|Thanks to thisoldhouse.com for the pic
As it is cold season, I thought I would share my personal list of go-to try to beat the cold tips and tricks.
1. Chamomile tea with lemon and honey. Lots of it. The chamomile is good for the slight queasyness that can accompany colds, has some natural anti-inflammatory properties, and can help you rest. The honey and lemon both soothe sore throats, and the honey helps to keep your blood sugar up since you are likely to have minimal appetite. Plus they are yummy. And the tea helps keep you hydrated.
|thanks to kshore.com for pic
2. Throat lozenges. I like Hall's Defense with Vitamin C for mild sore throats, the regular Hall's for more powerful relief.
Crystallized Candied Ginger. These little nuggets covered in coarse sugar are sweet enough to cut through the lack of palate, spicy enough to help clear the nose a bit, and ginger is soothing to the tummy. I get mine in the bulk section of Whole Foods or at the local Asian food market.
4. Hot baths and showers. As hot as you can take them. The steam is very comforting, and lets be honest, you are probably napping a lot and if you aren't diligent, you can start to get a little ripe. If you have those tub soothers available, they don't hurt, ditto essential oils like rosemary and eucalyptus.
5. Chicken soup. Doctors have actually done studies on the famous Jewish Penicillin, and found that it really does have healing properties. I'm not a doctor, I just know that it is one of the few things I can actually eat happily.
This is a recipe of Charming Suitor's. He adapted it from a Charlie Trotter recipe. It is the chickeniest of chicken soups, with beans for extra protein, and especially delicious if you have a loaf of crusty bread to dunk in it.
I made mine in the gorgeous new slow cooker that Cuisinart sent me....meaning I could just bung everything in the cooker in the morning, and by dinner, we had the best soup ever. If you do not have a slow cooker, you can just do it in the oven.
Charming Suitor Chicken Soup with Flageolets
8 c chicken broth (homemade is great, otherwise use one of the lower sodium natural style canned stocks)
1 chicken (about 3 lbs)
1/2 pkg fresh thyme tied with twine or put in a sachet
1/2 pkg fresh sage tied with twine or put in a sachet
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
1 onion, diced
1 leek, cleaned and diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
1 T olive oil
1 c Flageolet or other white beans, soaked overnight or 2 cans cannelini beans drained and rinsed
S&P to taste
(If you don't have a slow cooker, preheat oven to 350.)
Sweat all veggies in oil over low heat in large Dutch oven covered for about 10 to fifteen minutes. If you have a slow cooker, transfer to the bowl, if not keep in Dutch oven. Nestle sachets in veggies and place whole chicken on top. Add chicken stock and cover. Either set slow cooker to high and let cook 6-8 hours, or place the Dutch oven in the oven 2 ½- 3 hours. Remove chicken from stock and remove skin and bones, returning meat to pan. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve.
To be honest, yesterday I did not have an onion, so I doubled up on the leeks, and left out the garlic whcih can sometimes upset my tummy. I do recommend stocking up on dried flageolets, their pale jade color is lovely and they get all creamy in the soup. If you don't have time to soak them overnight, cover them with water and bring to a boil for 20 minutes, then drain and rinse and proceed with the rest of the recipe. I like mine with a last minute squirt of fresh lemon, but Charming Suitor likes it without. It is a bowl of ultimate cold-kicking delicious. And freezes quite well.
Yours in Good (if sniffly) Taste,