Our whole family has come down with the lurgies this week, but thankfully it isn’t too nasty of a cold. When it comes to medications for symptoms, we have a firm “tough it out” approach, and we generally only use ibuprofen. I have a stash of pseudoephedrine (the real stuff), which we use in dire situations such as plane trips and maybe at night, and a children’s nighttime concoction with a decongestant and cough suppressant for Daughter to help her sleep. (U.S. expats take note! These drugs are not sold in Europe, so we stock up when we can and dispense sparingly.) Mostly though, we rely on rest and hot liquids, which actually works like a charm.
I have to say, though, our favorite lurgy treatment is a posset. I came across this a couple of times in books before I found a recipe, and I must say, I was intrigued. Once we tried it, we were hooked, and now it is a serious comfort drink for us.
It’s not very ration-friendly, given the amount of eggs, sugar, and milk (and the lemon), and I can imagine it was one of those things that people sorely missed during WWII. My recipes comes from Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, quite possibly one of my most-used cookbooks (baking book?)
For two to four servings, you will need
600 mls or 2 1/2 cups of milk, full fat is best
the zest of half a lemon
some grated nutmeg to taste
two to three spoons of sugar, to taste
To make the posset, heat the milk with the zest, nutmeg and sugar until almost boiling. Then pull the mixture off the heat and let cool for a minute. Beat the egg in a separate container, then slowly pour the beaten egg into the hot milk while whisking furiously. The milk cooks the egg, making the posset nice and thick, but if you don’t beat furiously or pour in too much at once, it makes scrambled egg bits. If this happens, just strain them out and follow the procedure with a new egg.
Pour into mugs or cups and serve to the suffering soul who needs it. (Posset is apparently also a hangover remedy.) For those with a cold, it goes quite well with freshly baked cookies and a movie…