i threw a chicken cordon bleu in the oven in the late morning and walked down to the community garden to water my plants. i had 40 minutes before the chicken finished baking, plenty of time to get my watering done. it was a little chilly - temperature in the 60's - i ended up wearing a jacket. gene - my garden neighbor with the dahlias - was there planting his flower tubers. along the way i found a pair of empty glass milk bottles and a glass container with lid. i timed it so my lunch was ready just in time for the noontime news.

in the early afternoon i rode down to greater boston motorsports to get my bike inspected. i called them earlier asking if i needed an appointment, they said no, they reinstated walki-in inspections. i went down mass ave and saw the new bus and bike lanes in western cambridge. so mass ave is now just a single lane of traffic, with no curbside parking. even city paints - which needs it store front parking spots for vehicles - has no parking now. as much as i love bike lanes, i think this new mass ave design is a terrible idea and the city is essentially killing those businesses.

i got to GBM by 1pm. it took just 15 minutes to get my bike inspected ($15), most of that time was just waiting in line because they were so busy with calls. i left the key on the bike and read off my odometer go i could give it to the service desk. there shouldn't be any problems with the bike anyway, i had them do an annual tune-up on it back in september for a pretty penny ($870 for tune-up plus chain and sprocket replacement), so the bike should still be in tiptop condition.

i went to my parents' place by 1:30pm. there were packages on the doorstep. one of the boxes was the 12-pack of heavy duty 2/3 size plastic growing trays ($28). i ordered them last thursday, they're only now arriving. i wasn't in any hurry, i got these for next season, in case i want to germinate some seeds at my parents' place. another box contained all the battery supplies we ordered a few days ago, including another plastic battery box, 6 gauge copper cables, and battery terminals. this particular box is better than the one we got earlier; i would've returned that one except my father already ripped off the sticker. anyway, this new box has a better design, including recessed areas on the lid for attaching battery terminals. i'm tempted to get another one of the same, since they don't cost too much ($10).

i wasn't in belmont to check out packages, but rather i was there to do some more garden work. i took out the orchids from the basement and watered them with some water spiked with orchid fertilizer. i noticed there were some mealybug spots so i sprayed them with neem oil before rinsing everything off with the mist option on the spray head. i also took out the basement pileas and moved them into the sunroom; i'm looking to divide them as well this weekend. finally i planted all my nigella seedlings in the spot in front of the hydrangea. rabbits will definitely eating nigellas so i tried to protect them with some chicken wires.

i packed some potting soil in a bag and put it in one of my saddlebags before leaving. i also brought along the new battery box and equipment, which barely fit in the other saddlebag.

i went to the cafe. my mother chided me for not coming earlier, when they were busy. now it was a lull period, and my 2nd aunt was there as well. i helped her buy a new case for her ipad but turns out the model my mother told me was wrong: my 2nd aunt has a 6th generation ipad, not an ipad air 3. so i'm returning that case and getting her another case of the right size. my father agreed that the new box is better. i left by 4pm.

after parking my motorcycle in front of my house, i returned to the community garden, this time bringing the bag of potting soil, a terracotta pot, and some espoma plant-tone fertilizer in a little jar. i went there hoping to run into david but he wasn't there. ann was there with teresa, whom i didn't realize were friends: i know teresa from star market and also because we both worked the census together a few years back. tracy - tending to her garden - overheard our conversation and said she worked the census too. i planted the habanero pepper into the pot and watered all my plants again before leaving.

instant pot century egg
& pork bone congee
(3-6 serving)

2 lbs. bone-in spare ribs

3/4 cup short-grain rice
6 1/2 cups water
ginger, julienned

1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp cooking wine

1 century egg, chopped
3.5 oz. package pickled radish
scallions, chopped

blanch pork in boiling pot of water for 3 minutes. add rice, water, ginger, salt, sesame oil, ground white pepper, and pork to instant pot and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. let cool (natural release) for 20 minutes before venting remaining pressure. remove pork, discard bone, shred meat, return to instant pot. add chopped century egg, medium sauté to thicken congee. once desired consistency reached, serve with pickled radish and scallions.

with the weather a little chilly, it was perfect for making my century egg pork bone congee. i started making dinner by 7pm. the bone-in spare ribs i had in my freezer had very little bones and was mostly meat with a good chunk of fat. in hindsight i should've trimmed off the fat first, because once it rendered in the instant pot, it left the congee with an oily mouth-feel. the end result was still delicious though, and such an easy recipe to make, it's basically the only thing i make with my new instant pot.

game 4 between the warriors and mavericks was tonight. despite the final score being 109-119 in dallas' favor, the game was a blowout. mavericks were playing for pride, on the verge of being swept with the standing at 3-0. now they can lose the remaining 3 games and not be accused of tanking the series.