Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Time Flu

Hello Everyone.
Oh my goodness, it has been so long since I have done a post!  I volunteered to work as a backstage crew member, for a show this summer, at the theatre where I work.  Fortunately, it was a hit, but that meant that I was pulling 13-14 hour days for a whole month. Needless to say, I just did not have the energy or the brain power left to do any posts.  But I am back and have four days off for the holiday week-end, so I plan on making up for it by trying to do at least three posts this week-end.  We'll see how that goes.  To top it off, as seems to be usual for me when I don't get a lot of sleep, I got sick during the middle of the show. 
Ugh.  I hate being sick during the middle of summer, but that often seems to be the case, not only for me but for a lot of people that I know.  So this  post is going to contain some homemade remedies for how to take care of yourself when you are feeling ill - inspired by my recent illness.  It is also going to include remedies that I find are more my summertime illness recipes.  Next time that I am feeling down and out, I will share my fall/winter recipes.

Because, even when you're feeling down a lady should always have an up-do and red lipstick.

My illness started with a fever and then quickly turned into a mean upper respiratory infection/bronchitis.  Because of this, this post is going to focus on things that make you fell better when you have a cough. 

Lemon Ginger Honey Syrup

This syrup can be used by the teaspoonful if you use brandy instead of water.  If you use the water, it works better added to water as a hot beverage.  These ingredients are also said to help boost your immune system.  This syrup also is very nice when you have a sore throat.

1  1/2 cups brandy or water  (I like the brandy, but water works just as well)
2 large lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup grated ginger  (Ginger can be very potent, if you are afraid that the ginger will be too strong, start with half a cup and work your way up.)
1 cup honey  (I know this seems like a lot of honey, again if you are afraid it will be too sweet, try with half a cup first.)

1.  Heat the brandy to a boil.
2.  Add the honey, ginger and grated lemon zest.
3.  Bring to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4.  Remove from heat and stir in the juice of the two lemons.
5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl.  Press hard on the solids to extract all of the liquid.
6.  Let cool and pour into little bottles (if you have them, I don't) or mason jars.

NOTE: Keep chilled in the fridge.  The syrup keeps for about 1-2 weeks.  To use as a hot beverage, use one part syrup to 4 parts water.  To use as a cough syrup, use two tea spoons.

I would like to have this outfit.  I mean, come on, look at the shoes!  But don't you just love this get well card from WWII?

Homemade Vapor Rub

I don't know about you, but I don't use the Vapor Rub that you can buy in stores quick enough before it goes bad in my medicine cabinet.  That is why I researched and fine tuned until I could make my own.  (To be fair, you may not have these ingredients in your home, but they are easy to get and I use them in things like my homemade shaving cream and bath bombs. So I don't just use them for just the vapor rub - you know how much I love the things I buy to work double and triple duty.  And I will be putting recipes for those things I just mentioned in later posts.) I like to whip my vapor rub because I like the way it feels.

3 tbsp. shea butter  (You can also use cocoa butter if you don't have or can't find shea butter.)
7 tbsp. coconut oil
20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil or peppermint essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil

1.  Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Beat on high speed until all of the ingredients are blended together and are the consistency of whipped cream.

NOTE:  Store in an air-tight container.  It will keep for about 1 month, however, you may have to shake it to get it to gel back together.

Semi-Homemade Chicken Soup

I read somewhere that chicken soup really does help a person get better--like for provable, scientific reasons--but I don't remember what they are anymore.  What I do know is that nothing beats chicken soup when you are sick.  (Although I am also very fond of sushi rice and miso soup when I feel ill.) 
This recipe works great with leftover roast chicken but is also AMAZING with leftover turkey.  

1/2 cup onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tbsp. oil
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 envelope Good Seasonings Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1/2 cup bite sized pasta, uncooked

1.  In a large saucepan heat oil.  Add onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
2.  Stir in the chicken broth, water and dressing mix. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.
3.  Add chicken and pasta, cover with lid.
4.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10-12 minutes until pasta is tender.

Serve warm.

Well, that's it for this post.  I hope you find some of this useful and I will post more very soon!