we arrived at costco around 9:30am. even though they don't officially open until 10am, we've been there a bunch of times before 10am to a full parking lot and people already leaving the store with their purchases. so we figured maybe there's an unofficial opening hour. so on the day we decide to get there early on purpose, they actually don't open until 10am. there were people just sitting in their cars, waiting for the store to open.
so instead we went to some nearby stores at the gateway mall first. while my father and i went to total wine & more, my mother visited the dollar tree. we were in search of jack daniel's tennessee apple whiskey; my father let me try a sample bottle yesterday and wanted to get more. it's very sweet - almost syrupy - but a very strong apple flavor, like a dessert wine, or maybe used for making cocktails. we bought a 750ml bottle for $25. flavored whiskey seems to be a very popular subset of whiskey. there were many other apple whiskeys, something to try for next time. there were also additional flavors, like cinnamon, honey, peach, and even brown sugar. we checked out some of their other whiskeys, including some taiwan-brand kavalan locked away in a glass cabinet ($460/bottle).
while my father returned to the car, i went in search of my mother at the dollar tree. i was also in search of glass clamp-lid jars (they didn't have any) and large plastic food containers (didn't have the ones i wanted either). i also couldn't find my mother and searched the entire store (a big store at that), until she called me and said she was already outside. she bought $40 worth of cheap cotton yarn.
we went back to costco, where we waited in the car for a few more minutes before they finally opened the store. i got a 27 gallon tote container on sale for $9. all the ones i've found of that size were $13+. i didn't like the lid wasn't entirely flat - had a crosshatch pattern - but it's a bargain at that price, just the size i needed, and since i'd be cutting 3" holes into the lid anyway, in the end it didn't matter if it was flat or patterned. it also secured fairly tightly, so hopefully spraying water won't be able to leak out. since we didn't bring a cooler, we ended up using the tote container as a makeshift cooler.
restaurant depot was our next stop. we bought a case of edamame beans, and some lids and containers for condiments. we also checked out their paper bag selection, but couldn't quite figure out what size we currently use, so we took photos instead. we were afraid we'd be waiting in line forever, but we actually got a pretty fast line, only waited a few minutes.
next came market basket. a few fresh produce, and pick up some choice pork cuts for making charsui.
from chelsea we drove to malden, to the 88 asian supermarket. my father stayed in the car while my mother and i went to pick up what we needed. having shopped in chinatown regularly, the prices at malden 88 are actually not that good. which is quite surprising, considering there's a large asian community in malden, you figured that'd drive down the prices.
our final stop was bianco's in medford to pick up some chinese sausages. my father went to get the goods this time, while my mother and i stayed in the car. he went inside and came back out in record time, the two boxes of sausages fragrant with garlic.
we arrived at the cafe by 1pm to drop off the supplies. my father chopped up some napa cabbages to prepare them for making vegetable buns tomorrow. i went outside to water the plants.
by the time we went to my parents' place, it was already 1:30pm. my mother bought some thin steaks at market basket and my father grilled them in the backyard. he cooked them for a long time so i figured the meat would be very well done, but it was still on the rare-medium side. i don't know what cut of meat it was, but it was very tough and chewy and didn't have a lot of flavor, even though he sprinkled montreal steak seasoning on it and buttered the sides before grilling. i had to add more seasoning to make it palatable, as well use hitting the A1 steak sauce.
i found another apple+ show for my mother to watch: slow horse, the first season of which is only 6 episodes, so she can watch it in just one day. at first she seemed bored with the show, but eventually it managed to draw her in.
i went down to the grow room with the new tote container. it's a perfect fit for the 3ft long adjustable wire shelving unit. i better get started on my aeroponics project, because i don't know if i have the space to growing mustards when the grow room is filled with houseplants come the end of fall and throughout the winter. i thought i had a spare shelving unit but my father used it to make more storage space for the cafe work table. later i discovered two of the rockwool cubes with the mustard seedlings have already developed roots poking out the bottom. i'll need to come back tomorrow and set up my kratky hydroponics mason jars.
my parents' kitchen continue to get flour beetles even though we cleaned the racks yesterday, throwing out an old bag of glutinous rice that was infested with beetles. so total i cleaned the cabinets as well, taking out everything. the beetles seemed to have made nests in some deep soothing hot and cold pack neck wraps. the interior is filled with natural grains, so it wouldn't take a genius to figure out that grain/flour beetles would eat it. i had a vacuum on standby, sucking up every beetles in saw. even then, we still continued to get them, but i'm hoping they're just the last remnants of the homeless residuals.
my father was out in the backyard around 5pm watering the plants. i mixed two buckets of fertilizer to feed the vegetables. my father added ash and crushed eggshells to the bucket he used to fertilize the bitter melon plants. the other bucket we fertilized the beans. the blue beans seem to be making a comeback, and the purple hyacinth beans are drought resistant so they were the only few plants that did well during our summer drought.
my father grilled the deboned drumsticks as well as some corn and zucchini (no, it was from the garden, we've yet to get a single zucchini this year, although there's currently two very small zucchinis).
because i was chromecasting slow horse from my computer, my mother wouldn't let me leave until she finished all 6 episodes, which finally ended at 8pm. in the meantime i had a chance to go outside and take photos of the hanging bitter melons on the trellis illuminated by our led edison light bulbs.
my father gave me a ride back to cambridge at 8:30pm. i brought with me the other honey-can-do shelving unit, which i'm going to return tomorrow at the amazon hub in central square.