The announcement came today - the MCO has been extended again, this time till 28 April. It didn't come as a surprise, but I was a little relieved. With all the madness in the world these days it is not inconceivable that our country's leaders would think that the economy was more important than human lives and open up again before we are ready.
In fact, I had a bit of a tiff with a friend who said that more people would die with the extension, "especially bosses", or owners of SMEs. One is a loss of lives. The other is a loss of jobs/work. It is not the same thing. If our government put in strong policies to make sure that people are fed and jobs are distributed, the "deaths" of the latter type can be avoided. The question is if they will do it, and if they will do it well. I'd rather choose this, than people dropping dead like flies. Incidentally there was a piece of news today that the KL City Hall will employ the 800 homeless people (now housed in shelters because of Covid19), and give them homes in dormitories, when the MCO lifts. Political will can accomplish a lot.
Today I made tempeh. It was an unexpectedly time-consuming task, even though I suppose that the experience accumulated will make the next round easier. For one, I didn't think that dehulling soybeans was such a tedious thing to do. It was. For about 500g of dried beans, soaked overnight to become about 1kg of beans, I had to massage fistful by fistful of beans trying to get rid of the shells which clung on quite tightly. That took some time - an hour? More? I don't know. Anyway, I boiled them, and (somewhat) dried them, and stirred the vinegar and ragi in. That part was ok.
But when I got to the stage of packaging the beans, I realised that my banana leaves were too old and they couldn't take the wrapping well. I had to improvise, first with whatever banana leaves I could salvage, and then I wrapped one up in a coffee filter (just to experiment), and wrapped some with a plastic bag that I managed to acquire from my neighbour, and put some into aluminium foil. The mold that grows need air, so I perforated the foil and the plastic bag.
Now the 1 kilo of beans is resting in its various containers, and I'm to wait 12-48 hours. Nothing has happened yet, bar some condensation that I can see in through the plastic bag. It's been about 10 hours so far. I really hope that it will work.
I also planted another round of seeds. The last round was a bit of a disappointment, given that only one (!) seed sprouted, but I think I know why. I might have buried the seeds under too much soil, since I've since read that the soil level should be one seed-length. For leafy vegetables like bayam which have super tiny seeds, it means that you just have to sprinkle on the seeds. So I tried again. Hopefully I'll see some sprouting in a couple of days.
The landscape painting is moving along well and I also did a quick water colour self-portrait today. Wondering what to paint after the landscape is done - another landscape, perhaps at night this time?