There has to be one meal of steamboat at the friends' this season. And I highly regret it. The allergies have been kept in check, and I've been doing so well till I forgot to pre-empt by taking an antihistamine before this particular meal. By the end of the night, my eyes puffed up and my lips swelled and cracked. DAMMIT. The raw seafood that was cooked in the steamboat was beyond potent, and not just that; it was only later then I realized that she had put 'dang shen' and 'tian qi' into the stock to boil down into the soup base for the pot. WTF. I had spotted wolfberries in the soup. Those are okay. The roots aren't. Supposed to be one neutral and the other warming, but they don't work like that on my body. ARRRRRRGH.
ANYWAY. My poor girlfriend felt really sorry for my discomfort. :( I don't really dare to eat at people's homes anymore, unless I know for sure that they're aware of my allergies, and they're not uncomfortable with my food preferences. I've opted out of a couple of invitations this season because I know the hosts are in the dark of food preferences (even if it's fish, cod and salmon aren't my preferred choice...), and I prefer not to be difficult about it, and simply send the man to represent both of us.
After that, I completely lost all appetite and wasn't in any mood to eat. Had to cancel a date at Shinji. The puffiness and swelling went down after hiding out for a day. Then dragged myself out to dinner with the peeps at The Pelican. The friends noshed on plenty of lobster and cold platter thingies. The man devoured a whole Dungeness crab. Gratefully ate a lot of bread, declined the really good clam chowder and bouillabaisse, and stuck to a regular, conservative snapper fish pie that was beautifully done.