My partner is making beef salami but this time with added pork fat and more spices— the last batch was too dry and too smoky (will smoke less this time).


Installed Logitech Circle View Doorbell Chime-Kit and Hardware Doorbell Chime

Why did I decide to install the chime-kit and doorbell chime after I installed the Logitech doorbell (and it worked fine)? Netatmo released their doorbell and in their FAQ they wrote this about why a chime is required (Logitech never explained but they require it despite their doorbell seemingly working without one):

The Smart Video Doorbell was specially designed to replace your existing doorbell and, therefore, to work with an existing wired chime. This chime is required in your installation because it creates a charge in the doorbell circuit. When someone presses the doorbell button, a switch closes the doorbell circuit causing electricity to flow through the circuit to activate your chime. Without a chime, when the switch closes the circuit, a short circuit would occur and cause damage to your Smart Video Doorbell.

After reading that, I decided to protect the doorbell investment by spending a little bit more time and $15 to install the chime-kit and hardware chime.

Installing the hardware chime and then the Logitech chime-kit in the garage was easy though I accidentally cut the transformer to doorbell wire; wire nut to the rescue. I did check to see if the doorbell would work with only the chime-kit installed and its switch set to no doorbell – it did. In fact, when I cut power to it, a green LED stayed lit up in the chime-kit above the switch, suggesting it keeps a charge like a hardware doorbell chime. However I don’t know definitively if that chime-kit charge would resolve possible shorting issues on doorbell press. With the chime-kit I can toggle the hardware chime to ring or not via the Home app — I have no idea how Logitech made that work. The chime-kit has a switch for analog chime, digital hardware, no chime, and analog chime.

So far the Logitech doorbell has been great with a perfect view of the front yard and super reliable notifications with videos. Video is pretty sharp and its HDR does work — the shaded porch and bright streetscape are all well exposed. It does well at night with just the almost-bug friendly amber porch light so I’ve disabled the doorbell light to keep light pollution to a minimum. That built-in light does not illuminate far so it is only useful when someone is at the door. So I wish I could set up an automation to turn on the extra light when it detects somebody at the door. I do recommend setting up Activity Zones on an iPad (easier to draw them on a larger video feed vs iPhone) to help minimize notifications. Turns out our street has more vehicle traffic than I realized. I’m very happy I patiently waited for a HomeKit Secure Video doorbell like this. If you think activity zones might limit what the HomeKit home hub detects, it seems as if when there’s motion detected in an activity zone, the HomeKit hub analyzes the entire scene for people, animals and vehicles.

Our data usage for uploads has gone down dramatically now that our Nest Outdoor IQ no longer has Nest Aware and is only useful for on-demand delayed “live” video feeds.

Logitech Chime-Kit at the top and the new hardware chime at the bottom. The included wire splices are nice.

Logitech Chime-Kit (top tiny box) and new hardware chime


Logitech Circle View Doorbell installed on cement fiber board lap siding, doorbell wire routed through a security door frame and then along the foundation, tucked out of sight between cement foundation and sheathing. I used foam as a spacer behind the straight mount to create space for the wire to come in through the side of the mount. The mounts are made for doorbell wire coming out of a wall, so creative thinking was necessary. Notice how the Logitech logo at the bottom is barely visible. Compare that to a Ring doorbell or the new Netatmo! I love that Logitech decided to not make their logo stand out.

Logitech Circle View

Annual chest freezer de-icing, cleaning, inventory, and organizing. This year it’s especially important since we’re about to get a 1/2 Table Mountain Ranch Beef. So excited!

We had a lot of left over brisket so some went into disco fries.

Tonight’s brisket prepared by my partner using Sous Vide for literally fork tender meat and then finished with convection bake for decadent crust/bark.

A benefit of not having anyone over for Christmas dinner is we can do wild, special food experiments. So we’re making Sous Vide Smoked Brisket for Christmas dinner. Method 1 with liquid smoke.

And here’s the final caramel. They’re perfect. 🤗

Annual caramel making. These seem 👌and perfectly plastic. Here’s a series of photos showing sugar mixture color at ~300°F, 320°F, near 340°F, after cream & butter added, and cooling to finish. Stressful making these as one errant crystal can cause it all to crystallize.

boling sugar mixture a gold color, almost 300Fboling sugar mixture an amber color, about 320Fboling sugar mixture a dark amber color, almost 340F.boling cream, butter, sugar mixture caramel color.coarse salt caramel cooling in a parchment lined pan

Split Pea Soup made with a ham hock! Love the cold season 🥰

Partner made Naan today (along with Turkey Tikka Masala).

cooking naan on a baking steelbatch of naanTurkey tikka masala

Stuffing waffles. So crispy & savory.

stuffing waffles

The makings of Thanksgiving dinner for a couple is bread for stuffing and Turkey stock for just about everything. My partner is very busy; I don’t cook! ❤️

turkey partsturkey stock in jarshomemade sourdough loafcubed sourdough bread for stuffing

Pecan Squares instead of Peacan Pie. And as we’re not having Thanksgiving with anyone, dessert is a day early! 😋

We brought ribeyes and a cast-iron with us (and the rest of what’s on the plate. Yeah that’s canned baked beans, so what?)👌

ribeye, searer vegetables, baked beans

Hot chocolate on the North Coast of California.

Pumpkin pie! And rump roast. Sunday is the best.

Today’s celebratory homemade sourdough loaf and Prosecco

TBH, Fall is grilling season here.

Gorgeous loaf of homemade sourdough.

Siri Shortcut for Meteobridge Weather Report

If you have a weather station with Meteobridge, I’ve made a iOS Siri Shortcut so Siri can tell you about current conditions. You can tweak the weather report using variables on Meteobridge’s template page along with other small shortcut adjustments.

By default it reports current temperature, humidity and gusts in the last hour.

You’ll likely want to change the shortcut’s name. I chose simply “Yard” since Siri on HomePod finds it unique enough to not do something else. And my station is in the yard.

Upon import, It’ll ask for your Meteobridge IP address and credentials. Those are private to your device! Then be sure to go to the shortcut’s details screen to enable Internet access. Test it out on your handheld device then try on your HomePod. If you’re using HomePod, it may need a power cycle to see the shortcut……

Get the Shortcut

Lemongrass came back this year after dying back over winter (we also took cuttings over winter and one managed to take). So here’s homemade lemongrass ice cream topped with praline. 😋

We made roasted hot pepper sauce recently. A mix of jalapeños, anaheims, serranos and yellow wax peppers (more orange red upon ripening)👌 Worth the wait growing and ripening peppers to red. 🌶

Coconut-Gochujang Glazed Chicken With Broccoli is pretty good. We added Gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes) for extra heat. Would recommend serving as a rice bowl though. It begged for a bowl.

Excellent sourdough shape, crumb, and pretty good flavor (48 hour refrigerator proof).