Dem Ol’ Sickbed Blues

Whatever it is, it hit me on Wednesday like a tornado, knocked me flat, and I am only just now beginning to recover. I spent two full days ensconced on the sofa with my Kleenex, Tylenol, cough syrup, VapoRub, books, laptop and TV tuned to the Food Network, HGTV and a marathon of Top Design on Bravo. Of course, I missed the brief respite from February — two sunny days of 60+ temperatures! I will spare you the gory details, but instead muse on those foods we crave when we’re sick.

“Feed a cold, starve a fever,” is the aphorism, and the one thing I don’t have is a fever. But when I’m sick, I don’t have much of an appetite either. I crave bland, filling, basic, comfort foods, foods that aren’t too difficult to make in my bleary-eyed condition. Foods like:

  • Toast with butter and honey
  • Cinnamon toast
  • Soft-boiled eggs and English muffins
  • And of course, that old standby, chicken soup

Is it any coincidence that such foods hearken back to my childhood, when Mom would bring a tray to me in bed or on the couch with a hot mug of tea? Of course not.

The following tea is not quite like what Mom used to make — as far as I know, lemongrass wasn’t readily available back then, at least not around these parts. But this is a dynamite recipe for when you’re sick. It’s easy to make, it makes the house smell terrific, and you can get therapeutic value just by standing over the pot and breathing in the steam. I keep a pot on low for most of the day.

Lemongrass Tea

Combine in a saucepan:

  • 5 cups water
  • 4 stalks lemongrass
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp. honey

Bring to a simmer. Let simmer gently over medium-low for 20 minutes. (Recipe from Healthy Latin Cooking.)

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2 thoughts on “Dem Ol’ Sickbed Blues

  1. cooknkate 26 February 2007 at 10:20 am

    Y’know, whoever coined that phrase had no idea what they were talking about. Who ever feels like eating when they have a cold (nose so stuffed that everything tastes like wet cardboard) or a fever (i tend to get hallucinatory with a fever….food morphs into strange smelling things and i cower away) and no one ever wants to cook anything!

    But I am with you on the soup. I crave soup when I am sick. I just need someone to make it for me.

  2. shannonoz 26 February 2007 at 2:52 pm

    I think that’s why I go for bread and eggs (and oatmeal — I have been eating tons of oatmeal) when I’m sick. It doesn’t taste like anything anyway!

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