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.