Saturday, October 8, 2011

Orange Food

Here it is - October. The weather is finally cooling, and it’s time to worry about getting sick. So in the spirit of the season, here are some more remedies for flu-fighting that every woman used to have in her home disease fighting arsenal.

My mother told me that her mother did things to her when she got sick that I would think twice about recommending. One was the famous mustard plaster, made of powdered dry mustard mixed with flour and water to make a paste, sandwiched between two pieces of cloth, (I seem to remember my mom telling me that Grandma used brown paper) and applied as a poultice to the chest. This remedy would open the bronchi, and if you weren’t careful, it’d blister the heck out of your chest, as well.

My other grandmother liked to ease her breathing with a nice hot toddy, made of hot water, sugar, lemon, and a shot of whiskey. And if it didn’t ease her breathing, she didn’t care. Another pleasant immunity booster is elderberry wine.

I was once told that eating orange foods was a good thing to do if you wanted to avoid getting sick, and research has shown that there’s something to this. We all know about oranges and viatmin C, but sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and orange squash are full of immune boosting beta carotene, besides being comforting and delicious.

Squash and pumpkin make wonderful soups, and so do yams and sweet potatoes. But when I was a kid, I thought the very best way to eat a sweet potato was thus:

Wash a sweet potato and poke two or three holes in it. Bake it in a medium oven (you can wrap it in foil, but I just stick it in there naked) for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potato, until it’s very soft. Take it out - carefully! (After all, it’s a hot potato) Let it cool enough to handle, then pick it up like a banana, peel back the top and slather with butter, and eat it. Peel the skin down from the top as you go. Oh, so yummy. And if you’re eight years old, this method of potato-eating has the added benefit of being a lot of fun.

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