Friday, October 12, 2012

Are You Ready For Cold & Flu Season?

If you woke up in the middle of the night tonight with cold and flu symptoms would you have everything you needed to take care of yourself?  According to the Centers for Disease Control there are over 1 billion cases of the common cold in the United States each year.  With those kinds of odds chances are good that you will contract a cold sometime this year.  While there is a lot of information out there on how to lessen your chances of getting a cold (washing your hands), sometimes it sneaks up on you.

Check your medicine cabinet to see if you have all the items you need to combat a cold or flu so that you don't have to run out to the drug store while you are sick or have to wait for someone to run out and get the items for you. 

Some of the things that you may want to stock up on are:

- tissues (perhaps even the ones coated with lotion)
- pain relievers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
- anti-nausea (Gravol)
- cold medications (night time and day time)
- Vick's vapour rub
- a bottle of ginger ale or some other juice
- a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup

By having these things already in the house you lessen the chance of spreading your cold to others.  Besides we all know, when you go to the drug store looking sick and dishevelled, that is when you run into an old boyfriend or pretty much anyone whom you wouldn't want to catch you that way.

Here is a home remedy that helps get my household through the cold and flu season.  It is a soup that tastes fabulous but is so potent that you can almost feel it coursing through your veins!

Cream Of Garlic Soup
2 large heads of garlic, chopped (yes, that's heads of garlic not cloves!)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. thyme
4 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of whole milk
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup of whole milk

In a large pan, saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil and butter on low heat until golden brown.  You must make sure the heat is on low because the garlic will go bitter if it burns.  You can roast the garlic in the oven (cut off the tops, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 350 oven until soft and golden and then squeeze it into the caramelized onions) and just caramelize the onions in the pan if you are afraid of burning the garlic.  Add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Transfer the soup, in batches, to the blender and puree until smooth.  Put the soup back in the pot on the stove and add in the milk.  Bring it back up to a simmer.  Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and the last 1/4 cup of milk.  Stir into the hot soup and stir until thickened.  Serve hot.

Do you have some favourite home remedies for colds or the flu?

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