Daily Archives: February 3, 2016

A Winter Tonic


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When winter settles in, I crave comfort and warmth.

I want the woolen socks and the fleece bathrobe. I want knits and flannels. I don’t care if a piece of outerwear is rated for 20 below, if it’s made of brown canvas or slick nylon, it doesn’t seem warm to me.

A warm shower may be the perfect thing for cooling down, rinsing off the garden dust, or just refreshing spirits in July and August. When snow and ice fills the landscape, I prefer a hot bath in an overly warm room, with warming scents filling the air from bath salts and candles.

Winter is not the time of year for salads and simple meals. These cold months are perfect for the soups and stews that can simmer all day. Anything that demands a length of time in a hot oven is good, too. Save the broiled chicken breast and greens for warmer days; foods with rich sauces and great depths of flavor are welcome now.

Beverages, too, should be warm in the winter. Coffee, of course, but also hot cocoa or a nice cup of warming tea. I came across a recipe recently for a home-made healing mixture for tea. It’s perfect for the sore throats, coughs and sniffles that seem to so often accompany this weather, but also just as a soothing warm drink.

I started by cleaning the skins (a light scrub in vinegar and water does the trick) of two lemons and one large orange. I then sliced them, skin and all, as thin as I could, and removed the seeds.

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I added one knob of ginger, peeled and finely diced, one tablespoon of ground turmeric, and one cup of raw, organic honey.

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I mixed it all together, and packed it tightly into a quart jar.

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To make a winter tonic, put a couple loose tablespoons of the mixture into a cup, and top with boiling water. Let it steep, as for any tea, and sip while warm. Delicious!

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