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Comfort food for your cold or flu

What do you want to eat or drink when you're sick, assuming you can swallow anything at all? Do you sip warm tea, cold ginger ale or little cups of chicken broth or is hot whiskey with lemon and honey your tonic of choice?

The current flu virus has an interesting impact on appetite, or so it has had on mine. For the first couple of weeks, I reverted to my childhood sickbed cravings, Lipton's noodle soup and Saltines. For several days, I wanted nothing but a simple potato pancake, and right about the time a friend showed up with homemade chicken soup, chicken soup began to sound like a good idea.

I've made chicken broth twice, used one batch to make jook (a simple rice porridge) and, if I had the energy, I'd head to Simply Vietnam or Thang Long for a big bowl of pho.

At times like this, I think it would be nice to live in New York City, where a quick phone call will get hot-and-sour soup, pork noodles or anything else you're craving delivered to your door.

Do you have favorite sickbed foods or remedies you swear by? If so, take a minute to share them at Seasonal Pantry's companion blog, Eat This Now, at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com, where you'll also find my recipes for jook and the chicken soup my grandson Lucas swears is magic.

This traditional Japanese dish is typically served with green tea but I prefer it with genmaicha, green tea with toasted rice. Instead of tofu — which I confess to not liking at all — I use roasted chicken or wild salmon. The recipe is casual and flexible and you should feel free to make your own adjustments.

Ochazuke with Chicken and Nettles

Makes 2 to 3 servings


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