What to Eat When You Have a Cold

This post contains recipes for “Ginger Tea” and “Fruit and Crumbs.”

I delivered the apron from the last post and picked up a cold virus on my trip, and now the coughing is trying to get a foothold. I take zinc and that kills my taste buds, but you still have to eat, and sometimes just the idea of a food seems right, even if you know you can’t taste it.

First, I’m going to make some ginger tea for my sore throat:

Ginger Tea

  • Servings: 4 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Peel about a 2 inch cut of ginger, and then slice it into coins. Add it to 4 cups of boiling water, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain.

We like the taste of ginger tea, me as is, my husband with honey. It’s spicier than a lot of people think, but you can probably use the ginger tea itself as the base for regular black or green tea with a tea bag or in a teapot with loose tea. The powdered ginger teas are just not the same as the real thing, so give this a try if it is new to you. We think it soothes our sore throats and that ‘s what really counts—thinking it so.

sliced_gingersimmered_ginger tea

For some reason, I like the idea of warm fruit when I have a cold, so a compote or crisp that’s not too crispy is what I’m looking for. I guess a cobbler is more like it, and I have an interesting recipe for a kind of cobbler that was passed around in grad school. It really works best with fresh blueberries—lots of them—but it works with other fruits, as well, and I have it written down as Peaches and Crumbs. So, I’m just going to rename it “Fruit and Crumbs.”

Fruit and Crumbs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°

The recipe doesn’t say, but I butter my 2 quart baking dish. A deeper dish works best for the two layers. My dish is 8″ round and 4″ high.

3-4 apples or peaches, peeled and sliced, or 6 cups blueberries

Optional: raisins or cranberries, about 1/2 cup. I used cranberries with my apples. I would not use another fruit with blueberries.

2 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon of a spice that goes well with your fruit, like cinnamon or nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

  1. Mix the butter and first 1/2 cup of sugar until well blended. It makes a kind of sandy mixture.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, spice, and salt, mixing well. It is not your typical streusel or crisp topping that has enough butter to make little clumps. This topping makes more of a thin cake-like layer.
  3. Put half the fruit in the dish, sprinkling half the raisins or cranberries over that. Top with half the crumb topping. Repeat with the other half of the fruit and topping.
  4. Here’s the odd part. Combine the remaining sugars and cover the top. Pour 1 cup hot water over the sugars, pouring into a large spoon so you don’t make a crater in the topping. Clearly, most of the sugar is washed into the dish to cook with the fruit, but some stays on top to create a sugar shell.
  5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.
  6. You can crack the sugar shell with a spoon and you will see that when it is turned over, the cake-like layer is underneath it. The layer in the middle of the dish is a thin cake-like layer with no hard shell.

This is an odd way to make a cobbler, and in the end, I find it to be too sweet, although it never seemed so with blueberries. I might consider mixing the second amounts of sugars directly with the fruit before adding to the dish, in place of making that top shell. And maybe a whole cup of sugar is too much

Author: Barbara

I have a PhD in American Literature and taught in higher education for over twenty years and directed two Centers for Instructional Technology before retiring.

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