially after it looked like phoenix had the game well under control. giannis made his comeback, his leg seemed fine, a miracle, but also because he's a young, healthy guy who can probably heal faster and more durable than the average person. i paid even less attention to game when i discovered a streaming site that had game 2 of the red sox-angels matchup. ohtani was pitching as well as DH'ing, it was something to see. he's a big guy too - 6'4" - like seeing aaron judge (6'7"). ohtani towers over the catcher and home plate umpire as well as the basemen when he gets on base. angeles ended up winning the game, tomorrow's the rubber match. another thing that i noticed was i hardly recognize anyone on the red sox lineup. boston got rid a lot of their fan favorites: mookie, jackie bradley jr. where's chavis? the only guys i do recognize are jd martinez, rafael devers, and xander bogaerts. everyone else is new.