Hot Ginger Tea & China

I haven’t been sick in a really long time. I’m the mama of 5 kids after all and I have a killer immune system. So, when this mom goes down, it sends the house into a tail spin. The laundry begins to pile up, kids fend for themselves at meal time, my husband prepares dinner while playing guard, making sure my room stays quiet and uninterrupted. It creates as weird glitch in our somewhat smoothly run, daily routine. I know moms of all stages can relate.

Now, usually when I get sick, I can kick a bug with a few good nights sleep. But, this last one was a whopper. It was going on day 7 and my house guest said, “My mom back home in Rwanada would crush some ginger, boil it in water and finish it with honey and lemon. It worked every time when I didn’t feel well.”

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Ginger tea! Seriously, it must be early in the season, because it’s one of my staple drinks in the chilly winter months. The first time I ever had ginger tea was in China. We spent 5 weeks in China about 10 years ago. When we traveled into Yangshaou County, I found I had the hardest time staying warm at night. I bought a knock off, North Face coat for the equivalent of $25, never took off my knit cap and looked for any type of drink to keep my hands warm. Ok, I have to come clean and make a confession. My husband and I carried a 5 lb bag of coffee, along with a French Press, all over China with us. It was the one thing we knew we’d have a hard time leaving back in the states. However, one can only drink so much caffeine.

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Soon after arriving in Yangshaou, we discovered Ginger Tea. It took about 15 minutes to get it after ordering, but it was well worth the wait. It was always so hot and spicy and just slightly sweet. It warmed me inside and out. We tried for years to recreate that cup. We finally learned if we crushed the ginger before adding it to the water and bought Chinese brown sugar, we could get that cup pretty close to the original.

Hot Honey Ginger Tea

1 large nub of ginger, peeled, chopped and smashed

1/2 lemon

1 Tbls. honey (or 1 Tbls of Chinese brown sugar)

Fill a medium sauce pan, half full with water. Drop the ginger in and bring to a boil. reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain tea into a mug, add honey to taste and a squeeze of lemon.

Do you have any tried and true recipes for kicking a cold?