I was driving home late on Sunday night when it rolled in. I turned into my street and the fog swirled and billowed and seemed unreal, like movie set fog. I pulled into the driveway and got out of the car and slammed the door in a kind of surreal amber atmosphere made by the pixillated orange light from the lamps in the street.
The fog hasn't lifted for days. The obscured sun has been a gleaming silver disc, like the rear vision mirror on an old motorcycle.
Tonight, the cold, heavy fog was counterbalanced by a large pot of boiling rice steaming up the windows inside. That was accompanied by the fragrant aroma of a Thai-style curry. Winter? It's not so bad.
Thai-style chicken and green beans.
Gently cook a kilogram of cubed chicken breast in oil - add a few drops of sesame oil to the cooking oil - in a large pan or a wok. Cook until the chicken just loses its pinkness, no longer; and then remove to a bowl.
To the pan, add two chopped onions, three scored garlic cloves and a few inches of lemongrass, peeled and chopped. Sizzle and add more oil if necessary. Now add four generous tablespoons of green curry paste and stir to coat vegetables and herbs.
After a minute or two add 400ml of light coconut milk, a dash of fish sauce, a cup of chicken stock, a drained can of peppercorns (the little green tin you'll find in most supermarkets) and a couple of kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Return the chicken to the pan, add 20 topped and tailed green beans and simmer for five minutes or until beans are just starting to lose their snap but are not yet limp.
Serve with rice. I prefer basmati but you'll find it paired most often with jasmine. Conversely, drink jasmine tea. It's my favourite drink with Asian food. You can drink gallons of the stuff and it won't fill you up.