Saturday, December 12, 2009

An Apartmentful of Influenza

It's the second week of December and Mr. Winter is enjoying a breezy visit to San Diego, impressing the town with his sheer wetness. My nose is so taken with it all that it is trying to run off with him while I'm being distracted by the heatedly argumentative Mr. Flu (who dropped in uninvited and tried to steal the turkey!). Apparently Mr. Flu has been roaming around stirring up arguments across the neighborhood (what a baddie!). My flat mate is staying clear of him, though can't seem to avoid running into his slightly milder mannered brother, Mr. Cold.
Needless to say, ours is a rather infectious household at the present. Though I should report that I'm ahead in my tug-of-war with that formidable Mr. Winter (Mr. Flu not withstanding) and will likely get to keep my nose (even though it has now gained a rather off-putting runny quality in the process). Another good news is that even though I'm coughing like a meowing fur ball manufacturing machine, there remains no evidence whatsoever to suggest any trans-speciation event from a household Homo sapiens to a Sus scrofa domestica (in other words, I still can neither speak Swinese nor oink convincingly).

Being bummed from having to put up with the duo of microscopic house guests is definitely not conducive to cooking. So I dug out the bottle of cheaters' tom yum curry paste from the cabinet, some mushrooms I found hiding in the forest that is trying to pass itself off as the interior of the refrigerator, and the bag of shrimps that has been pining away in the freezer for months (evidently waiting for the sea level to finally turn my apartment into a beach front property), and dumped them all into a pot of boiling water...

Seasoned the thing with fish sauce, lime juice, and lemongrass... And, voila! A (mostly) liquid bowl of sinus Drano to keep my flat mate and I warm and cozy. One of these days I might learn how to make a proper pot of Tom Yum soup without using the cheaters' paste (they are sold at Asian markets here for around $1.25 a bottle)... But not while sneeze-inducing Mr. Flu and Mr. Cold are still around!


Georg said...

Hi Smorgy,

We have a saying over here that healing a bad cold (not talking about influenza) would take a week if you go to a doctor. If you don't it would take you seven days to get out of it.

Now if you consult Dr. Georgy against sore throat and running nose, try this: glass of warm water, two spoons of grey sea salt, mix the stuff. Aspire it with the nose and spit it out. Empty the glass this way.

This shrimp soup looks really Asiatic and must have a good taste. I doubt however if this is the right way to battle cold or flue. Here, we make a sturdy soup of vegetables, any vegs plus some cooked potatoes. Boil it, add some grey sea salt. Eat it. Easy to digest, warms inside for a long time, good taste. Peasant food.


Anonymous said...

greetings Smorgy,

i was browsing here to see if you have any new links on opera and discover you and i have more in common that just opera: fish sauce and lemon grass!! That's a perfect way to clear the sinus in my opinion :-). Actually the way we do it in vietnam is to boil lemon grass and some other potent grasses in a big pot of water, then cover yourself in a BIG blanket with the hot pot until you're soaking sweaty wet, then wipe yourself with a towel, and voila, the cold bug left w/ the sweats!


Smorg said...

Hallo Georgy:
Hahaha! You French do have the cleverest way of saying things! ;o) That is so true, though. All we can do with the flu (once you've got it) is to treat the symptoms, I'm afraid. Those pesky viruses are tricky little monsters that modify their genetic stuff too often for the docs to come up with a cure for them (I guess the exception is the rabies virus, which is quite curable if you start your shots before it gets to your nervous system).

Thanks a bunch for Georgy's sore throat and runny nose fix, too! I had never tried that before (I had been doing my papa's fix of sipping hot beef broth at meal time). I'm liking the vegetable soup, too. :oD It's a wonder I'm not speaking with an English accent now that I've drunk nothing but soup and tea for the past 2 weeks. :oP

The tom yum soup is really great! I learned how to make it by watching this video at Thai Street Vendor series ( ). Though the tom yum paste makes it a lot easier. :oD My flat mate is now quite addicted to the thing.

Hiya Thadieu!
I've been meaning to post more opera and classical music stuff indeed, though got sidelined of late (and didn't get much done when I was fraternizing with Mr. Flu). Landed an interview with the music director at the San Diego Master Chorale a few days ago. That ought to be an interesting one! ;o)

Hey, I didn't know that Vietnamese method of chasing the flu out of the house before. Thanks a bunch! I love the smell of steamed lemongrass for some reason. It's hard to find them here, though, so I stock up on them when I visit the big Asian market on the other side of town. :o)

One awesome thing about moving to the North Park neighborhood of San Diego is that there is a good Vietnamese restaurant just 2 blocks from my apartment. I think I've developed an addiction to the Pho noodle soup! You guys really know how to cook. :oD

Thanks a bunch for stopping by, mates. Hope your 3rd week of December is winding down well and hope you've got your holiday shopping done, too. ;o)