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Oh, the turkey soup ran out, so yesterday I made a pot of beef soup. It is dee-licious and helps my congestion and sore throat enormously. Unfortunately, Twinkle Toes has been on a sleepless bent, and no matter how much soup I consume, I don’t think I can overcome this cold at the current rate of 2 or 3 hours of broken sleep a night! Help!

Twinkle Toes, the baby who slept through the night at only a few weeks old, and was consistently good about sleeping, even putting herself to sleep, now wakes up every hour or two. Sigh.

Oh, first I thought it was the diapers were too small, and so I went up to the next size prefolds hoping more absorbency = less wetness = less wakeups. But no, then Twinkle Toes got some teeth, and teething pain kept her up and nursing. Somehow, I think she got into the very bad habit during that time of only sleeping if one of my nipples was in her mouth. Invariably, milk would let down and she would drink, but not because she was thirsty. This meant more peeing, more wet diapers and also waking up with burps… vicious cycle!

Now with this cold of hers-ours, she’s stuffy, but she also seems to have two more teeth coming in. … and I am one tired mom.

I can’t fight a cold if I’m exhausted! I’m using saline spray to ease the congestion, hompeopathic throat spray, herbal teas, this fab beef soup, zinc and vitamin D supplements, coconut oil on poor chapped lips and nose… But what a world of good it would do if baby would let me sleep.

*sigh*

Any ideas on how to get Twinkle Toes to sleep longer on her own? Just plain encouragement would be good, too!

I’m opposed to crying it out, but have tried “crying in arms” with varying degrees of success. I’ve had Rupert go in and rub her back or rock her back to sleep to break the milk habit, but although he often manages to get her back to sleep, it usually isn’t for long. An hour later, she’s up again. Last night was particularly rough, and still no signs of a nap on the horizon this morning .

Here at Cat Creek house, we’ve all been showing the signs of a long winter without enough vitamin D. Twinkle Toes has had Roseola and an ear infection. Meanwhile, Miss Teen progressed from a sore throat last weekend to stuffiness which she passed onto Twinkle Toes who is now a snot-machine. Last night my immune system started to cave into the pressure, and this morning I have the beginnings of a sore throat and sinus congestion. Yay! So far, Young Jedi and Rupert have not succumbed.

Lest I start to wallow in my problems, what’s a green, whole-foods woman to do? Turkey soup, of course! I had turkey soup for breakfast, two bowls of it. Twinkle Toes can’t feed herself soup yet, so I fried up a couple of eggs in butter with a sprinkle of sea salt, and drizzled the broth over them for her.

A good bone broth soup is my go-to remedy for colds and other ailments. Here are some of the things I do to make a rich, thick healing broth:

Be prepared. Save and frreze all bones from roasts or other dishes. When it comes time for soup, you will have a good selection to choose from. I also freeze the ends and peelings of veggies that we don’t eat — carrot, parsnip and celery stems and tops, etc. Add them in with the bones for more flavour.

Know your flavours. I prefer turkey soup over chicken soup, so I like to keep some turkey bones on hand to throw in with my chicken carcasses. I find the soup has more flavour that way. Pig’s feet are great for making a super thick broth, and lamb has a distinctive flavour. Another combination I like is pork, beef and lamb.

Low and slow, baby. Initially bring the water with the bones to a boil, but then turn down the heat and allow it to simmer on low for 24 hours or more. Make sure your stove top does a good simmer, or you may have to keep checking the soup that it doesn’t cool down to bacteria breeding temps, and doesn’t run away and start boiling when you aren’t looking.

Be a leachy leech. Add some acid in the form of vinegar or lemon juice to to encourage the bones to let go of a little more of their mineral and gelatin goodness.

Be picky. After the bones have simmered for a good long while and cooled, strain the liquid. I use a slotted spoon to scoop out all the bones and veggie ends. These I pile into a stainless steel mixing bowl and I then sort through it, separating any bits and pieces of meat or marrow from the rest. Depending on how well cleaned off your bones were, there may be a fair amount of meat to throw back into the pot. Everything else goes into the garbage. Although I would prefer to be able to compost this waste, I am content to know that I got the maximum nutrition out of the food.

Build it up. Now that you have a wonderful rich broth, you can put some aside to freeze or just start throwing in whatever else you want in it. In our house, parsnips are an absolute must, as is cabbage. I love cabbage. It is inexpensive, usually locally grown and very nutririous. For even more bang, add sauerkraut instead–bonus points if it’s home made. Try celery, some diced tomatoes or whatever is in season. I prefer to not include starchy food like potatoes, rice or noodles as they just disintegrate into mush and change the consistency of the soup. Besides, you don’t need all that starch.

Spice it up. Experiment with your favourite flavours. I like to add bay leaves, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, garlic, sea salt and whole pepper corns.

I’m off to get another bowl … hopefully in a couple of days I’ll have this spring cold licked!

What are your go-to cold remedies? Do you have any soup-making tips?

My Etsy Shop

A little bird told me…

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