Ready or Not…

bone brothMeet my new best friend: 36 hour bone broth.

Ready or not; here comes influenza.  According to the Center for Disease Control, influenza is–despite our tropical temps–making its way west.

After the traumatic months of ill health my family endured last winter, I am determined to everything in my power to shield us from the effects of all the nasty bugs that surround us in 2014.  Will we still get sick?  Yeah, prolly.  But hopefully not as sick and not for as long.  Perfection is not my goal.  Improvement.  THAT’S what I’m shooting for!

So, several life circumstances over the past year have prompted me to take a look at more ancient, homeopathic prevention/cure methods of avoiding or at least mellowing the effects of the creepy crawlies.

Enter: BONE BROTH.  I’ve always made it, but this year my technique got turned up big time.  36 hours in the crock pot, my bones sit with purified water, onion, garlic, celery, salt, pepper and a dash of cider vinegar.  When done, the gelatinous rich broth (it liquifies when heated) is filled with protein, minerals and lots of disease fighting power.  Seriously.  If you don’t believe my source, above, just google “benefits of bone broth.”

A pungent simmering of fresh garlic, ginger, onion, radish in a good bone broth is a very soothing and helpful remedy to a cough/cold/chest congestion.  I’ve tried it.  It really does help.  But you gotta use a good homemade bone broth.  The sterile rectangular boxes above the cans of soup on the market shelves are not even close.  Sorry…

Besides my brothy friend, I’m making a big batch of elder berry syrup this weekend.  Friends have requested–lemme know before I buy honey on Saturday if you’d like more too–and, like I said, I’m revving up, baby!

elderberry syrup

The final arrow in my quiver-arsenal: saying “no.”  Yes.  I mean no.  I mean I’m saying no this season.  I pride myself on my commitment to follow through on my commitments.  You can count on me!  Yesiree!  And while I don’t want to ruin my illustrious reputation, I have decided, this season, to not let obligations dictate my actions over the health of my family–including my health.  Last year I contracted pneumonia.  PNEUMONIA because I stubbornly refused to let a little (big) illness get in the way of my life.  Like a ridiculous Nyquil commercial, I wasn’t going to let the flu stop me in my tracks!

Yeah.  So instead pneumonia brought me to my knees.  Lesson learned.  Check.  (Who comes up with these slogans anyway?  No wonder all these illnesses keep getting spread around!)

This season, if illness breaks through my bone-broth-healthy-eating-exercising-elder-berry defenses I will not be a silly ding dong and just keep trudging along.  I will say “no” if I have to and feel OK about it.  In fact, I might even feel pretty great.

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Elder Berry Saturday

elderberry Saturday

OK.  So I don’t know how you’re spending your Saturday… but ’round here we are jammin’ in the kitchen.  I’m finishing up my next batch of elder berry elixir (place your orders soon!) and the kids are working on their Christmas gifts for the grandparents.

The only thing needed to make this cold, wet, mid-December afternoon perfect are some melodic Christmas tunes to keep us literally hummin’ along.

Thought you might be interested in some of my current Pandora favorites (just type “holiday” after the artist when you select):

Blues Traveler, Bare Naked Ladies, Straight No Chaser and Brian Setzer Holiday are great for something when you want to tap your foot or even get ‘yer Christmas groove on.

When I’m in the mood for just some absolutely lovely carol singing, there’s nothing like Sarah Mclachan, Karen Carpenter or James Taylor.  I wish I could get one of them to come sing me to sleep some night… but I digress…

Sometimes we’re up for something a little different, but don’t exactly want to shake our red and green booties around.  Then I pull up Sister Hazel, Good Lovelies, Dave Matthews, Mercy Me or Six Pence None the Richer.  These bands do nice renditions of the classics that we love to sing along to. (worth noting: I never cared for Six Pence when they were a popular band, but I think the lead singer really rocks ’round the holidays.  Go figure.)

And by the way, I pretty much always have music in the background while I’m chopping or stirring.  If kickin’ it in the kitchen isn’t exactly your cup of tea, try some tunes.  Just like when you exercise, the rhythm is gonna getcha!