Just hold on, we’re going to

stay home.

I promise that disasters are cyclical and that this too shall pass.

Bad things, like good things, will not last for eternity. So even if that wanting is the source of all suffering, we will keep wanting.

Because being hungry is the only way to make good food, to persist in making good food even if it is tiring and not always rewarding.

Last night (or this morning) a little before midnight I was hungry and suddenly craving the kind of thing that tastes best from a street or hawker centre store.

Ban Chiang Kueh/Min Chiang Kueh/Apam Balik/Martabak Manis are all about the same thing but it doesn’t change that one simply cannot get it at midnight in the middle of circuit breaker measures!

So we tried and failed pretty miserably in that it was huge gummy pancake that my lil sister turned up her nose at. One can imagine the dissatisfaction growling in my head as we struggle to eat it at about one o clock after waiting a whole hour to let the batter rest.

Anyway it didn’t get bubbly enough – so naturally, the problem is scientific and we understand where it went wrong – the amount of baking soda was not enough in comparison to total volume of batter, and the heat was too high.

(let me pause a while here now! I’m going to try again today with half the amount of the other ingredients. One bitten, no more times wanting to bite a gummy pancake again.)

11.51 p.m.

Once we are done with writing this, it will be nearly 1 and once more ready to fry off the smaller ban chiang kueh. Once, twice, thrice the charm.

It’s an odd thought that since I was small I’ve only known this pancake as man cheng keh, which upon googling fits nothing. So was it a corruption of pronunciation or am I thinking of a dialect who hasn’t had a blogger put it to words?

‘Keh’ is very close to kueh, and ‘man’ sounds somewhat like ‘ban’, but the ‘chiang’ and ‘cheng’ are fairly different.

Also, today is technically day 14, or the two-week mark of sowing the tomato seeds.

Here’s a picture I took on day 6, the 4th of April.

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-04 at 13.17.44

We placed about three seeds per egg carton divot, and suffice to say we have a high sprout rate as of today. The picture above though is not bad at all!

So now I trust this brand of seeds? The one lettuce seed my sister sowed in another container still hasn’t sprouted though.

There are two observations made – that divots with a healthy and strong looking sprout tend to all have strong and healthy sprouts. Also, the seedlings are all growing towards the sun in the same direction.

If we assume that the seeds in the packet come all from different plants and are jumbled into randomness in the packet, there is nothing particularly genetically similar between the seeds in the same egg hole that is different across egg holes.

I think this assumption is quite reasonable. So, why would some divots have better sprouts than others?

The content, the location, the depth of sowing and possibly the amount of water given to each egg hole is different.

It’s difficult to control how much coconut husk went into each egg divot’s base and because of that the amount of soil. But during the setup phase, there would have been such a difference between the top and bottom row. Seeing how there are ‘strong sprout’ egg holes in the top and bottom, I would think it’s not the soil. Not to mention, the roots at the beginning have not grown enough to touch the husks.

The location of each hole is different, but is it the temperature or the light? Again, looking at relative locations of the strong seedlings, there would be something coming from the back-middle? But why is the middle sprout not that strong then? So not this…

The depth of sowing? This is uncontrolled and unremembered other than that, yes, it was different because I ran out of decanted soil near the end of sowing. This is unprovable and unfalsifiable until I do another test. Which will take hopefully about four months to get to tomatoes for eating. And really, I’m not one for testing with plants.

The amount of water is the last question that I answer best – since each egg hole got a consistent amount of water. Any slight variations from the one spoon of rainwater wouldn’t have been able to result in deviations of growth.

All of these are moot points since today all the plants are looking like strong sprouts. There is no need to find out what makes them sprout and look the best within the first five days because as time tends towards two weeks, they are indistinguishable.

But I guess I’m also trying to make a point that early differentiation in tomato plants doesn’t matter much.

They are indistinguishable but all distinguished and all indistinguishably good.

A measure of excellence is relative but goodness is not. A thought like that.

For that future where we are still striving and striving to be not only the best

sacrificing everything for the test

racing to beat the rest.

Before we crumble from stress,

the stress test mess oh please

bless our souls dying of a lack of gentleness.

Metal bends and yields,

ductile but can still snap.

Is being dissolved away by acid at a meniscus line

and being

bombarded by

electrons a

snap or a cut or a something else entirely?

Today (or yesterday rather) he submitted my pet, my pain.

For once, finally, he took charge of something, but since I was busy with uni apps then I cannot complain about the quality of that work.

After all, I was not there.

But what now where those are not my sections and I should, out of respect not touch what he has completed?

Even if those are built of the bones I have excavated and marked out on the map, I ought not critique his preservation methods, his display arrangement or reconstruction of the creature.

Even if the knowledge may be and has already been lost in that movement?

I too, throw in the towel into this basket. I’ve had enough for five months and need a break.

This one he has ‘given’, oh, I will savour before I am called back to wear that cape.

A towel it is.

Capes are not for flying but for wiping sweat.

For sleeping out in the street when someone else loses their home.

For swaddling babies in.

Things like that.

 

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