Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good Afternoon, Ladies and Germs


When my gills turn a pale chartreuse or if I feel the least bit swiney, the first thing I do is double up on the exercise. Hike in the morning, ride in the afternoon, and run in the evening, for example. I’m under-employed, so can do things like that.

Often this method encourages germs to look for housing elsewhere, someplace a little more relaxed and accommodating – at a neighbor’s perhaps.

But when exercise doesn’t work, it’s time to pull out the big guns and make a huge Little House on the Prairie-sized cauldron of Sick Soup. I think I’ve mentioned the soup before, but seeing as we’re in flu season, thought I’d make this an annual PSA.

Sick Soup has as many and varied vegetables as can be crammed into one large pot. You cook it down and then puree it into a highly concentrated and unattractive green liquid. The idea behind the soup is to throw everything – body, brain, virus -- into vitamin shock. See, I posit that when a germ or virus moves in, the body sulks about the added work – you know, like when relatives visit. Sore throat and headache nothing more than a form of whining. But if you bombard the cells with something equally foreign and unwelcome – vegetables – the body is so busy raking leaves, you pass through the episode symptom-free.

The trick is, you’ve got to eat the soup and nothing but the soup for three days. No Triskets, no Snickers, no smoked oysters, no alcohol. Maybe just a small bag of M&Ms to cleanse the palate. And scotch, particularly if you have an aversion to it. Scotch tastes highly-medicinal and smells like bandaids – it's Lysol for the innards.

Soup ingredients
Large onion, garlic, head of cauliflower, head of broccoli, asparagus, boiling potatoes, 2 buns of spinach, bunch of dandelion leaves, carrots, Serrano peppers, salt, pepper, turmeric, chicken stock.

Methode
Chop, sauté, boil, puree.

Kitchen Notes
You're out of scotch.

49 comments:

Wayne said...

Another classic example of the cure being worse than the disease.

Wash your hands perpetually and shun people who would cough in your face.

-K- said...

I, on the other hand, bombard the germs with Bachelor Cooking such as the following:

Brown some sausage in a skillet, add diced potatoes and a bag of frozen vegetables.

Simmer.

Later, when you get around to it, why not add a can of pineapples, with syrup?

Cover and continue to simmer.

Serve with beer ('cause it seems like somebody drank up all the scotch. Again.)

Within 5-7 days, I'm usually feeling better.

Cafe Observer said...

I think I'll have to be under Scotch Whiskey myself before I can come up with a decent comment.

Back after lunch.

Margaret said...

I want to know more about the exercise method. Do you really do this? Couch potato, under-employed person that I am, I always lie in front of the couch and watch my six-hour Pride and Prejudice DVD when I feel a virus coming on. Have I been doing it all wrong?

Anonymous said...

Never ignore the Kitchen Notes.

GG

Virginia said...

One question- may I substitute Jack Daniels and some effervescent sparkling water for scotch? If so, I"m on board!

And Kevin darling, I was with ya till you added the pineapple. That could be driving the women away. Just a thought.

W, what's there not to like??? It's all veggies for Pete's sake!!!

PS Scotch tastes exactly as you described, ewwww.

Julie said...

Being just a simple antipodean, please ma'am, what is a "bun" of spinach?

altadenahiker said...

Yes, but Wayne, the face coughers so seldom wear nametags.

Margaret, everyone likes Austen, including germs. Look to K, he uses scare techniques.

Virg, I don't think Jack Daniels is remotely medicinal. And to Julie's technical question, it's similar to a head of lettuce, except spinach doesn't form a head. I guess it forms a bun.

Tash said...

surely you jest :0

BANJO52 said...

Hike, ride, run? In one day? Or climb in the rafters of a mausoleum, whichever comes first?

(By the way, the rafters made a good angle for the shots, didn't they.)

Pierre said...

Your soup sounds delicious. However, it would be syrup of ipecac for my wife. She hates vegetables.

Cafe Pasadena said...

kB, R U trying to tell Us you're Sick?
.

Put a brunch of chopped, raw garlic & onions in everything you eat. Do this especially before having to see someone you don't wanna sea.

CB3Dot said...

I break all rules related to protocol with the flu season hits. Props, to insure optimum comfort include the following. Warm PJs, cotton warm-ups, or the like; Fur lined slippers; the furnace with a hint of warmth; candles, gentle incense and reclining couch. To this we add, freshly popped popcorn, using my mix of canola and butter, spices, salt and a touch of cumin, warmed on the stove top or for one minute in the microwave. Pour some of the mixture into the popcorn popper. I have a theater size popper from The Source, Smart and Final about 10 years ago. Pop until it stops popping, but before any of the kernels start burning. Put popcorn in your bowl, pour some of the butter mix on top of the popcorn and immediately shake it so the each kernel or a kernel buddy is touched by it. THEN, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on top of the pile. That is the tongue teaser.
Finally, get a nice glass of cognac, I use Martel, Courvoisier, Hennessey, and some of the other mid-tier brands from TJs, Costco, etc. Finally, you might try a couple cubes of ice in the cognac. That is the mortal sin I commit with glee, because I once added a cube to the cognac instead of scotch. So, hit me on my knuckles with a ruler. I can stand the pain. The flu kicks back, joins me in a little TV or Wagnerian opera and the season slumbers.

Ken Mac said...

i do love scotch. Lagavulin. Unfortunately, as the king of pop once sang, it's out of my life...now I just walk down the road and annoy people! ha ha ha

Quid said...

No Snickers? I think I'd rather be sick than give up my hourly dose of processed sugar.

And dandelion leaves? Do they sell them in bunches at the supermarket?

Are we to assume you're feeling under the weather? If so -- Feel better soon!

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I drank your scotch up

sorry

altadenahiker said...

I feel much better, thank you. Which probably means there are no pigs in the house, or I'm really on to something with this soup. We know it's not the scotch.

Ken Mac, you and me dad. He loved that expensive single-malted horror.

(Tash and Banjo, yeah, exercise really is my first frontal attack. CB, popcorn sounds good but would interfere with the chemistry of the soup and m&m's. Quid, yes, dandelion leaves. They let you start with a clean slate. Especially if you've let PA in the house and the scotch is gone.)

Virginia said...

PARDON, Jack Daniels is exceptionally medicinal MISSY and don't you forget it. I"ve not had scurvy, malaria and a lot of other stuff because I'm a believer.

BTW, our fine fine Mayah has been convicted on 60 counts and it's a fine fine day in B'ham. I'm off to buy me some Jack Daniels to celebrate! Yipppeee.

PS I do so love me some Ken Mac!
V

Susan C said...

Virginia, just heard the story about your mayor on NPR. I've never heard anyone so full of righteous indignation.

The Sage of Altadena said...

Ah, KB, you're obviously drinkin' the cheap stuff! A good Scotch is a party in a glass -- an old-fasioned party, one with lots of smoke, the first sip shocks the system and then settles down to a warm ember in your innards. Being Scottish myself, I know this. I realize it may be different for you Scandonoovians.

As for flu, my recipe is "outlive it comfortably." Yes, warm pajamas or sweats, my big ropey caridgan, eschew work of any sort, television and newspapers and magazines, lots of fluids -- espcially Scotch, if you're keepin' things down. Act like you're a retired couch potato. I actually kind of look forward to it.

AmyR said...

That is the best description I have ever heard of scotch; so true!

I go in lazy mode and tend to succumb to illnesses. As long as they aren't too horrible, it's a good excuse to lay around on the couch and keep up on things like the boxed set of seasons 1-5 of Angel I just got. I admire your fortitude.

Tash said...

I meant to say,
Karin, you the best...

If all that exercise does not kill you, the bun surely would...I've never cooked spinach with anything before, doesn't it take over the flavor?
Do you know what to do with Swiss Chard?

Petrea said...

The Sage stole my line but he said it better. You need to spend more than a buck-fifty on your fifth of scotch, Hiker. I hope you're feeling better.

Kevin, that's a lovely recipe. It's exactly what I used to make for myself. It's a wonder it doesn't take you a month to heal.

My WV is "vatinger"--KB's brand of champagne, I'm guessing.

Desiree said...

I'm gonna get right on that delectable sounding recipe. Hold on, all out of veggies. Too bad. I'll have to start with the scotch, and keep going til I enjoy the flavor--

Julie said...

Hey, KB, whilst you're trying to digest that non-alcoholic sludge, take a read of the story about the bushfires in Victoria earlier this year which is in this week'sglested

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Nice description about Scotch !! I am feeling my self a bit knowledgeable after reading this post.

Shell Sherree said...

I'm glad Julie asked ~ I had no clue about the 'bun' either. Gaggle of geese, murder of crows, bun of spinach. Fair enough, then. My hub's cure is rum, lemon juice and honey, topped up with hot water. Not sure how well it works, but it's a warming night cap, at least.

Carolynn said...

Excellent! I love your theory, except for the exercise part. I have a different view of that. I think my germs get bored from all the inactivity and move on to more exciting environs, like the gym, perhaps.

Hope the soup kicks in and you feel better soon.

Paula said...

I didn't have a Sick Soup recipe, until I read -K-'s recipe (busily scribbling on index card). The Tropical conversion is an interesting twist. Actually, I think I read somewhere that pineapple is supposed to be good for you when you're sick. Or not.

altadenahiker said...

Now I know the difference in Vive la difference -- it's scotch! (And a few other particulars.)

Petrea, I'll attend to you later. While Sage was simply giving me a consumer tip, you were wantonly cruel.

Mademoiselle Mannix said...

Where's Ponch? Oh. There it is over my belt.

-K- said...

31 comments? In 24 hours?

C'mon, people, she's not that sick.

Petrea said...

Nice new headshot, K. I like it.

Sorry, Karin. I guess my inner bitch is more obvious than I thought.

Cafe Pasadena said...

-K-, I'm getting real tired of KB, too...

And, she's not even a dog!

Julie said...

I wondered what on earth you were talking about! Skimmed the article again half knowing that I would have looked up this unknown-to-me word. But the answer is in my actual comment.

I keyed in "in this week's NYr" and I bet my Word Identification was "glested" which I have stuffed up! I am working on my daughter's spare laptop WITHOUT a mouse and get all tangled up manipulating that silly little square with my finger-tip.

Another two weeks and my life should be the right way up again. The doctors have given the all-clear on the heart now, and it is just the brain bit that is unfathomable. Kirsten has found me a place to live that has no stairs and which is very close to her. I retire from paid employment next Friday, so a mega-stressor is eliminated.

Now that the emotion is stable, I might even write a post on Plumbing about it.

So, forget "glested". Read the article in this week's New Yorker about the Victorian bushfires.

The Sage of Altadena said...

Never deny your inner bitch, Petrea. it keeps the rest of us honest!

Virginia said...

Petrea,
Oh my inner bitch is always hanging out to dry. Hate it.

Hiker,
Thanks for not toasting my birthday with scotch. JD and I are tight you know. It's a Suthern Thang you know.

Petrea said...

Sage, you mustn't encourage me.

Christina said...

A vitamin punch in the gut plus a slap of scotch, sounds like a cure. I'm vitamining up right and left too, because EVERYONE at my school is sick.

I must be in the same boat as you and have never tasted a nice enough scotch, because I have the same band-aid-y reaction.

altadenahiker said...

Doubt my cure at your peril, guys. I just got back from a two mile run and feel just dandy. But along the way had the strangest encounter -- maybe fodder for the future...

Christina, you teachers have a difficult season ahead. Lots of garlic?

Julie said...

As a plural for "you" I prefer "you(se)". It is regarded here in Oz as westie (=redneck), which simply makes it all the more compelling.

CB3Dot said...

It's another day, and I've been hit with the plague. It's not H1N1 but it is high enough on the discomfort index to warrant entry into "the mode." I have the requisite Robitussin, the habitual Ace in the Hole. The wife is out of town, so I don't have my chicken soup. Pop corn is swell, but I need my soup, FIRST! She called today and informed me that she too had been stricken. Until she arrives, I have to use my second tier standbys. Popcorn in the popper, pooches in their comfort zone on their blankets, brandy at the ready, soft evening comfy attire. I am in sniffle heaven. Checked out a nice video. Nothing of substance, but no subtitles. If there is a god, and there is an entity called SIN, I'll do the purgatory thing for gloating over my feeling of entitlement for the way I feel at this moment. I just took a sip and followed up with the popcorn kernel with the teaser salt from the kernel buddy. Drop by if you wish, but you'll have to let yourself in. I'm too comfortable to move.

Virginia said...

Susan C, the ex mayor is a fountain of righteous indignation and a racist to boot. Good riddance. I'll stop short of a full blown rant. Maybe KB will do a piece on him one day. Plenty of fodder.
V

Laurie said...

I'm late to this party...

Oh well. There's no scotch left anyway.

bandit said...

Thas' Scandahoovians to you, buddy. (hic-cough-cough)

The Sage of Altadena said...

best comments ever!

Bec said...

I'm sick of being sick and of the flu season and it's not even November. Wish I had this recipe sooner. I usually try the exercise thing too but then the typical Vitamin C, hot tea, Nyquil route.

altadenahiker said...

Sage, I totally agree. The comments trump the blog. Bec, get on the soup, I'll check in tomorrow.

Rob (Mr DL) said...

no alcohol??!! I'm sure the soup is a fine 3 day cure, but I'll take the scotch. Germs can't survive an alcohol bath. Come to think of it, a good cigar would go good with that scotch. We'll smoke out them pesky germs.