Local Cure for the Local Cold
March 10, 2008

San Francisco made me sick and, by God, San Francisco was going to make me well.

Yes, you should be taking your NyQuil and your DayQuil and getting your fluids and your vitamin C and peeing clear and getting your sleep and blowing your nose into your antibacterial tissues and stuff like that, but you know how you do all that -- just to feel like you're doing something -- and you still feel crappy? That's where other stuff finally has to come into play.

Well, here's a few ancillary and very local cures that worked for me.

St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte: Remember how I went on and on about this $75 bottle of green stuff that made me insensible and gibbering? Remember how I said that if the Jabberwocky had a signature drink it would be this absinthe? Well, you can add "miracle cure" to the list of things that Absinthe Verte is. When I was piling ice upon chili peppers upon Ricola upon pain killers all in an effort to blunt the biological warfare going down in my throat at a cellular level, I was sanctimoniously avoiding and eschewing any and all alcohol that didn't come petticoated with honey and lemon. However, on Friday night -- after a day of drama -- I had a brainwave: if Absinthe Verte numbed my lips and tongue, what else could it numb?

One exhilarated and elixirious dose later and damned if my throat didn't declare, "Richard is Himself again!" before knocking the rest of my body on its atrophied ass for a nice deep sleep. (Dude, this stuff etched the bottom of my plastic Oxo 2-ounce measuring jigger -- how serious is that?!)

Marshall Farms Honey: Moisturizing and nourishing and oh, so good in hot tea and even hotter toddies.

Mitchell's Ice Cream: Ginger Snap and Macapuno chilled my throat, and while it may make phlegm more...phlegmy, dairy products don't make you produce more phlegm.

Ton Kiang: Don't bother with a spoon, pick up the warm bowl in your hands and sip the vegetarian sizzling rice soup right down with lashings of hot pepper sauce.

The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: In this, Judy Rogers gave me the recipe for preserved lemons, which chopped fine and oozing vitamin C, have been going into absolutely everything I consumed in the last five days.

Piccino: You know how the first day after a cold passes you feel the healthiest you've ever felt in your life? Everything stunted during the Sickly Season comes rushing back, all fire and music and screaming colors. For me, I have two desires: sprint hard on the beach and eat everything in sight. Suddenly, everything tastes better, stronger, happier.

When my appetite and taste buds were finally released from their repressed state, I decided that celebration was to come in the form of two Piccino pizzas (one covered in green garlic, pea shoots, and bresola, and the other in pine nuts, broccoli di cicco, and pecorino) and a nourishing spring salad of cold asparagus, shaved fennel, dandelion greens, and flakes of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Tasting every flake of flavor and every smidge of spice told me my pathetic bedridden days were dropping behind me.

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