"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Beat the flu: Bad Home Cook-style

by Julie Tilsner on November 2, 2009

in Minor Miracles

Sick Nobody rolled her eyes more dramatically than I did at the hype surrounding the H1N1 “Swine Flu” pandemic. But after watching just about everyone I know take to their beds with a flu that came with a throat full of nails and a loss of inner-ear balance, I myself got felled.

Was it the dread Swine Flu? Who knows. All I do know is that it was a doozy of a flu bug. I was on my back for two days and probably should have stayed down for another two. But in between, I fought back with tradition, folklore, and non-science. And I emerged greatly improved. Allow me to share the method to my madness.

Garlic. Upon first signs of sickness, send someone else out to the store for several heads of garlic. You must make garlic soup, and lots of it. You can try my version of Julia Child’s a l’ail aux pommes de terre (that’s garlic soup with potatoes) or Heidi Swanson’s version of Richard Olney’s classic version. This looked creamy and delicious (just look at that photo!), but not surprisingly, I botched it. Strangely enough though, it still helped a great deal.

Hot and sour soup – there’s a Chinese place on the corner that makes a hot and sour soup with mysterious and proven healing qualities. Over the last five years, it’s been the deal-breaker between me and certain death. It must have something to do with the strange chilis stewing within, or the mixing of the hot and cold vapors, or the special mushrooms. Maybe it’s the tofu. Whatever the reason, it works every time, breaking whatever hold an illness has on me. I’ve never tried this at home, but maybe you should in this case: Epicurious has the number for you.

Tea with honey. – Any kind of tea, but make sure it’s local honey. I don’t think of myself as a crunchy granola type, but I really do believe that honey made from your friendly neighborhood bees packs a particular punch to your immune system.

Just stay home already: Don’t be a martyr to corporate America. If you feel yourself getting sick, just call in sick. If you try to put a brave face on it and go in, chances are your colleagues will rat you out anyway.

Shots of Whiskey. It works. A doctor friend told me this himself (OK, he’s English, but he’s still an M.D.). One this one count, my Irish grandmother would have agreed with him 100% Not for nothing whiskey has been called the “water of life.” Take a shot (or if you’re larger than me, take two) at night after the kids are down. Tell me it doesn’t fight symptoms better than Nyquil…

Try all of the above and get lots of rest. And let me know how you’re feeling.

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