by the time i turned on the tv this morning, ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky had already addressed the US congress. i can't remember the last time a foreign leader did that. once again he asked for a no-fly zone, but the US (as well as most western countries) seems unwilling to escalate the conflict into a direct war with russia. all the US could do is promise more weapons.

i made a morning trip (10am) to market basket to get some groceries. i decided to make an instant pot sausage and lentil soup for dinner, figuring that'd be a healthy recipe. after i came home, i had enough time to put my food away in the fridge before heading to the cafe. since my mother will be vacationing in taiwan for 7 weeks starting next tuesday, i need to help out my father at the cafe so i needed some training. i brought along an italian sub i got from market basket for lunch.

i learned the ingredients that go into a bento box, time to cook for various foods, where the ingredients are, how to use the square register, how to answer a phone call, and how to make a bubble ice tea. i was there from 11am to about 3pm, it wasn't a busy day so it was a good day to learn. i even took a phone call, but it was a vendor trying to sell me some kind of payment system service. i need to come back for the next few days. tomorrow doesn't look busy but it might get crazy on friday because the weather's going to hit 70 degrees.

once i came home, i went back out to market basket, to get a few more items i forgot, like a large can of crushed tomatoes, a container of oregon chai, and a few cases of polar seltzer (all in pomegranate flavor).

pedro the handyman showed up at exactly 5pm. i saw him circling the block trying to find a place to park. he was a stocky brazilian man my height, with a nose that looked like it was recently broken in a fight. i showed him what needed to be fixed around the house, he seemed to understand. i asked him to send me a proposal, but he said he'd just send me a text with his estimate. he gets paid per hour instead of per project, and i wasn't sure exactly how much he charges and how long it'd take, but i think did hear him say $35/hr and about 5 days of work, so that's $1400 for labor alone, still cheaper than brian. he also said he was going down to north carolina for a few days to help a friend with some renovation work, and he had another job once he came back, so he wouldn't be available until 2 weeks.

i also contacted the frank the handyman that does work for my sister. i texted him what needed to be done and some photos. he replied back a few hours later, said he doesn't do anything that requires climbing a ladder.

i watched netflix's the adam project. not sure how i feel about it, there were some good moments - the idea of a time traveler revisiting his younger self is original - but it's one of those movies that's so chock full of famous actors (ryan reynolds, jennifer garner, zoe saldana, mark ruffalo, catherine keener) that it's almost distracting with its star-power. seems like more movies are like that these days (star-filled ensemble casting), but actors feel the recession just like everybody else, they're not as picky when it comes to projects, they need to make money to pay the bills too.

sausage kale lentil soup
(6 servings)

1 lbs. italian sausage
1 yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups split red lentils
1/4 cup white wine
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
6-oz. can tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8-oz. frozen chopped kale

ground pepper
shredded parmesan cheese

sauté high sausages then add onion and garlic. add lentils and deglaze with wine. add remaining ingredients cook high pressure 12 minutes. quick-release then serve with shredded cheese and ground pepper.

i started with my sausage lentil soup recipe around 7pm. it wasn't hard, the most difficult part was cooking the pieces of sausage first, before adding the rest of the ingredients. i added a splash of white wine to give it more flavor, and frozen chopped kale instead of fresh kale. once i turned on the pressure cooker, all that was left was to just wait for the soup to finish cooking.

i bought red split lentils, which basically dissolved into a mush, kind of like rice porridge, but instead of starch it was protein. i didn't need to add any salt, the low-sodium beef broth and the sausages already imparted enough flavor. plus when i added some shredded parmesan cheese, that added a bit more saltiness. i had a small bowl which was already very filling. afterwards i felt gassy, which is to be expected, since lentils are in the same family as beans. i know lentils are healthy, but can i picture myself eating lentils for weeks on end?