Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December: Cold Remedies and Cocktails

It's December -- and already so far into December.  The kids have school through the 23rd!  Everything in me wants to pull them out early on principle, but we don't have a compelling reason and I'm pretty sure I regularly communicate that school is important unless it conflicts with your vacation plans or fun outings, so I will send them.

Today I am in sweats drinking cup after cup of everything warm, battling a cold that has made my body feel like a ton of bricks for two days now.

Since it's food season, I'm writing today about foods and drinks:

A couple of cold remedies and comforts:

-LOTS of vitamin C (I am taking 6,000 a day right now)

-Tea (organic chamomile or just hot water) with lemon, raw ginger, and raw honey (add honey after your boiled water cools a bit so you don't kill all the goodness of the raw honey).  Steep as long as possible

-Broth:  if you can make your own bone broth, do.  I've been using drumsticks (more economical) -- the most important thing is that your bones start out raw.  And if it's not that kind of week, use a box. Once you have 4 cups of broth, dice half an onion, 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic, and about an inch of peeled diced ginger.  Boil for 30 minutes, strain and drink throughout the day like tea. (perhaps it's good for me that Ben is out of town today with all that garlic and onion...)

-A Hot Toddy, which is like hot lemon and honey with some dark liquor (bourbon, whisky, or rum) thrown in.  Try these proportions:
1 oz booze, 1 T honey, 1/2 oz lemon, 1/4-1/2 c boiling water -- adjust to taste
You could put fresh ginger in here, too

A few other winter food notes to share:

-An easy winter salad I can't eat enough of is spinach or kale, toasted almond slivers, and orange slices.  Especially good dressed with white balsamic and olive oil.

-It is Meyer Lemon season, which for those of us on the east coast is *very* short.  I instantly horde them when I see them, even just to hold them in my hands and smell them.  Their zest and juice (less sour than a regular lemon) is great all sorts of places: on string beans, in pancake batter with blueberries, in salad dressing.  I just wrote down several recipes for amazing-sounding dipping sauce for shrimp that i haven't tried yet.  Were I not sick, I'd be making French 75's tonight with Meyer Lemon for friends (sob!)

-Cranberry Margaritas
I've been making these, adapted from Sunset Magazine
makes ~4

1 c cranberry juice cocktail, divided
1/2 c + 1 T sugar (original recipe calls for more so play with amount if you like sweeter)
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) fresh cranberries (could use frozen)
3/4 c fresh lime juice
3/4 c tequila
1/2 c triple sec
3 c ice

Pour a splash of juice on one plate and a few Tablespoons of sugar on another plate.
Dip the rims of glasses into juice and then sugar (makes the sugar slightly pink).
Whirl all ingredients until smooth and slushy, then divide among the glasses and enjoy!
(can put a few cranberries on a toothpick and roll in juice and sugar for garnish)