this morning marks the official first full day of mung bean sprouting (day 1). i brought it out to the kitchen sink (10:30am) so i could water the beans. tiny roots were already starting to poke out through the plastic colander. in my previous attempt, that didn't happen until day 3.

cake flour jumbo
blueberry muffins
(6 servings)

1 stick salted butter, thawed
3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups flour
4 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup half and half
2 cups frozen blueberries
cooking spray

sparkling sugar

thaw butter overnight. cream butter & sugar; add eggs, vanilla, juice; mix dry ingredients into batter 1/3 at a time, adding some half and half in between. mix in blueberries. spoon into jumbo muffin pan. top with sparkling sugar. bake at 425°F 10 min. 375°F 30 mins. + additional 10 minutes if necessary

i decided to make some blueberry muffins this morning. i'd already planned it the night before by leaving a stick of butter out to thaw. the reason for muffins was i wanted to use up an old package of blueberries i had in the fridge. not sure how old it is, but it definitely pre-dated my new fridge, a refugee from my old whirlpool refrigerator. i hadn't made blueberry muffins in over a year. i did however make mini matcha muffins back in april.

i made a mistake when i creamed the butter and sugar by adding in the eggs as well. i tried to scoop out the eggs but it was already too late. the way i cream butter and sugar is a joke anything, i don't know why i even bother, other than to mash the butter so it's not a solid stick. as for the dry ingredients, i had 1 cup of leftover cake flour, and then i created another cup of cake flower using regular flower and 2 tbsp of corn starch. i put everything into a 1qt plastic yogurt container so i could shake and mix all the dry ingredients together.

when it came time to add the blueberries, i realized this was a very old package, so much so that it was just a solid block of ice with blueberries embedded on the inside. i put the blueberry ice block in a ziploc bag and ran it under hot water, breaking apart the ice with my bare hands, sometimes with a meat tenderizing, making a mess of purple blueberry juice all over the sink. i finally had enough blueberries to fill 2 cups. in hindsight, that was probably too much blueberries, since i usually use frozen. 2 cups of thawed soft blueberries is more like 4 cups of blueberries.

when the muffins were done cooking, i was surprised by the result. i didn't think it'd rise at all, but there was a decent muffin top. it also had the fissures of good rising. the crust itself was thin but crispy, not bad. and despite using old blueberries and old flour, you couldn't taste any of that.

for lunch i had some granola with yogurt.

i dragged my bicycle into the backyard to see what was causing the rattling sound when i changed gears. the noise only happened when i was in 7th gear, it looked like the chain wasn't properly aligned. i tried bending the rear derailleur but the sound was still there. i cleaned the derailleur cogs and fiddled around with the bike some more to make it less noisy. i was ready to call it quits when i noticed something: there was a loose screw that was rattling inside the rear cassette. it's a screw that's holding the nut of a fender strut. i totally don't need it and the screw already fell off on the other side a long time ago. i ended up taking off the rear wheel to fish the loose screw out and that fixed the rattling sound. i wiped clean the chain and oiled it before putting my bike away.

i was going to ride down to the cafe to drop off some muffins for my mother, but the sky turned dark and it looked like it'd rain. i went back inside and checked the doppler radar, it showed some storm clouds, but they were already leaving the area. so i went back outside, tied the box of muffins to the back of my bicycle, then rode to the cafe. i haven't biked in a while, and my joints weren't used to it, felt some tightness in my inner left thigh, but it disappeared after a few minutes of pedalling.

my mother was happy to receive the muffins, gave her an excuse to have some coffee. i left soon afterwards, went to the fresh pond trader joe's to get some snacks. there are so many trader joe's near me, besides the one on fresh pond, there's also the one along memorial drive in cambridgeport and the one in allston next to the harvard stadium. only the harvard one sells alcohol. i left with some giant inca corn, spicy plantain chips, and chile mango slices.

one reason i went out for a bike ride (besides delivery muffins) was of the warm weather. temperature today was in the 50's. there was a lot of thawing and when i got back home my pant legs were all soaked from riding through so many snowmelt puddles. tomorrow's weather looks to be similar to today. i also thought about going to chinatown, but my mother said she didn't need anything there.

in the late afternoon (4:30pm) when i took out my mung beans to water them again, i could see the roots were now longer. it'd only be 6 hours! so the heat pad is like steroids for the plants, it makes them grow super fast. i'm excited to see what's going to happen by day 5, which will be monday.

i had a craving for pickles and finally opened my jar of half sour pickles. i pulled one out and i already knew something was off: instead of a crispy pickle, this one was soft and water-logged. in fact, they were all like that. i made these back in september, apparently you can't keep them for over 5 months and expect them to be still crispy. i should've ate them soon after they'd already fermented for a few days. at least i know how to make them again if i ever come across some small pickles.

instead i finished the bag of jerk-style plantain chips and some mango strips. i also ate the tyrkisk peber licorice. it came in a roll which i thought was strange; turns out it wasn't the hard ammonia-flavored licorice i was thinking of, but instead it was soft licorice, just like salmiak rocks: soft jelly licorice on the outside, with a sweet chewy licorice interior that had the texture of fudge.

for dinner i made another serving of rice noodles. i used the rotisserie chicken broth, just added more boiling water to make enough soup to cook the rice noodles. i remember i had homegrown bean sprouts in the fridge and half a handful for flavor. the rice noodle i make is good, but it's not like the ones my mother makes, which i think is better. i add a lot more ingredients to mine, hers is more of a simple clear broth variety.

i timed my dinner so i could watch the men's halfpipe finals starting at 8:30pm. i was rooting for shaun white, knew he wasn't getting gold, but maybe at least medal. he was in a good spot, especially since ayumu hirano fell in his first run. but shaun at age 35 didn't have the explosive pop of his youth, and came in 4th place. there was a brief scare when in the 2nd run australian scotty james managed to pull ahead in first place, despite ayumu having a much better run. the NBC color announcer was livid, and called out the judges and said they "grenaded all their credibility." all was right in the 3rd run, when ayumu - the final athlete - pulled an amazing performance that got the other snowboarders applauding afterwards to score 96, winning the gold. in 3rd place was swiss jan scherrer, who was above 4th place shaun white by just 2.25 points (87.25 to 85). the results were similar to last night's men's figure skating, when hanyu yuzuru came in 4th as well.