By guest blogger and New York writer Seanan Forbes:
Never mind spring flowers. This year, for many of us, April's showers brought May's head cold.
It hit me late last week.
My mother's cure (for adults only) involves tea with brandy, a 50/50 split. Her recipe: Make the tea, get under a mound of duvets, and drink the mixture while it steams. You'll heat up, fall asleep and feel better - or not care.
Work doesn't mesh well with a mug full of hot brandy. My daytime cold routine: heat whole wheat udon in chicken soup, add at least three kinds of chili pepper and down it - hot enough in all ways to make me sweat. My drink's no gentler: ginger root and lemons, simmered in water, drunk by the honey-sweetened mugful.
For three days, I lived on chicken soup and hot ginger lemonade. It didn't drown the cold.
The weekend ended, the workweek started, and I was still in the grip of the grippe. Okay, it wasn't a flu; it was just a cold - but it wasn't going anywhere. As I sat, head bent over my third consecutive dinner of hot noodles, broth, garlic, ginger and pepper, pepper and more pepper, my head dripping, my brain drowning and my tongue on fire, I started to wonder: What do chefs eat - or drink, if they're not cold-time eaters - when they have colds?
Rodelio Aglibot of Sunda,110 W. Illinois, grew up in Hawaii. He was reared on multicultural foodstuffs and his restaurant's menu celebrates Asian food. Where does Sunda's peripatetic chef turn when a head cold tries to take him down? The answer has to be exotic, right? No. He goes for two shots of Jack, then honey ginger tea, served hot. My mother would approve.
Laurent Gras of L20, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, seldom falls prey to a cold or flu. When he does, someone else cooks for him.
Gras says, "I am lucky I do not get sick very often. When I do, my wife usually makes egg drop soup for me. It has chicken broth with a lot of ginger and feathery threads of egg. She sometimes puts a little green onion and soy sauce on the top. The hot broth and ginger are soothing and the egg gives you some energy and protein. But also it is probably the effect of having someone make you soup when you are sick. That makes you feel better right away."
You have to love love.