it's a rare saturday where my parents were at the cafe, so i spent the afternoon doing my own thing at home, mostly watching the second season of the wire on HBO max. i wanted to clean the house a bit, but i was too lazy, it was too cold inside the house (i still haven't turned on my heat yet), and the steady rain falling outside was just too depressing. the only constructive thing i did was put new laces on my old hiking shoes, now mostly dried. unfortunately they still smell so i won't be wearing them anytime soon. for lunch i heated up a tina's loaded 5-layer burrito in the microwave, it was actually surprisingly good.

after work my parents came to pick me up. i had all my chinatown-haymarket-star market-market basket haul with me in canvas shopping bags. i was going to make some korean rice cakes along with two side dishes of smashed cucumbers and korean bean sprouts. even though today was rainy and gloomy, it was actually kind of warm with temperature in the upper 50's. that could explain why my room temperature hovered at 62 degrees today, when last night it was at 59 degrees.

my parents had turned on the heat last night so it was warm in the enough. i noticed the osmanthus was missing from the living room, my mother said my father brought it down to our basement grow room because it didn't seem to be doing very well. down in the grow room, it'd have all the light and warmth and humidity that plants love.

while making the seaweed dried fish broth used for the rice cake base, i also prepared the bean sprouts by first boiling them for a few minutes before soaking them in an ice bath. i then mixed the flavors: red pepper flakes, sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, chopped garlic, sugar, salt, and sichuan chili pepper oil. when i was bringing the bean sprouts into the dining room for my parents to try, i accidentally dropped the bowl onto the floor. good news was only 1/3 of it spilled out, but bad news was we had to clean the carpet of oils.

when the broth was finally ready, there didn't seem to be enough (recipe called for 4 cups of water but i kept on adding more though the final result still seemed like just 2-3 cups at most), so i made a few more cups. that delayed preparations by another 20 minutes as we waited for the new broth to come to a boil. while that was happening, i prepared the smashed cucumbers, which used the same sauce base as the bean sprouts.

when the 2nd broth was finally ready, it seemed like we might've had too much broth as the rice cake sauce was very watery. but the more i heated (after adding 1/3 cup of gochujang and 1 tbsp each of dark corn syrup and red pepper flakes) the thicker it got, and it seemed like just the right amount to cover the rice cakes, frozen fish tofu, and tofu wedges.

the final result was a good dinner, that starchy goodness of the rice cakes and the protein-filling tofus combined with the spicy sauce paired with the cooling bean sprouts and cucumbers. my sister contacted me mid-dinner, something about their internet being down. it seems like not a year goes by without something wrong with their internet. the fact that it coincide with a week long rain event can't be just a coincidence. most likely it's squirrel damage then water leaking into the cable. sometimes the problem will fix itself once the weather improves, but i managed to book a appointment with comcast for monday 2-4pm.

my father gave me a ride back home a bit after 8pm. i continued with my the wire marathon, nearly finished with season 2 by evening's end.