Friday, October 23, 2009

Taking comfort: Ice chips and ginger porridge

By June

We've been laid low by an invisible force. Poor Blossom got us rolling with an overnight trip to the ER, where she was disappointed that the "cat scan" did not involve an actual kitty but relieved that the machine debunked the theory that she needed to have her appendix out immediately. Since it was Saturday night when we arrived, Fern got to observe the behavior of a really belligerent and quite bloody drunk.

Whatever germ had hold of Blossom's tummy was equally as belligerent, and it kept rabble-rousing right through the rest of the family.

We have needed lots of ginger to survive this week. Fortunately, fresh ginger root is something we always have in stock (and something we've been meaning to grow; anybody done that?). Early on, I made a ginger infusion by slicing about two inches of the root into quarter-size rounds, then mashing them a little. I poured boiling water over the ginger, then let it steep. I kept a jar of this elixir in the fridge for easy access.

We used the ginger infusion in several soothing ways, depending on where we each were in the whole nauseating...ahem...process.

Sweetened with maple syrup and thinned with water, we poured it over chipped ice: This homemade ginger ale (without bubbles) was perfect in the most acute stage.

The elixir also transformed into a wonderful ginger-maple-syrup tea if we added boiling water.

Once Blossom and Fern were well enough to want food, I made a big pot of rice congee, which is their most beloved Chinese comfort food. Their tummies were still too tender for much, so I added a little of the ginger infusion to each serving. As they began to recover, they craved a little more substance and flavor. Then, we added a spritz of soy sauce and sesame oil and stirred into the hot porridge a beaten egg that cooked instantly into long noodle-like ribbons.

Congee is a wondrous thing for recovering bodies. We hope nothing invisible visits your home this season, but should it, here's how you can make Basic Congee:

Rinse a cup of short-grain or Arborio rice. Put it in a pot with eight cups of water and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn it to a very low simmer and cock the lid on a little crookedly so steam vents. Cook for an hour, then add about a teaspoon of salt.

Take comfort.


The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

So glad you are all on the mend! That ginger/maple tea sounds like heaven. I love ginger and maple so I know I'd just devour it.

The congree also sounds perfect for a blustry day. Gonna have to make some of that too.

Big hugs to the girls (and Mama and Papa too).

Take care all!
Love from RI - Lisa

Spring Lake Farm said...

I hope everyone's on the mend and back to normal soon. It's really awful when the whole family gets sick.

Tell the girls the goats are sending them "well wishes".

Conny said...

Oh, no! Sorry to hear your whole family was sick. Cat-scans involving actual kitties would be more fun. Well wishes from CA. ~ Conny

Unknown said...

So glad to hear your family is on the other side of that terrible sickness! I am definitely going to remember your ginger recipe - especially the one for ginger ale without the bubbles. I tend to have a very weak stomach at times and this will come in handy to have!

Stephanie said...

I hope Blossom will get well soon. Ginger is indeed good for reliefing tummy bloat or indigestion. I often use water to boil ginger with yellow sugar to drink whenever I have tummy discomfort. And the porridge, I like it when the rice just broke and not cook longer till starchy. I hope you would have a restful weekend.

Daphne Gould said...

I hope you are all better soon. I hate when the whole family is sick. Then there is no one to take care of anyone.

Laura A said...

Yikes! So sorry you all feel bad--there's nothing quite like nausea! But that's too funny about the cat scan. And the ginger and congee recipes look handy, too.

I hope you're fully recovered soon!

Magnolia Handspun said...

This does not sound like fun.
I hate the stomach bug.
I am so sorry June...I really hope you all have a speedy recovery and I am glad you found something soothing for the tummy's.
Big Hug.

sarah said...

I am sorry to hear that. Your "cat scan" story made me laugh. We swear by ginger in this house too. I hope this finds you well and enjoying fall in Maine.
You are though of..

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

So glad to hear that the girls are feeling better. Ginger is amazing. I have it around all the time. I'll even eat a bit after a heavy meal and it tends to calm down my stomach. -Jackie

Emily said...

Glad you're all feeling better. I did try growing ginger. It took two tries to get a root that would sprout and it grew for me outside all summer. I brought it in but am reluctant to harvest it, so I have it under my seed starting light with my other herbs.

Your recipe for ginger syrup sounds great.

farmama sara said...

Oooboy! I'm glad you're all feeling better! How terrible to be so sick!
much love from Sara

Wren said...

Oh no! So glad there wasn't a bad "appy" on your "cat scan". How scary. So sorry to hear about the girls. Hope you are all on the mend soon. Thinking of you!

Linda said...

Oh you poor things! Hope you're all on the mend. Rice is the ultimate comfort food, I agree.

tara said...

get well soon, all of you!
i've been wanting to try growing ginger in a pot, too... shall we experiment together? to make an elixer with homegrown ginger would definitely make me feel like super mama :)
finn was sick once and needed a cat scan and he thought that meant a cat was going to scratch him all over, poor guy was terrified!

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

As old as I am you always manage to teach me new trick - thus debunking the old tale of old dogs, etc. etc.

I have not done the ginger thing - I must remember this..the rice sounds wonderful - I love rice in just about any form..but this is pure and comforting.

Tell the girls to hurry and "well-up" as my son used to say...I need to hear more from the chickens :-)

Anonymous said...

hoping all is well by now.

i would like to try your ginger infusions, just still trying to shake the association of ginger to pregnancy nausea, four to five months of it both times, and had my fair share. i cut up some ginger root for a teriyaki sauce a few weeks ago and it was like ahhh the smell and then ooooh the memories!

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