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Buggies

Some of the potted plants have a little bit of a gnat problem going on. After I water them, they get particularly pesky. So I went around spraying everything with a concoction I made of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water – my shower/bathroom cleaner essentially. And I killed some of the plant stems. The philodendron stems went black and I had to cut them off and re-root them in water.
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And so did the baby spider plant. Luckily the mother spider plant survived the blasting.

So now I know. Don’t keep your soil too wet and don’t spray it with alcohol vinegar. Or this is what you’ll wind up with.
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Tyson’s Corner is awful!

I can’t believe I’m saying this. I feel like I’m betraying the shopping gods. But malls suck. And to be more specific, Tyson’s Corner sucks. The whole little sprawled out development there is AWFUL! I took the metro there to go shopping one weekend and after I got off the metro train, it was a maze trying to navigate myself to the mall. There were limited crosswalks. The roads were wide and they had intersections where pedestrian crosswalks were only on one side of the street. And when the mall was in sight, I still had a massive parking lot to traverse. I mean this town was designed for cars. If you’re on foot, you have to walk very roundabout ways to get around.

So it’s hot. I’m getting blisters on my feet. And people are honking at me. So yeah killed my shopping mood by the time I finally hobbled my blistered feet into Neiman Marcus, because that’s the first store you reach when you’re on foot getting to the Galleria. As soon as I entered, I sat down in the first seat I found, basked in the air conditioning and just caught my breath. Then I went to the makeup counters to get some tissues to wipe my sweaty face. Then I found a nice comfy waiting couch to people watch and sort of find my calm (take a nap) after the stress of getting honked at and yelled at by unsympathetic and unforgiving drivers. Then I asked a nice sales lady for some bandaids. Then I wandered around. And then I left to go to dinner. What a bust. I go shopping at a mall and end up with some tissues and bandaids. (Thank you, Neiman Marcus, your customer service was great.) I won’t be going back to Tyson’s to shop. Yes. I said that. It feels weird that I said that. Actually, no. I love shopping, and that’s precisely why I won’t shop there. It was a disaster. Don’t let the metro stations fool you. That place gets a negative walkscore.

Turned another!

I have a coworker who used to roll her eyes about T Swift. And now, she’s totally a fan and wants to go to her next concert!! Haha. I can’t take credit for changing her opinion though. Taylor’s music speaks for itself. She loves Bad Blood and enjoyed Shake It Off too. I’m looking forward to seeing her next music video, Wildest Dreams, which is one of my favorites in her 1989 album. Of course, I like all the songs, but this one was a particularly good one. It reminds me of Lana Del Ray a little bit.

Lunch time

I brought dukbokki to lunch today and while I was microwaving it, a guy came around to the kitchenette. He remarked that it smelled good and asked what it was. I said dukbokki and he gingerly asked if I had been to Korea. Or if I cooked Korean food at home. I could tell he wanted to ask my nationality but I answered his question literally – this is the only Korean dish I know how to make and I’ve never been to Korea (he’s been twice!). I feel kinda bad though that it’s gotten this… touchy/taboo a topic. Ask! I don’t mind. I felt bad that he felt like he had to be careful or something. I’ve seen vids online of people complaining that people ask their nationality, so they just respond that they’re from the U.S., which is fine and all, but I mean, they’re asking for your nationality. And it’s like… yeah I get what they’re annoyed with, but at the same time, eh, no big deal.

Sauerkraut!

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
Another microbiology project in my kitchen. This time, I made sauerkraut. It was surprisingly easy. Easier than kimchee. I love kimchee but it’s more involved, so after a few rounds of it, I stopped doing it. Then I went on to kombucha which is super easy. And now, I introduce to you, red cabbage sauerkraut!

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

  • Sea salt
  • Filtered water
  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 1 red onion – Optional
  • 6 or so cloves of garlic – Optional
  • 3 carrots – Optional

I chopped and rinsed the cabbage.

Chopped the onions

Flattened the garlic cloves a little (just to break them)

Cut the carrots into sticks.

 

Massage the cabbage in 1 tablespoon of sea salt.  Crush it a little as you work the salt in.  You can let it sit out after massaging it to see if you can get some water out of that.  I was too impatient.  I just packed it all in the jars and added extra salt water to cover up all the vegetables.  Don’t oversalt or it’ll taste too salty.  Leave it in a dark place covered with a paper towel or something and then let it ferment.  I thought it would take weeks but one week was enough for me to smell the sourness.  The top layer started to get moldy because it floated above the water.  I just scooped it out.  The stuff in the brine is perfectly fine and it tastes tangy and delicious.  Then after a week, when it smelled sour, and I took care of the moldy pieces, I put the lids on and refrigerated them.  They are very crunchy and delicious and bright pink!!

So next time you get yourself a head of cabbage and aren’t sure what to do with it, ferment it.  It’s easy to make and very easy to eat.  I just ate a bowl of it by itself just now.

Pumpkin Spice Season

Have you noticed temps have gotten cooler? I’ve noticed. Instead of 90s, our highs are in the 80s. I’ve been wearing long sleeves all week. Every morning, I debate whether I ought to wear a light jacket. I haven’t. Yet.

Ooh AND we’re waking up in darkness now. Have you noticed that? It’s pitch dark at 5:30, maybe even 6:00.

Last weekend I saw pumpkin spice or Oktoberfest beer. I didn’t get any.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. In the past, it was probably dread of the shorter days. And my plants look a little sadder, grow a little slower, so that’s a bummer. But I’m ready for some pumpkin spice, and the holidays that come in succession. That’s always nice.

Stood up

I planned a get together with my fellow classmates from school and initially there was interest. Then one by one people dropped out. Prior engagements, family, work, unknown. Until there was one person left who was coming. So I go. Aand she doesn’t show up. On the plus side, we found a great restaurant that has awesome hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and lentil soup.

Kombucha – Finally!! Fizzies

I think I figured it out finally. Adding more juice (sugar) to the second ferment gives the yeast more to thrive on and will make the kombucha fizzier. It’s as fizzy as soda. I poured it into a glass and even got the foamy bubbles on the top (for a few seconds).

In threes

First, it was the cellphone. Not my pink phone, of course. That phone is indestructible. It was the smart phone. The battery swelled up and became unusable. The guy at the phone store was even afraid it would explode. Geez.

Second, the Internet. The magic box that grants Internet to our place stopped working.

Third, the TV. We turn it on and the picture comes out blurry on one side, with double horizontal pictures. It eventually cleans up on its own but this is the beginning of the end for that television.

So yeah. Hopefully, that’s done.