Thursday, January 13, 2005

I hate taking medicine.

I do, however, love home remedies when they work and when I can tell that they taste good.

Last night, I got home and found that I didn't have anything but coffee in the larder. Opted for the next best thing for a sickie and broke out the ol' flask:

Hot Toddy

2 oz whiskey or brandy
6-8 oz Very Hot water
1 stick cinnamon
1 lemon wedge
2-3 cloves

Put hot water in cup with whiskey and cinnamon stick. You can garnish with the lemon wedge studded with cloves if you'd like, but since we're sick and not standing on ceremony, just dump it in with the cloves and let everything steep for a couple minutes. If you add a teabag to this mix, I believe it's called a hot Tom and Jerry.


I lived on the side of an Alp for a while (Ri-co-lah!), and, yes, there were all sorts of nice herbal remedies to be found. My favorite of these was the thyme decoction the lady I lived with would give me when I was feeling run down and the Occilo (French version of Zyrtec) wasn't working:

Thyme Tea

8-9 sprigs thyme (can be fresh or dry. I grow my own and dry it, so I use that. If you only have the bottled stuff, about 1-2 tablespoons will do.)

Bring about a quart of water to a boil; add thyme. Keep at a low boil for about 10-15 minutes. Strain, add honey and lemon to taste.

This is feels so good going down, as I believe the thyme has both anaesthetic and antiseptic properties. You can also just boil the thyme and breathe in the steam.


Of course, there's the obligatory chicken soup. Though I love the typical Jewish stuff with the carrot and the matzoh balls or rice, when I'm sick, my favorite is a

Riff on the Vietnamese Fisherman's Soup Theme

4 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 green onions, sliced
1 6" piece lemongrass, crushed, or grated rind of one lemon
1/4 t. hot pepper sauce
2 star anise
2 T. rice wine vinegar, lime or lemon juice
2 t. sugar
1 carrot, grated
1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned. For this, I prefer canned.)
1 lb. chicken boned chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 T. soy sauce
1 ripe tomato, cut in wedges (you can also use canned, though it isn't as good)
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Heat the stock to boiling with the chicken, onions, garlic, lemongrass, pepper sauce, lemon rind, star anise, vinegar and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken chunks are fully cooked through; remove the lemongrass stalk and anise. Add the carrot and pineapple. Cook for another five minutes - until carrot is soft. Add the soy sauce, tomato, bean sprouts and cilantro.

Serves 4 (invalids)
Serves 2 (if you eat it in a proper Vietnamese restaurant sized bowl)

I've had this with with tofu as well as with fish (salmon and shrimp combo to be exact). I think that the chicken's my favorite, though. If I'm feeling run down, I get some of this into me, then go to bed. By the next morning, whatever's been bothering me is generally burned out. If I'm in the midst of a cold, it's often the only thing I can taste.


All of this is pretty quick and easy to prepare; very good for reducing the out of bed time if you can't be bothered to train the guy or the cats to help out.


Hi folks from the Carnival! Feel free to stay a while; mi blog es su blog. Oh, and don't worry..I'm past being contagious at this point.

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