Flu Fighters

Giardiniera, Fermented vegetables and a hunk of sourdough bread

When you have kids, you see things through different eyes

Dave Grohl

And for a large part those eyes are streaming, itchy or puffy and more often than not one of them is twitching through lack of sleep.

This has been the case recently, but not through lack of sleep. Despite my heinous work schedule, or maybe because of it, I have had three good nights sleep in a row. And yet I’ve still been groggy, moving as if I’m underwater and reacting to people just a moment later than what is comfortable for well adjusted adult conversation, something I previously felt I had quite a good handle on.

‘Caffeine,’ I thought. ‘This is lack of caffeine.’ But my mug is still warm from my last cup and the rich, mocha tones of my Guatemala roast coffee still coat my mouth.

A friend comes in with her gorgeous little daughter, saying what a tough week they’ve had as they’ve both been ill. While we were chatting her friend called requesting biscotti and a roll as she was down too. I said ‘It’s terrible, my little girl has it too’. And then the penny dropped.

I swallowed, my tonsils had their porcupine-skin robe on confirming it. I had a cold. ‘I can’t have a cold,’ I thought. ‘There’s too much to do!’

Luckily our chef friend Rory had been in. He’s spent the last few days shooting on set somewhere, but isn’t allowed to tell anyone due to the non-disclosure clause that all actors have to sign nowadays. I said chef friend? Yes, he’s desperately trying to escape the burns, cuts and unrelenting pace of a professional kitchen. Trying so hard he’s just come back from New York where he crammed a four-year degree course into two years. While he was there he managed to get blown up, hit by a car and very nearly shot by a biker gang. For reals, not acting. But he also had time to hang out at some of New Yorks coolest delis where he learnt how to make wonderful things like our Half Sour Pickles and Giardiniera.

Giardinwhatta? It’s crispy vegetables pickled in brine with different herbs and spices. Think of it like an Italian Picallilly and eat it accordingly, that is with cheese and meats as an antipasto, or finely chopped and added to sandwiches, or just as is with a hunk of Sourdough to soak up the juices. What’s more it’s packed with vitamins C, K and B2, minerals, antioxidants and naturally occurring phytochemicals that have amazing disease prevention properties. And because its fermented the probiotics and enzymes will help aid digestion and flush out toxins, keeping your gut bacteria healthy helping you fight things like stress, depression and pertinently infections like colds and flu.

Oh, what’s that? Another excuse to have some more? Oh go on then…

Being ill is one of the greatest pleasures in life, providing one is not too ill and is not obliged to work until one is better

Samuel Butler

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