Friday, January 6, 2012
(I can't be expected to choose the appropriate seasonal towel to serve as a tea cozy when I'm not feeling well.)
When you're feeling under the weather, what makes you feel better? It's that time of year, and if you haven't felt sniffly and congested and scratchy-throated yet, chances are you're going to before the winter's over. Especially if you have to ride the CTA. Don't think about that, just go wash your hands. *shudder*
When I'm not feeling my best, I surround myself with things that will make me feel better without requiring much effort. I collect all the necessary remotes, my computer and phone, a pillow and blanket, and a soothing drink. This tea is the best thing for a cold. I discovered it at Sweetwaters, the coffee house where I worked in college. Theirs is a secret recipe which they make in big batches and deliver in a concentrated form to their locations in southeast Michigan (and if you're in the area, you should definitely pay a visit). I drank it constantly during those cold Ann Arbor winters. When I moved to Chicago, unwilling to survive the freeze without my fix, I quickly came up with my own version.
The flavor is very strong, almost medicinal, and it soothes and clears and works like magic. The lemons pack a punch of vitamin C, the honey soothes sore throats and coughs, and the spicy-sweet ginger clears congestion and warms you up. And on top of that, it will keep you hydrated, which your body will thank you for. Before you cuddle up on your couch, put a pot of this on to simmer. I promise it will help.
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 3- by 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
10 cups water
1 cup honey
Place lemon juice, ginger, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes, cover and remove from heat, and steep at least 30 minutes, or as long as you like - the longer it steeps, the more gingery the tea will be, and the more gingery the better, I think! Reheat and drink as needed, to soothe wintry sniffles and sore throats.