Pandemic Journal, Day 440

The critters munched two more of our tomato plants overnight, though they left a few leaves this time. I sprayed Repels-All around all of the plants in the beds and on the wood, and I hope it works.

We got our first real dose of summer weather today; we stayed inside most of the day and worked. We’d put aside a lot of newspapers, magazines, and other papers for “later” and Diane dealt with many of them. I got most of my 2021 photos into Lightroom and pruned, geotagged, and labeled them up through April 22. Which means that the next time I attack the photos, I’ll have to make decisions about the many pictures I took in Joshua Tree National Park on April 23.

A Joshua Tree

Pandemic Journal, Day 439

We picked up two more tomato seedlings at the Farmers’ Market this morning: Early Girl Hybrid and Juliet Hybrid; they’re in the ground already. It looks like the Sweet 100 we planted last week may have attracted the attention of critters, but it’s not completely dead yet.

Most of our trivia team got together for a Memorial Day gathering – in person, not on Zoom! There was food. There were beverages. There was chocolate. There was hugging!

Today was also the last edition of the New York Times’s “At Home” section. It’s been very helpful in suggesting recipes over the past 430-plus days, but I can’t say that I’m sorry to see the end of its run. I wonder – will the Travel section return next week?

Pandemic Journal, Day 438

We had a quiet day today – Diane spent most of the day pulling out old photos to have scanned, and I read and did some miscellaneous cleanup.

I took a look at the tomatoes we planted three weeks ago, and they’re beginning to blossom!

Pandemic Journal, Day 437

It was time to make pretzels again today. I followed the advice I got on Facebook from Lucinda, Meri, Alison, and Sam after the last time I made pretzels, and it made a difference.

I took out the butter in advance so it could properly soften. I put the yeast in the water and let it sit for a few minutes before adding it to the dry ingredients. I was extra-careful in measuring the dry ingredients and smoothed them out in the bowl before I added the water and yeast.

I had to add water after the first mixing cycle to get all of the flour incorporated, but, as suggested, I did so a teaspoon at a time; it took four teaspoons before everything was included, but then the rest of the mixing went well.

When I took the dough out after it had risen, it was only slightly tacky, and it was easy to roll into logs (and later, to shape into pretzels). I used waxed paper instead of parchment paper until I was ready to bake.

It went so well that I made a second batch so we should have some left after Memorial Day – and making that batch was uneventful, too.

What I didn’t do was take any photos of the finished pretzels, and they’re all in the freezer now. :-) But I did get a photo of the first batch after shaping them.

Thanks, everyone!

Pandemic Journal, Day 436

The big event for me today was at the dentist’s office, where they installed the crown on my implant. It was painless (I’d paid at the previous visit).

This afternoon, we watched a livestream of a performance by Jake Shimabukuro from AARP in honor of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month. He was great – I don’t think the performance will be made available for later viewing, but his Mother’s Day concert is online and free at his site and of course there’s a lot of his music available on YouTube.

The weather today was stunning – we had dinner outside and it was wonderful. It’s going to heat up over the weekend, so I’m glad we could enjoy it today.