there was intermittent rain all day today, and i wasn't sure if i could bike to the cafe this morning. but a lull in the rain gave me a window to bike there without getting wet.

i was going to bring my old crockpot, because we really need to upgrade the 2qt cafe crockpot we currently use to marinate the tea eggs. 2qt is a cute size, but it's just too small. my old crockpot is the 3150/2, which is 3-1/2qt. a single quart is equal to 8-9 medium-size eggs. so currently the maximum number of tea eggs we can put in the 2qt crockpot is 18. the 3-1/2qt crockpot would allow use to have about 30 eggs. the only caveat is the old crockpot only has a high and low setting, no keep warm.

fortunately i found out last night that target is currently having a sale on a 3qt crockpot-brand crockpot for $18 (normally $30). the crockpot corporation is trying to hip up their image and the advertisement shows young people cooking with the crockpot, making slow cooking cool again it seems. it even comes in a modern color - "moonshine" - which is more like a sage color. i showed my father this particular crockpot and we decided to get it later in the afternoon.

the tea egg making system we use now needs to be overhauled. i'm basically making tea eggs every day because they sell just as fast as i'm able to make them. every bento box has a tea egg, not to mention of a customer wants to buy them directly. the issue is tea eggs taste better when they have a change to marinate in the tea brine longer, but they're being sold so fast, we're pretty much selling the ones i made the day before. with a larger crockpot, we can cook more tea eggs, so hopefully i only need to make them every few days instead of daily.

i was waiting for online orders but it didn't happen today. i can envision the day where we get more online orders than phone orders. right now customers are still used to the old way of doing it - by phone - but slowly they're discovering online ordering, which is more convenient.

around 2pm i took the car and went to the watertown target to look for u-posts for my community garden. they had 7ft t-posts, but those were not the ones i wanted because they don't have hooks where i can hang my fencing/trellis. i also wanted to get a replacement downspout extension but they happened to be some supply loading so that whole aisle was closed off to customers. basically my trip to home depot was a bust.

coming back, i stopped by the target to pick up the crockpot that i ordered online more than 2 hours ago. they were supposed to notify me when my order was ready but they never did. instead i found the crockpot i wanted in the kitchen department and went to the pickup desk to see if i can either cancel my online order and buy the crockpot in-store, or somehow let them know i've already picked up the crockpot. the girl at the store scanned my order number and i was surprised when her computer told her my order was ready (since i wasn't notified) yet. she came back with the exact same box i had earlier.

i returned to the cafe to try out the new 3qt crockpot. i transferred over the content of the 2qt crockpot into the new larger crockpot. it was still small enough that it could fit in its old spot. the porcelain bowl in the 3qt is white (the 2qt was red), which makes it easier to see how much brine is left in the pot. at last count there was 15 tea eggs, but i could fit a dozen more eggs. i was curious about the keep warm function. the smart plug told me it used 62W, while the old crockpot - which only had low/high and we kept it on low - was 76W. on the new crockpot, low uses 112W, while high is 173W.

i finally left the cafe around 4:30pm, during another lull in the rain. i walked to star market to pick up some mangoes on sale. i didn't eat all day and had an instant cup of korean shin black noodles for a late lunch. later in the evening (9pm) i finished off my leftover holiday ham and avocado half by making a bagel sandwich for dinner.

i was looking at my mother's google photo album - to see what she's been up to in taiwan - when i noticed two covid at-home test strips. one was negative, one was positive. i called my father to see if he'd seen the photos, and he ended up contacting my mother. turns out my 2nd aunt developed a cough and wasn't feeling well, and decided to take a covid test out of curiosity. that test came out positive, so my mother took one too but hers was negative. chances are they're both exposed to the coronavirus, but my mother's immunity managed to fight it off, or at least now show any symptoms. with just 4 days before they take their scheduled PCR test so they can get on the plane the day after to return to the US, that plan is now in jeopardy if they both test positive on monday. so they haven't left the house - along with my big aunt - and my 2nd aunt has quarantined herself in one of the bedrooms. later i called my mother for some more details, she said my 2nd aunt has no idea how she contracted covid, she's always very careful, and there's still a mandatory mask mandate in taiwan, so everybody's masked. they only have 2 more at-home tests left, but my cousin knows some people who have connections with a hospital who can get them more home tests tomorrow.