Colds are the absolute worst.
They sneak up on you, disguised as allergies. Just a scratchy throat. “Oh, I was partying a lot this past week. Guess it’s catching up to me. Haha.”
Life goes on. You can deal with a scratchy throat.
Then after a few days, its on the move. It sets itself up in your sinuses. Your eyes are watery, your nose is constantly itching and on the verge of a sneeze. Your ears pop and you can’t really hear, much less taste or smell pretty much anything.
Then, a few days later, that stinky old cold gets tired of hanging out in your face. It decides to drip down your throat and head into your chest. That’s when the coughing starts. You start to imagine those mucus cartoons from the Mucinex commercials setting up shop somewhere deep in your lungs.
I would say this all goes away in a few more days, but this is where I’m stuck right now. A week later, I cannot shake this darn cold.
I will say one of the only funny things about colds are the remedies that people tell you for kicking them. It starts out normal, with chicken noodle soup or lots of water. Then you get into the restaurant world, where we swear by any brand of 1000mg Vitamin C packet available (my brand of choice? Emergen-C Raspberry flavor. the orange is HORRIBLE)
Then there are the alcoholic remedies. I’ve had women come in and ask for a glass of red wine to dry out their cold. I’ve known people who drink a little whiskey or cognac or Grand Marnier to… I don’t know, scare the cold out of them?
Apparently, my grandmother made something she called “Dragon’s Blood” – a mixture of hot red wine, cognac and cloves. My mom says it works better than NyQuil.
This reinforces once again why growing up I thought she was my crazy Grandma. But gosh, I might just try it tonight. Crazy Germans.
I’ve heard spicy foods. I’ve heard apple cider vinegar. I’ve heard lemon and honey in hot water. I’ve heard ginger, Sriracha, yogurt, and everything else under the sun.
Then I heard garlic soup.
Actually, the conversation started by someone telling me to eat raw garlic. And then Julia Child’s garlic soup recipe was brought up. I thought I’d go for that instead. Sounded a little less painful than chewing on raw garlic. Although that would probably scare any cold out of any one near me after they smelled my breath for the next two days.
Plus, I’d be safe from Vampires for a while.
It was pretty simple to make, thank goodness. Attempting a Julia Child recipe while sick and exhausted has the potential for being disastrous. I will warn you that this is not a creamy, hearty soup. It is almost more of a broth, which is why I threw in some spigarello (broccoli greens) and parmesan to spice it up a little.
With a crusty loaf of French bread that I had ventured out in public in my sweatpants for (how you know 100% that I am sick), it was delicious. And although I am still a little sneezy and sniffly, it was nice to eat something warm with so much flavor that I could actually smell!
Here is the Julia Child Recipe if you’d like to try it. And then here is a 44-clove garlic soup from smitten kitten that I am interested to try sometime when I’m not sick. Sounds so darn good.
Do you have any other remedies? Please pass them along this way. I’m getting desperate. Dragon’s Blood is up next.