Old-fashioned Fever Remedy

So, with the family head cold this week, my daughter got a fever. She’s terrible at being sick. She can’t stand not being constantly in motion, but the fever dragged her down so much she couldn’t do anything. It was bad enough feeling icky, but to not be able to go outside and ride her unicycle, or do some climbing, or build something was a fate worse than death.

I suggested some paracetamol to bring the fever down, but she refused (she hates taking medicine). I was a bit frustrated—the brunt of her bad mood landed on me (because I was sick, too, and we were both confined indoors).

Then I remembered that my mother used to give me crushed ice to eat when I was sick. I reckoned it might just do the trick.

She briefly refused the ice, but I think the novelty of a glass full of crushed ice and a long-handled spoon to eat it with won her over.

The results were brilliant—a glass of ice, and she was out the door and on the climbing wall. The fever came back in an hour or so, but the window of exercise did the trick for her mental health. When the fever spiked again, she happily retreated to the fireside to read a book. When she got antsy to get out once more, I made her another glass of ice.

Proof once more that Mother knows best. Thanks, Mom!

Citrus for Sickness

Salty lemons and sweet lemon curd…mmmmm.

The entire family came down with a nasty head cold last weekend. We’re all still feeling under the weather a week later.

The scientific evidence is pretty clear that, contrary to popular belief, vitamin C doesn’t actually help a cold. Regardless, we’ve all been gravitating to citrus fruit this week. We went through more than six litres of orange juice, a kilo of lemons, half a kilo of oranges, and the better part of a bottle of lemon juice. I made lemon cornmeal pound cake for the week’s lunchbox treats. I made lemon barley scones with lemon curd for Sunday breakfast. As I type, my husband is making roast vegetables with salted lemons for dinner.

There’s something soothing and clean about citrus on a sore throat. Something refreshing about a juicy orange, even if you can’t taste it because of a stuffy nose. No, it doesn’t actually help us get over a cold faster, but it’s pleasant. When you’re sick, all you want is comfort.

So bring on the citrus. I’m under no illusions about its health benefits, but if that’s what tastes good, I say enjoy.