Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Rest

I have a house filled with sickies right now.  My wife, Briana, and two of our kids are down with some version of the creeping crud.  (Me?  I only get sick when/if everyone else if fine.)  So for the second day in a row, I put the world on my shoulders and make sure that everyone can rest.

In our world, it's not drugs or doctors that help you get better when you have a cold or a touch of the flu.  We turn to curative soups (recipe below), special foods (like tomatoes and garlic) that help your body fight off bugs or strengthen its natural defenses, Bri's crazy "sinus tea" (a blend of yarrow, elderflower, thyme, nettle, white willow, astragalus, lavender, valerian, and lemon balm) which many of our friends swear by, and lots of fluids.  This is in addition to vitamins (especially D3) and lots and lots of rest.

My job, as caretaker, is to make sure that everyone has food, drink, and the opportunity to get plenty of rest.  I make the rounds regularly, peeking in and asking non-sleepers if they need anything or would like an all-fruit juice bar.  Comic books, magazines, and coloring books magically appear to entertain the people in bed.  DVDs are loaded or changed for those laying down in front of a screen.  The list goes on and on.

Of course, life marches on even when folks are sick.  Healthy kids need transported to school, meals need to be made, and messes don't clean themselves.  We’re in the midst of laying out my next novel, The Awakening (May 13th), so I've ironed my cape and I'm doing my best to do it all.

Which is one of the key reasons why, other than my own postings, I'm somewhat absent from the blog-o-sphere at the moment.  Thanks for your patience.  At some point it will all slow down and even out.  Until then, I'm off to do what I need to do.

Goji Berry and Chicken Soup for Colds and Flu
From the BBC Two program, Grow Your Own Drugs 
2 tbsp dried echinacea root
200 ml water, freshly boiled
5 tbsp goji berries, fresh or dried
2 litres chicken stock (homemade or from stock cubes)
3 chicken thighs or drumsticks (preferably organic)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
12 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
10 cm root ginger, peeled and shredded
2 fresh medium-sized chillies, finely sliced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
extra sliced ginger and chillis, to serve 
1. Combine the dried echinacea root with the water in a bowl to make a simple infusion. In another bowl, pour just enough cold water over the goji berries to cover, and leave to rehydrate. Set the echinacea and goji berries aside and leave to stand. 
2. Place the stock and chicken pieces in a large pan or slow cooker. Add the sliced onions, mushrooms, ginger and chillies and place around the chicken in the pan. On a very low heat, simmer gently for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until the chicken is tender and falls apart. Take off the heat. 
3. Five minutes before serving, add the goji berries and chopped garlic. Finally, strain the echinacea infusion and add this to the soup, reheating if necessary. 
4. Serve by ladling into bowls and garnishing with sliced ginger and chilli for an extra kick.
USE: Makes enough for 4. Can be eaten with noodles, if wished.


  1. Be sure you also get some rest in between your super duties!!! ::hugs:: to all and healing energy. :)

  2. Hope your family is better very soon and hope you don't get what they have. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Hope everyone gets well soon. Be sure to slow down long enough to keep you well!! Thanks for the great recipe going to have to keep that handy!!

  4. Thanks for the recipe - that soup sounds almost worth being ill for :-)
    Hope everyone gets better soon and that you stay well yourself!
    Take care

  5. Healing hugs to everyone.
    Those ingredients really pack a punch! Very interested to see how they taste when you put them together. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I'm going to try this recipe the next time my whole family goes down (without the mushrooms!), thanks very much for sharing. I had to laugh when I read "creeping crud" I had only ever heard my father say that. You are a great dad and hubby -=) Be sure to eat some of that soup yourself so you don't get sick /huggles

    PS. Is there any way to purchase some of that nose syrup Bri makes? Some of my family suffer from chronic sinus issues and I'd love to try a natural option

  7. I was sick last week, oil of oregano! tastes worse than toe nails, but boy does it clear you up!

    hope they are all better soon

  8. Very sorry your family is sick, I hope everyone is back to feeling 100% soon, and you are able to avoid catching whatever they have. Thanks for the recipe, I'm interesting in natural healing options.

  9. Thanks everyone. All of us are now in some stage of the bug. My wife, Bri, is feeling better as are the two kids who came down with it. Now myself and our eldest daughter are toying with it.

    By the way, the soup recipe is crazy effective. I'm eating it and should be fine either by this evening or by tomorrow morning. It's that good.