Mooncakes for the fall equinox

Friend A who I went to grad school with (also likes cheap/free food, has been climbing with us recently) gave us some mooncakes she made! :’) They were presumably for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which happens around the autumn equinox and is coming up! The days are definitely getting shorter.

The mookcakes are actually the “snow skin” version (recipe that Friend A used), which uses a mochi-esque wrapper. Apparently snow skin mooncakes are easier to make than the traditional baked kind, so a better choice for at-home creation.

The inside is coconut milk , sugar, cheese, and salted egg yolk, the middle layer is coconut milk, sugar, butter, flour, egg, and salted egg yolk, and the outside is rice flour with milk.

Bagel shop (I see many in our future)

Over the weekend, we visited Russ & Daughters, a famous and fairly old (1920, continuously run by the original family and at the original location) Jewish “appetizing store“, meaning that they sell things that go with bagels, along with bagels. We went right before Rosh Hashanah, so the main shop was super busy — 45 min just to go into the store to order! We went around the corner to their café location instead. The café also had more meal-food selection.

The busy original location.

We got blintzes (we’ve made them at home too), latkes, and a bagel with cream cheese, lox, onion, tomato, and capers.

Y’all know I don’t love bagels. This one was about standard. Kinda expensive ($16!!).
The latkes were better than expected. I think I like the soft ones better than the crunchy ones.
Bit too sweet overall, but blueberry jam was really good and tart! Must’ve had a lot of lemon in it.

New plants

With the hotter summer weather, a lot of my pea plants died 🙁 The two that survived aren’t doing so well and are likely to die in the next week – we’re having a bit of a heat wave here.

We ate a pea! We had an additional 20 peas, but I saved them as seed to plant next year.

I’ve been looking for veggies that like hot weather. Some old sweet potatoes sprouted a bunch, so we planted those. And my mom sent some seeds to try out! We’ve got basil, shiso, and melon (from sibling C’s garden). I’m excited to see how they do!

The sweet potatoes are growing vigorously! Dead peas against the window.

HiroNori Craft Ramen

Went to HiroNori Craft Ramen in Santa Clara. It had 4.5 stars on Yelp so I was obligated to go.

Yelp reservation only. Worked out pretty well, and it was a better experience than waiting in line for 2 hours at Ramen Nagi. Although I do like waiting in lines…

The menu.

Tonkotsu ramen. It was pretty good! Would recommend. For first timers they give you the “garlic black oil” (you can see it in the picture below), a $1 value, for free. The garlic oil was quite good and I’ll probably order it next time, so I guess their advertising scheme worked.

Chicken karaage. Also quite good! It came with some sauce that was also very good. The aforementioned black garlic oil is in the upper left.

Overall I’d say it was solidly solid. I think I like the ramen and the customization options at Ramen Nagi a bit better, but HiroNori compares quite favorably (with no waiting in line). And the chicken karaage was really good, which Ramen Nagi doesn’t offer. I’ll be back.

Electric Scooters in SF

We came across these electric scooter things all around San Francisco.

I tried renting the scooter, but it didn’t work 🙁

They sure put a lot of these things around. Even though the scooter I found didn’t work, I’m sure there’s a working one somewhere out there.

SF Laundromat: Laundré

An upscale laundromat in the heart of the Mission district.

Wow so fancy.

Millennials can enjoy their avocado toast while they wait for their laundry to finish.

For only $10 a load, you too can enjoy an exquisite laundry experience.

The LA Metro Experience

Looks pretty nice!

Wow, this is amazing!

I wonder when the Bay Area will ever invent card-dispensing technology.

It'll probably be the phone booth.
I’ll be patiently waiting for the day when one of these machines can give me a Clipper card.

How to refill your Clipper Card

The Bay Area has this great public transit card called Clipper. It’s really easy to use! In this post I’ll show you just how easy it is to refill.

First, find a machine that looks like this. Just move the screen protector off to the side.

Push some buttons and put your credit card in. When you see this screen, you’ll know you did it right.

Wait for a couple of trains to go by, and eventually the dialup modem in the machine will connect.

“To take one step forward, you must first take one step back.”

And we’re done! Super easy!