Achooo! Is that you? Yes, despite the last few days' balmy temperatures, the winter sniffles, sneezes, and sore throats are here, and with them come the homemade remedies to cure them. First up, of course, is a daily shot of Fire Cider, if you took my advice and made a batch back in October just for this very moment. I must say, having taking my first dose last week during my own star turns as Sneezey and Dopey, that it's is not for the faint of palate. (Whiskey chaser: a very good idea.)
What you need next is something hot and steamy to warm you up, inside and out. Got a backyard Meyer lemon hookup? Then hot lemonade will soothe you. Squeeze the juice of a couple of lemons into a mug. Stir in a couple tablespoons of honey and add a cinnamon stick. Slice up another lemon and drop the slices into the mug. Top with hot water, stir, and sip, adding more honey if needed. (Plus, perhaps, a tot of rum to help you sleep.)
And then, bring out the big guns. Steph's Spicy Soup, as it's known around these parts, is inspired by tom yum goong, the clear, spicy-sour soup found on every Thai menu (no, not tom kai gai, the coconutty one everyone but me loves, but the other one). It started out based on the tom yum goong recipe in The Original Thai Cookbook by Jennifer Brennan, but has since evolved into a freewheeling kind of broth whose only constant characteristic is that it's very spicy and very sour, and will absolutely clear your sinuses and make you feel magically better.
Thai red chile paste, available in little glass jars in the Asian section of most supermarkets, is a fabulous condiment that lasts forever and zings up just about anything. I use it for this soup more than anything, but it's an excellent thing to have on hand.