the community gardening committee never rests: they sent out an e-mail late last week alerting gardeners they were going to do another round of inspections next monday, and if your plot wasn't up to their high standards, they could take it away from you. didn't we just have an inspection not too long ago? and what's the point? it's nearly fall, the gardening season is winding down. so this morning i took a hit of nasal spray and went down to the garden to do some clean-up.

i hadn't been to the garden since the tropical storm this weekend, but i wasn't surprised to see all my sunflowers had toppled. i pulled them out of the ground and tossed them. i also pulled up a bunch of asiatic dayflowers that seemed to have run rampant. those, plus some wild morning glories and wild cucumber vines. i was there for just an hour, but it left my a sweaty dirty mess and i got a few mosquito bites as well (they bit through my t-shirt). i didn't manage to collect about a dozen assortment of hot peppers and one green tomato that had fallen on the ground.

the nasal spray wasn't enough to keep me from having a runny nose. the garden is just a bad place for an allergy sufferer like myself this time of the year. i even saw a large garbage refuse bin full of ragweed, and when i accidentally bumped into it, i saw the cloud of pollen rising up like smoke.

after a shower i took out the road ride and went to the cafe to get some soy sauce and dropping off the hot peppers. i then biked to the fresh pond mall to get a new glass scrubbing sponge for the aquariums from petsmart, and pick up a few things from the nearby trader joe's. i went back to the cafe to pick up my soy sauce and some generic brand claritin my mother just happened to have before returning home.

after i had some microwaved massaman curry for lunch, i went out one more time, to market basket to get some meat. they were having a sale on round roasts ($1.99/lbs) and i picked up two. on my way back i saw a wind-tilted willow tree on properzi way that almost smashed into klea's old house.

my allergy symptoms seemed to have subsided in the afternoon, all without further medication. however, in the early evening, my throat and eyes began to itch so i decided to try the loratadine (generic claritin). i couldn't tell if it worked, but i seemed to have stabilized. my nose was still a bit runny but that stopped after a while. i did feel warmer, but that could've been just me. i wasn't feeling drowsy, that's the important thing. i'll have to do some further self-evaluation before i can say definitely if the generic claritin is working or not. fortunately allergy pharmacotopia has plenty more other drugs i can try.

3.23 lbs. beef bottom round
2/3 cup worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp vietnamese chili sauce
3 tbsp cumin

i promised my mother i'd make some more jerky this week. after leaving one of the roasts in the freezer, i brought it out in the evening to slice it into strands. i purposely made the pieces thicker, so it took less time to cut. the most labor-intensive part of the beef disassembly was in the beginning, removing the layer of skin and fat, being carefully not to remove too much of the red meat in the process. last time it wasn't spicy enough so i used more vietnamese chili pepper. i also upped the cumin. i forgot the sichuan peppercorns but they're not an essential part of the marinade, just something i decided to add one more to had an extra dimension of flavor (that being numbness when you bit into a piece of peppercorn). i mixed the meat with the marinade in the ziploc bag with my hand to make sure there was proper mixing. into the fridge i'll leave it overnight and start layering them onto the dehydrator tomorrow morning.

i cooked up a dozen frozen chinese dumplings for dinner, with a dipping sauce that involved a fistful of garlic cloves (i'll have bad breath for the rest of the week). i had some watermelon for dessert, my stomach nearly bursting.

i wonder if bioré makes cleaning strips for the entire body? but on second thought, that wouldn't be such a good idea since pulling out body hairs is kind of painful. until then, i'll just concentrate on the pores on my nose. bioré strips are super fun, afterwards it makes my nose all smooth.