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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Daddy vs. the Flu

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As the Queen Bee around here I know what it takes to keep the hive humming along smoothly, but when one of the bees comes down with the flu the hive starts to fall apart! 

In this round of flu season, I was actually the first one to go down in a pitiful heap.  Slumped over on the couch I demanded my rights: a cup of soup, a warm blanket, a pillow, and some peace and quiet.

Daddy came to my rescue and whisked the boys off to do...whatever, and allowed me to rest.

 Reveling in my new found freedom I promptly fell asleep.  Three naps later I thought I was feeling better, until I tried to get up and return to my normal activities!  After about three days of off and on "flu head" symptoms I started to feel better.

But the bug had already infected the hive.  My oldest son was the next victim with three days of fever, and then my husband with a nasty bout of coughing and hacking all over the house.   (I guess those mini-hand sanitizers I got on sale won't last until the New Year!)

When the cough just wouldn't go away and he reached the end of his patience, my husband did the unthinkable (at least in my opinion).  He said the dreaded words...

"Mamita, I can't take it anymore.  I'm making a phone call."

You see, my husband loves to use this horribly, disgusting looking home remedy that he first came across as a single teacher in Peru, South America.  You know the kind that "old wives tales" are famous for.  It's a concoction of brown sugar, water, red onion, garlic, lemon, honey, and eucalyptus leaves that are diced, sliced, smashed, and boiled into a murky brown cup of cold-n-flu tea.

Ever the dutiful wife, I waited while my husband called a friend to get the recipe, and then assisted him in purchasing the ingredients (substituting some tea bags from Peru containing the eucalyptus leaves since we didn't find any in Wal-mart!).  Then when we arrived home I diced the cloves of garlic while he set the sugar to simmering.  He added the water and brought the sugar solution to a boil. After chopping up the onion it too joined the pot along with the garlic.  You can only imagine the smell of semi-burned sugar glaze, garlic, and onion.  When it was good and brown I strained it into a tea cup and squeezed in fresh green lime juice and added several spoons full of honey.

According to the directions he was supposed to drink it right before bed and sleep in a semi-upright position, so making himself comfortable on the couch (complete with pillow and warm blanket) he downed two large cups of his garlic tea.  Awhile later he asked if I felt it was hot in the room and later commented that his eyes were like" burning pieces of garlic" or something like that.

Imagine my amazement when after listening to constant coughing for three days I experienced a silent night.  Before he dozed off, the tea had had its desired expectorant effect on his lungs and he had a blissful night of uninterrupted sleep.

I must admit, I've yet to brave the garlic tea, but after seeing its powers in action, the next time we make a stinky pot I might be tempted to take a sip...a very, very, small sip!

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