a loud booming thunderclap this morning woke me out of bed. i remember the forecast was for some rain today, but i wasn't expecting this much. it darkened the sky and it showered for most of the morning. i welcome the rain, it means free watering for our lawn grass seeds. unfortunately the forecast for the rest of the week is dry and cool. cool is good for growing grass, but not dry.
i made one last english muffin egg cheese bacon sandwich for lunch, and ate the last of the soft nathan's half sour pickle. i heated up 9 cups of water with 3 oz. of salt to make brine for fermenting the long beans. i had 20 beans but they were of inferior late season stock, weighing altogether just 0.78 lbs. i washed them and left them out to dry.
while waiting for the brine to cool, i did some errands during a lull in the rain. i mixed up a spray bottle worth of oxiclean and went outside to zap the algae growing on my wooden deck and house siding. i left it to work its oxidation magic, while i went to dry my motorcycle before covering it up. finally, i made a grocery list and biked down to market basket to get a few times. i was only 3 blocks away before it started to rain again. at first i thought it was just a sprinkle, but it got heavier, and when i checked the doppler radar map on my phone, it showed an expansive stormfront heading this way. i decided to abort my grocery trip and come home.
armed with an umbrella, i went outside to scrub the oxidized algae from the deck and siding. honestly, if the oxiclean worked its magic, there should be no scrubbing, and the rain would rinse off any residue, but i wanted to help it along. i came back inside, my t-shirt and pants completely soaked.
the brine had cooled to room temperature, so i started making another batch of fermented long beans. learning from my mistake last time, i poured 6 cups of brine into the 1/2 gallon mason jar to make it easier for me to stuff the long beans. 6 cups was enough, i added about another 1/2 cup to fill the jar. i also added sichuan peppercorns, a few bay leaves, a few pieces of rock sugar, some hot chili peppers, and a dash of chinese baijiu. i thought the jar was stuffed to capacity but when i looked at it afterwards, there was probably still enough room for 20 more long beans, had i stuffed them in the jar better initially.
i thought i was all done but i still had about 3 cups of brine left. i was about to pour it out when i had a bright idea: i have a bunch of cherry tomatoes in my fridge, maybe i can fermented those? i never heard of fermented tomatoes before, but went online to check and was surprised to find several recipes. the ingredients were the same as for half-sour pickles. so i got all my cherry tomatoes and managed to fill a pickle jar with them. 3 cups of brine was more than enough to fill the jar. i also added 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and a few sprigs of fresh dill along with some chopped garlic. it looked really pretty but i'm not sure how they'll taste. also i saw a recipe that said to use fresh cherry tomatoes, but some of mine were a bit old and soft. it's just an experiment, but sure how well it's going to work. if it turns out to be delicious, there's buckets of cherry tomatoes yet to be harvest from my parents' backyard.
after a day of procrastinating, it was finally time for bathroom demolition work. the hole in my bathroom is the "box" in the corner that encapsulates all the plumbing that goes upstairs. one face is open (the side facing the toilet), but i needed to tear down the other face in order to rebuild the box. i was also hoping that by tearing down that side, i'd make cleaning up and restuffing the walls with insulation a bit easier.
i worked barefoot in my underwear while listening to the sports radio. all the callers sounded awful: uneducated, loud-mouth, opinionated. i sprayed newspaper on the floor to catch the fall debris, but it still sprayed everywhere. earlier, before i started, i watched some youtube videos on how to repair drywalls, which psyched me up. i scored the paint before the good side of the wall so i wouldn't accidentally tear off the paint like i did on the wall behind the toilet. i took me a little bit over an hour to finally tear down the remaining box wall, along with the galvanized corner bead. i marked the location of the various drywall nails along the wooden 2x4.
in the early evening i put an oncor lasagna in the oven and baked it for an hour. oncor's aren't as good as stouffer's frozen lasagnas, but you get more for the same price. i ate while watching the red sox game against the orioles. the losing streak continues, boston lost to baltimore, the worst team in baseball, which sums up this late season stretch perfectly.