Cooler weather has finally arrived, and with it the first round of seasonal colds. For a while it seemed like everyone had it at once! So it was no surprise when I came down with what is here affectionately known as “the dread lurgie.” When I have a cold I don’t often have the luxury of lying in bed being waited on. But this time, rather than moaning and feeling sorry for myself I thought I’d better get smarter. In the past I’ve posted about using bento gear to keep my boy happy when he was ill. I thought I could figure out a way to pre-prepare for myself too. Enter my first trick, juicy tea.
Quite simple really, just a jug of freshly made rosehip tea (full of vitamin C!) and a carton of juice. I made a big batch and filled up little glass juice bottles until I had enough for the whole day. This tea was so good, it was rose-scented! Absolutely the best juicy tea ever! And nowhere near as expensive as the store-bought. And of course, keeping hydrated is the trick to getting over a cold quickly. Which leads me to ailing bentoist trick number two, fresh soup!
I didn’t have time or the strength to muck around with going to the shops, let alone boiling a chicken, so I diced onion and potato and cooked them in instant dashi broth. Just as the ingredients were tender (ten minutes or less!) I shook in some frozen green soybeans (I love them for the filling meaty texture) and stirred in a big scoop of mild miso, dissolved in a ladle of the soup. Extra green on the finish with LOTS of shredded spring onion. Onion is full of germ busting power, right? And best of all, my handy little lunch thermos kept a second bowl of soup piping hot for later.
I had other ideas but I got better so quickly I didn’t need to use them. Like, a bento box of cut up fruit and cinnamon toast, a slow-cooked rice cooker of chicken rice congee. Maybe a basket with instant soups, crackers, a mug and an electric kettle within arms reach of the sick bed?! I can’t wait to get sick again to try it out — er, maybe not!
So whether you’re ill, or someone in your family is, maybe you’d like to try some of these ideas. My verdict: bento-style recovery was quicker, not to mention tasty! If you’re south of the equator, commiserations on the winter to come…and if you’re north of the equator, happy summer! You might like to try juicy tea on ice, with rose petals!