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14 March 2010 @ 08:48 pm
i hab a code, part two  
Hot Flannel, per Georgette Heyer ("Sylvester", near the bottom of p. 80 in my edition, otherwise about 3/4 of the way through chapter 7). Our faithful retainer has been suffering from a severe cold in the head, necessitating (according to our heroine) that he not be made to trudge miles through a snowstorm on the previous day. Now it's time to remove from the Inn:

"Keighley, fortified by a potion of gin, beer, nutmeg, and sugar, which he referred to as hot flannel, raised no objection; so the horses were put to again."

I raised objection to the beer in that formula - sounds nasty - and I have no gin. So I've invented the Vermont hot flannel:

Hard cider (about 1 cup)
Brandy (about 1.5 oz)
Maple syrup (1 to 2 TBS)
Nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste

It's quite pleasant, but it could have used a little more nutmeg. But then, lots of things with alcohol, sweetener, and a little spice are bound to be quite pleasant, at least for those of us who like alcohol. (The beer (and gin) might actually give it a more interesting flavor.)

I don't know whether it's having a therapeutic effect, either. For that matter, I may be past the cold thing, and just back to my normal allergies (hard to tell).

I think, all in all, that the hot lemonade recipe is both tastier and more effective. If I'm still feeling in need of a hot restorative before bed, I'll go back to that recipe.
betonicabetonica on March 15th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
re: i hab a code, part two
While it is true that one glass of that got me quite sloshed (okay, so I'm a lightweight; in my defense, I will say that hot alcohol has a faster, shorter action) I have an interesting observation:

Before drinking this stuff I was asthmatic. Definitely wheezy. Somewhat, though not seriously, short of breath. Maybe related to the cold, but probably not for the most part.

Now I am not. Almost totally free and clear breathing. I'd be more pleased with this if I weren't three sheets to the wind ;)

Is that the alcohol, or something else?
It's definitely nice to be able to take a full breath of air. Perhaps I should be careful not to hyperventilate in my enthusiasm.
Selkiselki on March 16th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Re: i hab a code, part two
Interesting. I always avoid alcohol when I'm having allergic attacks, not wanting to complicate things -- and that's even without Benedryl or my inhaler. OTOH, Benedryl is a depressant, alcohol is a depressant ... hmmm.
betonicabetonica on March 16th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: i hab a code, part two
When I thought about it more, I realized that sometimes, at least, just the act of drinking or eating something will alleviate the wheeziness... for a few minutes. And in fact, my lungs had tightened back up long before I was over being sloshed. So much for an asthma cure. I wonder if chewing gum would work for me?
matthewwdaly on March 15th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
I know it's not directly in your field of study, but do you have an opinion one way or the other on neti pots? I've been trying them this winter whenever I've started to get sniffly but I'm not enough data to get whether it helped me avoid the ick this winter (which, like you, I rarely get in full force anyway).
betonicabetonica on March 16th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
re: i hab a code, part two
Actually, I know absolutely nothing about neti pots. Let me know how it goes, and I'll see if I can remember the other person who was mentioning them to me the other day.
matthewwdaly on March 16th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: i hab a code, part two
I'll have to see through allergy season. It's mildly unsettling at first, but if it keeps me out of hacking cough and bronchitis just once it'll be well worth the hassle. And it seems to clear up my Eustachian tubes as well, which is an unexpected bonus. Might be worth a spin, WebMD seems to take the position that it isn't unhealthy. Plus you'd probably be able to suss out all of the additives to the saline solution that would promote optimal natural sinus hygiene.
Tessa: QVlightwalker on March 16th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
I'm partial to honey-lemon-ginger when I'm sick, and pretty much any other time as well. Have occasionally reverted to it in favor of shots, since people who can hold their vodka just fine seem impressed at my ability to knock back intensely brewed ginger tea (conveniently, my ginger tolerance stays pretty steady even as my alcohol tolerance fluctuates).

The hippie summer camp I staffed a while ago made huge vats of what was fondly referred to as "Killer Tea". The original recipe was from the Natural Health Book by Dorothy Hall, 1976 (might be an Australian book - the woman who started the tradition was an Aussie)
Per serving:
-one or two fresh small cloves of crushed garlic
-the juice of 1 lemon, and some shredded rind if it's clean
-about half tsp ground powdered ginger
-pinch cayenne pepper
-quarter tsp dried sage
-honey, of course.

Not sure what the sage does, but the rest seems pretty straightforward until it blows the top of your head wide open (I can do ginger, but cayenne is traumatizing). The really hardcore people finished their tea and then ate the garlic cloves too.
betonicabetonica on March 16th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
re: i hab a code, part two
That killer tea looks fascinating. Someday when I'm no longer allergic to garlic (yes, I know, very strange and inconvenient) I'll have to try it out.

We used to put whole raw garlic, lemon juice and rind, orange juice and rind and olive oil in the blender. And then drink it. It was intense.
Tessa: QVlightwalker on March 16th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Re: i hab a code, part two
Arahha! Eek!

I've had garlic and orange juice in temporal proximity and I emerged kinda horrified. That must have been intense.

I'm so sorry you're allergic to it right now - there's no real replacement flavor, is there. Can you eat garlic shoots - at least get that garlicky chlorophylly zing in salads and stuff?
betonicabetonica on March 16th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
Re: i hab a code, part two
It was actually kinda good... once you got used to it. But ingesting a couple of cloves of raw garlic every morning resulted in me reeking of the stuff, so I didn't do it again.

For cooked garlic, I've found that grated onion - half cooked and have just heated and added at the end - makes a pretty good substitute. And many dishes that are known for their garlic flavor also have lots of salt and either butter or olive oil, which in themselves are yummy combination; additional fresh basil or something works wonders. So the garlic hasn't turned out to be totally necessary, although it does make eating out a bit awkward. I doubt I can eat garlic shoots; they're the same plant, after all. I might try garlic chives, since they're not actually garlic.
betonicabetonica on March 16th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
re: i hab a code, part two
Oh - and I should know what the sage does. I'm pretty sure it's drying, which would help. Also it's got some antimicrobial activity, although only a bit at that dose.