i cut up 6 navel oranges and fresh squeezed some juice for my mother. i tasted some of the pulp, it was a little sour. i think it's currently a little early for the winter orange season, they should be sweeter in another month or so. but these were good juicing oranges, just 3 oranges nearly filled a 16-oz. full of juice, despite the oranges themselves being of a medium size. there was very little pulp and easy to juice.
i left for my parents' place a bit after 11am. my mother asked me to get there early so i can make korean rice cakes for her. she'd been waiting all morning and had already prepared the seaweed broth. i brought along some frozen korean fish cakes but she said they weren't 'tianbula' so she used her h-mart purchased fish cakes instead. the one ingredient she didn't have was scallions. she harvest a little bit from the backyard and mixed it up with some garlic chives. in hindsight, garlic chives is a bad ingredient o add because it easy for the pieces to get caught in the teeth. but it was a very successful rice cake experience, a good food for the fall, since the spiciness of the sauce and the starch (rice cakes) and protein (tofu) combo makes for a filling meal.
i checked out the osmanthus that arrived last night. it wasn't as fragrant as i'd imagined, i had to get really close in order to smell the fragrance. but the tiny flower buds were just about to open, so maybe after a few weeks they'll smell better. we transferred it from its original 1 gallon put into a 2 gallon pot. for the soil we mixed a combination of potting soil with a bit of playground sand for drainage. my father put some lava rocks at the base and we added a layer of chicken manure, even though the potting soil itself had fertilizer balls. an osmanthus grows more like a bush than a tree. the base branches are a little tangled, we may need to prune them next season, maybe save and propagate them as cuttings. it seems to have two types of leaves: young leaves on the top which are lighter and oval-shaped with smooth edges, and older leaves on the bottom which are darker, thinner, with toothed edges.
we also harvested the last of our buttercup squashes. this allowed my father to later take down all the squash vines to clear up the trellis and make the hyacinth beans and long beans more visible.
hyacinth bean seeds are supposed to be black and white, but this season we've had some brown ones (though they might be immature seeds, unable to germinate) and large purple ones. my father said the purple seeds will shrink and turn black.
my father told me that the large marine deep cycle battery in the basement we use to run our on-demand pump for the rain barrels was dead. he tried taking a voltage reading, it was low enough to mean the battery was damaged. the controller wouldn't even light up, despite the fact we were still getting electricity from the outside 100W flexible solar panel. my personal theory is the solar panel was blocked by the bitter melon trellis, so the battery hasn't been charging for months, and we finally used up all the electricity. we tried charging it with the trickle charger but it wouldn't work, said we had the polarity reversed even though we didn't. later my father managed to "jump" the battery with our old car battery charger, before switching it to the trickle charger to slow charge.
in the meantime, he moved the portable battery station we built back in september 2019 from the garage (where it was driving the front lawn water pump) to the basement (to drive the backyard on-demand pump). that allowed me to water the backyard lawn and to use up most of the rain barrel water since it's going to a lot tomorrow night into monday morning.
i discovered last night that home depot also sells osmanthus tea olive plants via their website, with free home delivery. for about the same price ($34) as the 1-gallon fudingzhu osmanthus we bought from etsy, the home depot osmanthus is twice as big and comes in a 2.25 gal. pot. the only thing is i don't think it's a fudingzhu variety, but just a generic osmanthus fragrans (AKA tea olive), the type with large drooping white flowers. my father decided to get one, after telling me he's always wanted an osmanthus (disregarding the one we just got), and even tried to get his california cousin to send him one. this specimen will most likely live at the cafe.
my mother disappeared for much of the day, said she didn't have a good night sleep, and she was feeling the effects of the 2nd shingle shot she got yesterday afternoon. later we took her temperature and she had a fever. she didn't want to cook so told us to go out and get some burger king takeout for dinner. my father and i both got the ch'king sandwich while my mother got a whopper. when we brought back the food, she wasn't in the mood to eat, and went back to bed.
i didn't leave until i finished watching the red sox game on my computer. game 2 between red sox and the washington nationals, for much of the game the score was 1-0 in favor of boston, until the 8th inning when the nationals scored a run to tie the game. but boston managed to score 4 runs in the 9th inning and won the game despite washington scoring 2 more runs to make it interesting. with the yankees loss today (2-12 spanking by the rays), boston and new york are tied, but boston has the tiebreaker. blue jays won their game, and so did the mariners. if yankees and red sox lose tomorrow and blue jays and mariners both win, we could have a 4-way tie with 2 tiebreaking games on monday with the winners playing a single game wild card on tuesday. it's almost enough excitement to take away the spotlight on tom brady's return to foxborough as a buccaneer, which is all the local news are broadcasting this weekend.