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Happy-Gourmand

Baby, it's a cold inside

A warm blanket, a cup of tea and chicken noodle soup

I don't want to come across as self-indulgent this week, but I am in the throes of my yearly sinus cold. A sinus headache and stuffed up nose are inconvenient to say the least, but I can't smell or taste much of anything, and that's worse. 

It's a shame to have homemade chicken noodle soup when I can't appreciate it properly. Besides, it seems that no matter what I do, a cold lasts a full week. I suppose what I really don't like is feeling helpless. I can't do anything to change the outcome.

A feeling of helplessness could be what made chicken noodle soup a popular suggested remedy. Consuming it doesn't offer any proven miracles for the sick person, but someone taking the time to make it and deliver it to a sick friend or relative can ease their feeling of helplessness. 

Similarly, cookies or a hot toddy can help. When you’re sick, it’s just nice to have someone be sympathetic. 

I think that's why my mom used to say, "There isn't much a cookie can't cure." In case you want to test this theory, try one of my mum’s cookie recipes (recipe below). 

Sometimes you just want to pull the covers over your head when you're not feeling well. A day under the blankets is not a bad idea, either. Research shows that you tend to get better faster if you let your body focus on recovering from the illness. 

We like to believe that the world can't go on without us, but it can and does. The truth is, when you’re sick you give friends a chance to show their appreciation, and co-workers a chance to show how good the team is when you need help. 

Recent books such as The Art of Being Ill offer all kinds of tips and advice on getting better properly from the common cold and flu.

One thing to note is that honey really does help. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for many illnesses because of its antiseptic, antioxidant, and cleansing properties. Honey and lemon in hot water offers nutrients your body needs, as well as relief from congestion and a cough. It can also help you sleep, as it contains amino acids that help relax you and make you sleepy. And it tastes good!

If you're really stuck, and don't have the energy to make soup or cookies, or don’t have a friend at hand to do it for you, then I suggest you bundle up and head out for a heartwarming meal. Soup is good, and I like to kick things up a notch and add some spice, too, to clear my clogged sinuses. 

I love the Pho at Yamato, or the Tom Yum Gai (hot and sour soup) at Sukho Thai in West Kelowna. In Penticton, Chef Paul Cecconi at Brodo Kitchen always has a few delicious soups on offer. If you know of other great soups to try in the Okanagan, I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Whatever your efforts to feel better, I hope they prove fruitful. Most importantly, remember to stay positive. As Lord Byron said, "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine." 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These cookies are chewy, so if you like your cookies crispy add 1/2 cup more flour and bake them closer to 15 minutes. 

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, separated
1-1/4 cups / 315 g raisins
3/4 cup / 185 g pecans, chopped (optional, but delicious)
1 cup / 250 g butter
1-1/2 cups / 375 g brown sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups / 375 g rolled oats
1 tsp / 5 g cinnamon
1/4 tsp / 1 g nutmeg
1/4 tsp / 1 g salt
1 tsp / 5 g baking soda, dissolved in 1-1/2 tbsp / 22 mL hot water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F /175C. 

Toast nuts for approx. 5 minutes, then chop. Mix raisins and nuts in a small bowl with 1/4 cup flour (this helps them be distributed in the dough).

Combine remaining  flour, oats, spices and salt in a medium bowl. In a mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar till fluffy, then add eggs and beat again. Pour dry ingredients into batter and mix just until blended. Add raisins and nuts and mix slowly, then add baking soda mixture and stir till combined.

Drop dough from tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets (or use silicone mats to avoid extra fat). Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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