Yuzu likes to hang out with me while I work, and in this photo, she’s right on the boundary of where I allow her to go. The area in front of the monitor (and laptop when it’s out) is off limits to her, not only because she blocks the view, but there are some little cubbyholes above the monitor with some small figurines that she likes to knock down and run off with. Of course, when I’m not in the room, there’s no one to enforce these limits so things occasionally go missing. 😐
Several months ago, Mariko bought me a bird feeder that uses suction cups to stick to our home office window. It took a month or so before the birds discovered it but they now come daily to grab a few sunflower seeds. What’s really nice is that I can go right up to the window, and the birds don’t even notice me, so I can get a close-up view of them.
I thought today’s visitor was a Bewick’s Wren, but upon closer inspection, I noticed it had a lot of orange, so I’m guessing it’s a Carolina Wren.
During this pandemic, I stay away from routes where there are a lot of people, specifically the hike & bike paths that are too narrow to keep a safe distance from other people. So that means I stick to my neighborhood streets where I can run in the road or easily cross to the other side to stay socially distant. However, there are some parts where I have to run on a narrow pathway or sidewalk, which is why I always carry a disposable mask.
I will just put the mask around my wrist, and it’s so light that it doesn’t interfere at all with the running experience. But when I am running on one of these narrow sections and I see another pedestrian or cyclist, I’ll put the mask on. It literally takes just three or four seconds, so why not? Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) I haven’t seen any other runners using masks, but maybe now that they’ve seen my put on my mask, it will normalize it to them (or maybe they will feel a little ashamed), and they will start doing the same. Hey, we have to look out for one another!
In other running news, I saw this really great sidewalk art version of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Very cool!
I got the request for burgers, and I was happy to oblige! Like last time, I fried up some bacon as well, but also grilled some onions and jalapeños for Koa and I. (Mariko prefers raw onions and peppers) We also had sliced avocado, so the cheeseburgers had a lot going on. The above photo is Mariko’s sky-high burger, and below is my creation, which turned out to be really messy and fun to eat.
Homemade buns were beautiful and delicious and made a huge difference! Over the years, I’ve tweaked my burger recipe and technique: I add salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and Japanese Worcestershire sauce to the 80/20 ground chuck, mixing with a fork.
The most important change I’ve made in cooking the burgers, is when I add the cheese. In the past, I used to add the cheese while the patties were still cooking on the grill. But now, I add the cheese later – when the patties are cooked, I transfer them into a warm casserole dish, add the cheese, and cover with foil while the burgers rest a few minutes. The cheese melts just the same, but the benefit is that the barbecue grill stays cleaner. I really don’t miss that smell of burning cheese the next time I fire up the grill!