Tonight, I gave up. Just threw my hands up into the air and said, "Honey, drive me to a liquor store."
There comes a time when Ny-Quil will turn its back on you and love you no longer. There comes a time when your Tessalon cough pearls will crouch down inside their pharmacy bottle, quietly laughing at you, you who actually had the innocent hope that, having taken one of these expensive little things, you would STOP COUGHING.
You'll think you're out there on your own, alternately shivering with cold and baking with heat as your fever rages. You'll scare yourself when you see your reflection in the mirror, all hollow-eyed and grey and drawn. You'll cough. You'll cough until your family finds discreet reasons not to be around you as you hack and bark uncontrollably like, "I think I'm going to go wash my hair, Mommy. At Uncle Pat and Aunt Angie's house."
That is when you need to have a hot toddy.
Listen, I'm sick and you're probably sick, so here's the recipe. This is an easy one that I tinkered with because when you're sick? Do you really feel like dealing with an eighth of a teaspoon of cloves and a pinch of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick, but only the kind of cinnamon imported from Ceylon? No, you do not. You just want something you can put together quickly that will taste good and cure what ails you by stopping your cough and helping you sleep. And I don't like cinnamon sticks in any beverage anyway because they always look so cute, but end up poking you in the nostril.
I've been coughing since last Tuesday and I haven't had a full night's sleep since then either and I plan to drink hot toddies four to six times a day until I'm better or my blood catches on fire when I sit too close to a candle, whichever comes first.
I have spoken. And coughed.
1 Bigelow's "Constant Comment" de-caf tea bag
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 shot of whiskey (1.5 ounces -- I used Johnnie Walker Red)
2 tablespoons honey
1 thick slice fresh lemon
Pour the boiling water into a Pyrex measuring cup to the 1 1/2 cup line. Add tea bag, whiskey, honey and lemon. Steep for about five minutes. Remove lemon and tea bag from measuring cup; stir the toddy. Pour into a coffee mug. Collapse on couch. Drink, allowing the mug to warm your hands. Watch a movie from On Demand. Do not answer the telephone, unless Caller ID demonstrates that the person telephoning you is someone who will be willing to listen patiently to all your symptoms and a monologue on how crappy you feel. Take a lovely, cough-free nap.
Please note: When you're sick, your sense of taste and smell is impaired. Also, this toddy tastes a lot like tea with honey and lemon flavors overlaid anyway. It does not taste as strong as it actually is, so don't go drinking one of these and thinking, "Gee, I feel great! Time to go sledding!" The idea is to relax and rest and sleep, not to party down once your coughing has stopped and your bodily aches and pains have receded into the fuzzy distance.
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