a little too late – almost ::::
Back in 2011, I posted a recipe for a creamy leek and zucchini soup, midst a raucous cough. That cough is back again, full-force, ruining any little grace and poise I might have when trying to hold a conversation.
Its obstinence is unwelcome and unexpected, my cough, for lingering much longer than I expected. Despite attempts of mollifying its irritation with cough drops, hard candies, a teaspoon of honey before bed every night, plenty of water, trying not to talk unless I need to, even some longan-like dried Chinese fruit from an herbalist that a workmate recommended, I am now just barely recovering from dry, hacking, paroxysmal fits of coughing at the end of this week. I can handle the coughing at home, even with coughing fits at night and subsequent poor sleep. But it’s the random episodes when at work that really get me. It gets old when I have to excuse myself from an exam room to hack away in my office, try another piece of candy, and hope my patients know I am washing my hands constantly.
Long ago, I saw a Korean recipe for a natural cough suppressant, now finally eager to try it. I researched some more similar recipes. I hadn’t read the recipes very carefully before this week, realizing quickly if I were to try one of them, the finished drink wouldn’t really be at its prime soon enough to help my current cough. After mixing a cut whole lemon into honey, allowing the juices to mingle would take a week at least, according to the recipes. I waited two days and tried the concoction anyway.
And it still was so good.
Whether it was just a few days of my body’s natural defenses just taking care of itself, or if it was the lemon-honey combination I drank mixed with warm water throughout a very busy day at work, I definitely felt better yesterday. No coughing fits until I got home.
And even better: this is something I’d drink even without the cough. Store-bought honey-lemon tea or cough suppressants pale in comparison. And forget the leek and zucchini soup for cough palliation. Honey-lemon, you are my new favorite. I’ll be back sometime next week hopefully, after some more recovery.
One year ago: quick chickpea and red pepper soup (Had some laryngitis last year, too!)
Two years ago: pasta with zucchini, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 organic lemon (I used a Meyer lemon), cut into equatorial slices, then quartered or sixthed
- a pint jar with good screwtop lid (or similar)
- enough honey to cover the cut up lemon
- Put cut up lemon and honey into jar and stir. Some of the lemon will rise to the top. Add more honey to cover.
- Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 1 week, to several. Sitting the jar in a cool, dark place (cupboard or counter) can also work. Gently shake it occasionally, to redistribute the lemon.
- The lemon peels and pulp will break down, making a mush.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon (or to taste) into a mug and fill with boiling water. Stir and drink.
- Since honey does not spoil and lemon is acidic, it can keep for 1-3 years in the fridge. In 3 months, there may be some fermentation - that's okay. However, if the jar lid bulges and/or is sitting in a warm area for too long, DON'T use it. There could be some nasty bacteria in it. You can cook it at a low simmer for 15+ minutes or pitch it and start over. Focus on slow and cool for making this honey-lemon concoction properly.