The day of our photoshoot was the day it happened. Syke was just getting sick, a little stuffed up, some coughing, but we didn't let it bother us. To keep her warm we turned on the heat and the steamer. The room was warm and wet and the perfect germ incubator. I love the photos but I'm paying the price. So sick. Achy body, prickly skin, cold, feverish, congested, coughing, puffy red eyes and unable to smell or taste anything. This is the worst part. No amount of neti potting, rosemary vapor sniffing, emergen-c drinking seems to help. And yet, despite my handicaps, all I want to do is cook. Last night I served garbanzo beans simmered in tomatoes, ginger and coriander and baked squash with homemade aioli sauce. I thought the dish lacked flavor but my guests vehemently disagreed. Today, before we departed for a round of x-mas shopping, I made Luke and I sugar-free hot chocolate with cayenne, ginger and nutmeg. A taste test by Sarah resulted in near gagging and an inability to physically handle the spice. I drank it right down. The final test came tonight. I am home alone and puttering in the kitchen. I roasted chicken drumsticks and wings and added them to a white bean soup. Except that I burned the beans while I stood at the stove with them. Didn't smell a thing. Same with the sweet potatoes unhappily roasting to death in the oven at my hip. Meanwhile I attempted a mint-cilantro chutney with no idea how it came out except that the jalapeno I added seems to be pretty hot. My mouth and hands wont stop burning. Enough. Out of the kitchen. Oh please let me feel better tomorrow. I have grand plans for the apples I'm picking up at the last Farmer's Market of the year. It has been two days and already I really miss knowing food.