Friday, December 7, 2012

Homemade Cough Drops

The stuff solidifies like cement...
only this tastes better
My experimentation with Flan has led me to wonder what else I can do with melted sugar, since the bottom of each ramekin has a little bit of this lovely goodness. Thing is, it can burn pretty quickly once it melts down, and it hardens almost the second it's off heat, which meant I had to know what I was making before I made it.

Sadly, I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat. Nothing major, not like I suddenly had strep and would have to be evacuated on the first available chopper out of Korea. (Sorry. Most of medical knowledge comes from M*A*S*H reruns.) But as I felt a little grungy and didn't feel much like putting up with a cold for the next few weeks, I decided to take action. The best time to treat colds, from my experience as a massage therapist, is either the instant you start to feel it coming on, or right after it has hit you full force. Speeding things up at either of those points means your cold could become more intense, but it's over in a fraction of the usual time, and since two of my bandmates are pretty under the weather, I figured I'd just get it all over with.

After a loooooong hot bath with epsom salt and white vinegar, and a regular dose of Zicam, and a break from working out, and some comfort food (Ethiopian Beef Alicha and collard greens... drool), and a little extra sleep, I woke up this morning feeling far better. The only thing I wish I could have figured out was how to soothe my sore throat without the Zicam-- my usual staples of a spoon of raw honey, warm tea, steam, and gargling weren't getting the job done. And then I remembered, "Oh yeah, I wanted to try something else with the sugar. Heh. Now I get my chance!"

Pretty basic, no?

  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar, brown sugar, or turbinado sugar
  • large spoonful of raw honey
  • lemon juice
  • ground cinnamon powder

Looks oddly like ground beef for tacos...
  1. Put 1/2 cup of sugar in a pan on medium heat
  2. Cook. Slowly. It will take time for it to melt the way it should, but don't speed up the heat, as this will most likely cause it to mutate into The Blob-- albeit, the sweet smelling Blob... until your house goes up in flames
  3. Add lemon juice and cinnamon to your taste, but keep in mind that you want the flavor to last, and you want the benefits of lemon and cinnamon, which are excellent agents at ridding colds
  4. Once the sugar starts to become a thin gel, add the honey, making sure to stir and mix well
  5. Keep mixing until everything becomes cohesive
  6. Pour mixture out onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and spread out
  7. Let cool until the sugar has completely hardened and cooled
  8. Break apart, an activity that is oddly satisfying, almost like popping bubble wrap
I've been trying a few pieces over the last two hours, and my throat feels fantastic! Not a cough or a clearing of the throat, not a sneeze or a nose drip, and not a giant sugar spike either! My advice is to make these before you feel anything coming on, as you probably won't want to cook while you're feeling like poo. Then keep them in a mason jar or a plastic bag until you need them. I am soooo making more of these.

The final product

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