Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The right drink for the job...

It was a raw, wet, sleety day at Wayfarer House today. I soaked through the first raincoat shoveling and snowblowing the driveway. I soaked through the second one walking to the gym and the coop afterward. By the time I got back indoors for good, some 4 hours later, I was chilled right to the core. I curled up under blankets for a short nap, but didn’t wake up feeling any warmer, so I decided to take a shower. There’s nothing like a nice, hot, steamy shower to take the frost off one’s bones. Even after this, though, I still felt like I was all stiff and icy inside.

I hate being cold like that, and now I’m starting to get annoyed. I need to warm up, dammit! I make some tea, in the hopes that hot water on the inside will do what hot water on the outside could not. As many of you know, I’m much more at home with coffee, but the bean is dangerous when I’m fighting a chill. Coffee weakens my immune system a little, and would make things worse if I have a chill--especially when half the house is sick already. I’ve gone 3 years without getting sick, and I’m not about to blow it now! I decide on green tea because green tea has caffeine and, while it’s not the comfort variety of the stimulant I like best, it often does a good job of putting some buzz into my system.

Not so this time.

Now I’m starting to think something’s seriously wrong, and I might be getting sick after all. And I am STILL FUCKING COLD! I’m also starting to think about what else I might try.

While I was at the coop, I took a minute to sit indoors. There happened to be a natural foods magazine at the table I occupied, and one of the articles in it talked about essential winter foods and herbs. I didn’t read it real closely, but I recalleded the idea that cayenne pepper was good to have around because it generated internal heat. So, I went online to find a recipe for some drink that used cayenne pepper. It should be noted that I could very well have asked my wife about this (she knows her stuff in this area), but she’s been fighting a headache all day and I didn’t want to put this seemingly petty thing on her plate. A headache is more than enough to deal with when you’re sick already.

I did a search for warm drinks that include cayenne pepper, and I see a whole assortment of herbal remedies, most of which are entirely unappetizing and require other ingredients I know we don’t have. Then I see it. Chai. Of course! Chai has cayenne pepper in it, and cinnamon and ginseng and lots of other warm and cozy things, too! And we have chai! Three different kinds of it, in fact. I pick one and boil the water. I add some milk and honey (because who the hell drinks chai without milk and honey)? It’s not my favorite drink, but this time it really hits the spot. Ahhh!

At last! I’m finally warm! It only took 4 hours, 40 gallons and two six ounce cups of water and two teabags to get there.

1 comment:

Mrs. Chili said...

I'm not a huge chai fan, but I should probably try it again to see if my taste has changed. I'm not one for spicy things - cinnamon is okay, but most of the other "cozy" spices just don't do it for me...