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Thursday, February 13 2014


It has been a cold, brutal winter for a large part of the United States this year.  Even now, the deep southern states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are experiencing catatrosphic ice and snow.  Not only have we endurred several polar vortexes this winter, but colds and influenza have spread like wildfire. 

Whenever I get an annoying cold, a bad cough, or even the flu, I find more comfort and solace in slowing sipping a Hot Toddy than any medicine my doctor prescribes.  I have no idea if there are documented medical benefits attributed to Hot Toddies, but the healing and salutary benefits I receive are real.  Sometimes I make one when I'm perfectly well, and I sip it by the fireplace as I read a good mystery or thriller.

I've been experimenting with Hot Toddies for many years.  Here's my recipe.

  • Put one tablespoon of honey in a mug (preferably local honey from your geographic area)
  • Squeeze one-half medium size lemon through a sieve into the mug (preferably organic lemon)
  • Add one whole clove to the mug
  • Add 3 ounces of boiling water to the mug or add 3 ounces of cold water and microwave until steaming
  • Add 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon (I prefer Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon)

  • Stir, grab a good book, go sit by the fire, and enjoy.  If you don't have a fireplace, just grab a blanket, curl up in a comfortable chair or sofa and imagine that you do have a fireplace.

Posted by: Jody Zimmerman AT 03:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, January 25 2014

Chicken Soup

There is hardly anything more satisfying on a cold day than a steaming bowl of chicken soup.  It is great to sip while you are reading a good mystery, psychological thriller or other book.  It is easy to make.  Here’s how I do it.  I use organic chicken and vegetables, and I don't mind if a little soil stays on the vegetables—minerals are good for you.

One 3 to 4 lb whole chicken, skin on.

6 to 8 stalks of celery, leaves on

3 large carrots

1 large yellow onion

1 medium turnip

1 large sprig of fresh thyme

Several stems of fresh Italian parsley

1 bay leaf

Several green and red whole peppercorns

Sea salt to taste

3 to 4 quarts of filtered water

Chop celery, carrots, onion, & turnip in large pieces and place in a large stockpot.  Do not peel anything, even the onion.  The skin imparts a lovely caramel color to the broth. Add the water and turn the heat on high.  Meanwhile, rinse the chicken and pull off the fat near the tail.  You can discard the internal organs or use them for something else (my dogs devour them after I boil them), but I throw the neck in the stockpot, too.  Place the chicken in the pot.  Add the bay leaf, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, parsley, and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover.  Let the stock cook for 2 to 3 hours.  Afterwards, strain the stock in a large colander.  Save the stock, discard the cooked vegetables and shred the chicken meat.

Finished Stock

In a saucepan, add the amount of stock you want for soup, freeze the rest.  Add a generous potion of white and dark chicken meat.  Slice 1 or more large carrots on rounds and add to saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add noodles of your choice or cooked rice.  Trisha Yearwood published her mother’s recipe a few years ago that has frozen or fresh green peas in it.  I love this touch and recommend it.  As soon as carrots are tender, adjust the salt and pepper and the soup is ready.

Chicken Soup

Enjoy it by the bowl or mug.  I like mine without noodles or rice, but I do add them (already cooked) from time to time for other people.

Posted by: Jody Zimmerman AT 12:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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