while about to leave for the cafe, i noticed a neighbor had tossed out a 3-tiered chrome kitchen cart with a wooden cutting board top and caster wheels. i was tempted to grab but but didn't think we'd have the space for it. however, once i left on my motorcycle, i changed my mind and came back for the cart, pushing it into my alleyway for the time being.
it wasn't too busy at the cafe but it felt busy because i kept finding things to do: vacuum the floors, make new tea eggs, make some ice, barbecue the charsiu pork, add more daikon radish to the paocai jar, help my 2nd aunt use the bonchon app on her phone - it was just non-stop, i barely had any time to relax, and before i knew it, it was already 4pm, closing time.
it looked like it might rain when i left the cafe, but i knew we weren't that lucky, these past months have taught me anything, it's that when it looks like it's going to rain, it's never going to rain. still, i kept my eyes on the clouds, imagining myself getting caught in a soaking downpour. approaching my parents' place, i saw on the horizon a patch of storm clouds that was actually raining, further west, somewhere around waltham.
the adjustable chrome shelving arrived in belmont, but my parents didn't bother opening them because they said the makeshift shelving my father made was good enough, even though it was a bit longer. i told them about the chrome kitchen cart i found this morning, that can be upcycled to become potential kitchen shelving.
my hydroponics nutrients arrived, a much smaller bag than i imagined, but this will probably last me at least a season of hydroponics experiments. my replacement pH and TDS meters also arrived. the pH meter didn't work at first, but i jiggled the batteries, and the light came on the LCD screen. i also got to see the new glass electric tea kettle. the LED light when brewing is a little gimmicky; my only complaint is that it really should be red (for "hot") instead of blue (which means "cold").
in the late afternoon early evening i went to the backyard to do some watering. my father already hooked up the hose to the wall faucet - using the town water. that mysterious plant that popped up by the base of the staircase? i thought it was some kind of olive, but i took a photo and sent it to an online plant id website, and it said it's Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium AKA rabbit tobacco AKA sweet everlasting. i'd never seen this plant before, apparently it's a native wildflower. when crushed, supposedly it smells like maple syrup (i'll have to test that out tomorrow). the garden is barely hanging on during this extended drought. we have a few hanging bitter melons but they're all tiny, unlike the ones we had last year. they're not worth eating, just let them turn orange and collect the seeds.
my father grilled some porkchops for dinner and pan-fried some headless shrimps. the shrimp wasn't bad, but i still prefer deep frying. i tried some of the li ziqi-brand guizhou hot sauce i got from chinatown yesterday: it was okay, but why was there dried tofu and radishes mixed with the hot peppers? i wouldn't buy it again, not really a hot sauce. i spooned a bunch of it on my pork chops for added flavor.
after dinner i returned home. first thing i did was to go back outside and measure the kitchen cart. the wooden tabletop surface itself is 26x20", but the dimension of the chrome shelving itself is 24x18x30" - about the size of the chrome shelving units we got from amazon, just a bit deeper (18" instead of 14"). we need to bring it to the cafe and test out the size to actually see if it'll fit on top of the stainless steel work table.
i found a 2L pork floss jar my mother was going to throw out and brought it back home so i could use it to hold my leca balls. it works perfectly. i actually shouldn't put any leca in the kitchen area because it looks so much like food, i'm afraid somebody might mistake it for something actually edible.
i also took the lid off of the dollar store clamp jar and put it on a larger lidless jar i had at home. the wiring material is cheaper but i was surprised to find that it still works. it's actually impossible to find clamp jar replacement wires, without just buying a new clamp jar. i'm not sure why that is. these dollar store ones will work in the meantime, but it means i now have a headless jar again.
i totally forgot about the nigella seed pods i collected 2 weeks ago: they'd be sitting in my kitchen in a lidded container. so of course they all went moldy. i took them to dry, hopefully i can salvage the seeds. i could also wash the seeds but i'd need to dry them otherwise they might germinate.
a large blue bottle fly somehow found its way into the house. it seemed to be attracted to the fermentation smell from the paocai jar. it was slow and stupid enough that i managed to flick it with my fingers and mashed it with a jar when it fell on the counter.