I was very intrigued by the email I received from Gourmet.com this week. It always has a few good recipes, tips, products, etc. all wrapped up in a nice tight little package. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!) This week, however, was "Recipes and Remedies for Cold Season." Which got my attention because a.) they rarely have health related topics, and b.) we all had colds this week. Of course there were some nice soup recipes. (And a little blurb that scientists have proven chicken soup really does help! It has anti-inflammatory properties...I knew that all along!) But there were several other Old World Style Remedies that I am going to try next time. Assuming there is a next time. It would be perfectly fine with me if there isn't, just for the record. Such as:
1. Ruth Reichl's (Gourmet's editor) school nurse at the French Language boarding school she attended in junior high gave the girls grog, a concoction consisting of a shot of rum, a cube of sugar, a slice of lemon, and a bit of boiling water. I'll try that for sure. I don't even need to be sick.
2. Taking two drops of this right at the very onset of a cold is supposed to nip that virus right in the bud. I have read about this before, so I just ordered some to keep in the medicine chest. You know, JIC.
3. Most intriguing-ly (yes, I am SURE that is not a word, but you get the point), a recipe for Feel-Good Tea that the Executive Food Editor of the magazine, Zanne Stewart, swears by. I remember reading this in the magazine way back when, and I dog-eared it and everything but never made it. It has a couple of ingredients that must be purchased at an Asian market, so it takes a little planning, but I'm going to get everything and keep it on hand this season. Here's the recipe:
by Chef Ed Brown at The Sea Grill in NYC
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons palm sugar
7 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, cut into thirds
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 lemongrass stalk (lower 6 inches only), cut into 1-inch pieces and smashed
6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger
5 whole allspice
4 whole black peppercorns
1 whole clove
7 chamomile tea bags
20 fresh mint leaves
Finely grate 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon lime zest. Cut peel and pith from lemon and lime halves, and discard, saving pulp.
Bring lemon and lime zests and pulp and remaining ingredients except tea bags and mint to a boil in a sucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then add tea bags and mint. Let steep, covered, 4 mintutes.
Pour tea through a fine sieve into a glass measure. Serve hot.
Cooks’ note: You can reheat the tea once it is brewed.
What are your secret remedies? I have a friend that swears by Vitamins A & D in mega doses and another that shoots herself up with Zicam. Anything I'm missing?