It’s time for the annual winter cold. I get sick once every winter. Not the flu, but somewhere between that and a cold. You will get sick enough to take to your bed for a day or two. When it happens you need to lean in. You need to succumb, stay home and take care of yourself. If you take my advice, reached after years of trying to fight it you’ll recover more quickly.
At the first sneeze, cough or that certain tickle, you know with certainty that you are about to get a raging cold. Some colds creep up on you and you can dose yourself with whatever you use (those mystery Chinese pills you got from your acupuncturist?) to ward it off. Other times you go from feeling fine to knowing you’re about to get sick in an instant. I’ve learned that I have a window of about two hours to take action before I need to lie down.
Stop what you are doing, get to the store and get the supplies for chicken soup. Chicken soup may or may not cure a cold—I don’t think it does. What it does do is soothe the soul, warm you up and help sweat out a fever. You need to drink plenty of liquid and soup is perfect. It may not cure your cold, but I have found chicken soup will make me feel better and homemade chicken soup makes me feel way better than anything.
If you hustle you can get to the grocery store for supplies before it hits full on. You’ll need a small chicken, celery, onion, carrots and egg noodles. If you’re not sick you can add all sorts of other fancy stuff like fresh dill, or sage, but you’re sick, stick to the basics. You can kid yourself that orange juice will cure you (it won’t) and get a quart of that too. Get home as fast as you can, get all the ingredients (except the noodles) in the pot and take a nap for an hour. Here is my recipe, but use any one you like.
A nap will revive you a bit and you’re going to need a lot of sleep. I’ve found sleep has the biggest impact on how fast I get well. Because you feel like crap and you’re going to want to sleep forever set an alarm. When you get up the soup will be almost done. Pull the chicken out and let it cool enough to handle it. To speed up the cooling use a knife and fork to pull it apart a bit. While the chicken cools cook your noodles according to the package directions.
To finish the soup, discard the skin, bones and any parts of the chicken you don’t want. Tear or chop what you do want and add it back to the soup with your noodles. Taste the soup. Sit down and have a big bowl of it. While you’re eating your soup sit the pot in a bowl or sink filled with ice and water so it can cool. Once you’re done, put the soup in the fridge. I often just leave it in the pot. Now drag your sick, sorry ass to bed and sleep as long as possible. When you wake up you’ll have some yummy soup waiting. Heat it up, take a mug of it back to bed, and go back to sleep.
Feel better soon!