2. Several weeks after the last vermin passed on (according to my nose) I have flies in the house. Thought it was fly- silly buzzer that dive-bombed the kitchen by day and the bathroom by night. Kitchen fly grew lethargic, so I caught it this afternoon and released it to the wilds- only to discover another lethargic fly in the evening, drooping on the living room table. Repeat. Came upstairs well-pleased, and discovered two more in the hallway, which I bashed with a broom. They disappeared somewhere to lick their wounds, and I begin to think about blocking up vents again. OTOH they're nothing like the real infestation we had at work when a squirrel died in the roof, so I shall hope this was pure coincidence.
3. Went to the local cafe, crowded as ever on a Saturday morning, but found a seat at the refectory table. Farther up the bench on my side two Japanese women were talking together in relatively comprehensible Japanese, being a little older than the rapid-fire twenty-somes who make me weep when I hear them. Still wasn't quite sure what they were talking about, which is depressing.
4. Yesterday and today were grey and white blustery November and almost warm enough for no gloves, with occasional shafts of silver sunlight breaking through. But the grey became greyer and the white vanished and I had my bike light on at 4:30. Now it rains, and they speak of snowflurries tomorrow.
5. I bought a chunk of Happy Beef of some description- all I know is it had a bone in it- and cooked it up in the crock pot last week. Having learned my lesson, I sauteed the onions and celery beforehand and parboiled the carrots. The russet potatoes I cut into chunks and just threw in, because we know that russets will go to mush with a mere five minutes of boiling and ten minutes sitting. Set timer for ten hours and went to bed. Next morning house smelled of... Worcestershire sauce, actually, of which I'd put two splashes into the four cups of stock. Very disappointing. Even more so was the just-done meat and the hard as rocks potatoes. Where is the melting beef and the veggie mush that oven slow-cooking gives you? So cooked it another four hours, which sort of softened the beef and sort of rendered the potatoes edible. I think the higher cooking temp may be what's needed, because for sure the lower one just doesn't work.
Had some of it tonight with mashed potatoes: the five-and-ten method that let me mash with a fork. The one thing I can say is that I have enough beef gravy to keep me forever, but maybe I should thicken it with some flour or cornstarch. Does flour keep in the fridge? I so rarely use it that it's a waste to buy a bag of the stuff.