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!