The RevGals ask, “For this week’s Friday Five, name five things that make you feel better when you’re sick – from foods to liquids and any other comfort item.”
I’m whispering this because I don’t want the germs to hear: I haven’t been sick this winter, at least not much. A couple days of feeling meh, and a week of lower back pain which is different entirely, but the flu hasn’t caught me. Yet.
It seems nearly all of my Facebook friends have some form of crud, or their kids do which means they’re lovingly nursing their offspring while staring down the gaping maw of inevitable impending illness. And I feel for them, I truly do, and I am so, so happy it isn’t me.
Here are my things that help, in no particular order: chicken soup. There is now science to prove its efficacy but I always knew, about this anyway, my Jewish Aunt Betty was right. She was a tiny, round, tyrant of a woman, always in a dress and stockings and always busy, clattering through the house, her plump feet shoved into too-small, high-heeled shoes.Forty years in California couldn’t soften the Brooklyn of her accent, and whenever I watch Fiddler on the Roof it’s not Yenta the Matchmaker I see, it’s Aunt Betty. Along with applesauce heavy with cinnamon which she made every week and her famous Harvey Wall-banger cake, I associate all forms of chicken soup, but most especially matzo-ball soup with her. I’m sure it could cure anything and whenever someone in the family got sick, a large container would be delivered. I never learned any of her recipes so I nurse my Lipton Noodle Soup from a mug, breathing in the steam and wishing I’d paid more attention to that high, shrill, Flatbush Avenue voice.
Mucinex, Aspirin, and wonder of wonders, Traditional Medicinals’ Breathe Easy Tea. I have passed so many packets of the tea to coworkers I think Traditional Medicinals should give me stock in the company. It truly works. I always have it in the house, because it’s good for allergies, too. When the Zombie Apocalypse occurs, one of the first things I will do during the Restoration will be to plant a garden of herbal remedies, with the ingredient list of Breathe Easy Tea at the top of the list.
Sloppy joes. Really. Paul makes them. He doesn’t much cook, but sloppy joes he can do, and when I’m down for the count he relegates me to the couch with my blanket and the remote control and he whips up a batch of Manwich sloppy joes. The Bold style is particularly good, in the way that good hot salsa opens up the sinuses. But I think the most curative value comes in the love which has him shooing me from the kitchen, and delivering a plate of hot, spicy sloppy joes to his pathetic, couch-bound invalid.