Home, sick

We had a lovely time at Jane and Erik's wedding. The food was excellent, I'm still sore from the dancing, and the company was immeasurably enjoyable. We didn't get to see everyone we miss in Chicago, and it was surprising how much we missed the city itself. On Sunday, we were able to take a short stroll along the lake in the early fall sunshine; despite the wind rather forcefully depositing sand upon our persons it was one of the more relaxing experiences I've had recently.

While a good time was certainly had, traveling did not leave us much time for sleep. We were up late Friday packing, getting about 4 hours of sleep before our flight there. The next day was better, but after all the dancing and wine I was still exhausted. Then, in our infinite wisdom of "let's buy the cheapest flight possible", we roused ourselves at 3:30am Monday morning to catch a 5:50am flight back to NYC. My immune system had had it. That morning I could feel the beginnings of a scratchy throat from PND, and my neti pot was nowhere in sight. I had to babysit that evening, so there was not time to sleep at home, but I managed to get home and in bed at a reasonable hour.

When I'm more hurried I like to rely on Throat Coat Tea . I really don't care much for the taste, but boy does it work. When I have more time, like I did this afternoon, I opt for my home made ginger-lemon-honey tea. I'll let you google the benefits of all those things yourself, but what I like is that it tastes awesome and makes me feel better. Plus, it's so minimal to prepare, I can do it with but a modicum of whining.

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You'll need: 

  • A lemon
  • Fresh ginger
  • Honey (I love this new raw stuff I got) 
  • A tea cup with straining basket OR cheese cloth
  • A heavy object, such as a meat tenderizer
  • Boiling water

Start some water in your teapot or electric kettle.

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Lemonize: Cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice directly into the strainer of your teacup. If you don't have a fancy shmancy one like me, fear not. Squeeze the lemon straight in, and deal with the pips (or not) as you see fit. I used half a lemon, but use more or less depending on your taste. Before you throw away the squeezed bit, take a thin slice or two of the zest (no pith!) and put it in the strainer or into your cheesecloth.

Gingerize: Take about a half inch's worth of a ginger knob and slice it thin-ish. Don't bother peeling it or any of that nonsense - you're sick! You don't need the extra work. Plus you don't eat it, it just steeps. Apply your designated ginger smasher to each slice; in my case, it's a meat tenderizer. You can also use a heavy pot, a rock, or the back of a chef's knife. I prefer smashing to cutting in this case, since I think it releases more of the juice and flavors of the ginger. Dump the smashed bits into the strainer or cheesecloth with the lemon zest.
WARNING: Ginger smashing may cause loud noises and prompt your super to knock on your door, demanding to know what the heck you're doing. Summon your best acting efforts at appearing miserably ill. 

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Steepify: Place your teacup strainer or tied-up cheesecloth in the cup. Pour boiling water over all and set a timer for 10 minutes. To keep it hot, you can balance a small plate on your mug, or if you're lucky like me, pop on the lid. I drew a picture while I waited - it totally represents the my angst and struggle to overcome the burden of illness, man.

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  Sweetify: Remove the strainer or cheesecloth. Get out a spoon and scoop (or squeeze, depending on your honey delivery medium) a generous dollop and stir until dissolved. Adjust lemon or honey as needed and imbibe slowly and thoughtfully.

Variations: My cousin  likes to do something similar with grapefruit juice and zest instead of lemon. Something to try this winter when both grapefruits and colds are in season!

Now, get thee hence to bed and rest. In my experience there is no cure for a cold other than sleep.