Cure for Common Cold

It’s amazing how a certain comfort food seems to just cure you of whatever sickness you may have.

Bacon and rice. Cherry Coke. Mango. My miracle cure.

Yes. I fried up another batch of bacon today, the full 4-strip treatment, for early lunch and early dinner. I buy fresh bacon by the pound from a local butcher shop, yielding about 12-16 strips, and freeze them in 4-strip portions.

So I chopped up the bacon and fry them until crispy. I then toss them on a bed of hot steamed rice. Usually, I’d just sprinkle ground pepper over the top and sometimes a shake of cayenne, but nowadays I dust this plate with Emeril’s Bayou Blast seasoning. (Thanks Shane!) Bam!

Thai bacon is a little bit different that bacon here too. I guess it’s in the meat. Thai bacon seems to be more meaty and less smokey.

Rice and bacon used to be the only thing my oldest brother, Ake, would eat as a child. I remembered. Since he’s the big brother, the rest of us started to demand the same thing. That is when mom and grandmother busted out with the dad and fried dried shrimps story.

If you wander into an oriental market, you’d run into this culinary ingredient: the salted, dried mini shrimps. You can use out of the package, but you can also throw them in oil and cook them up nice and crispy. That was my dad and uncle’s preferred meal of their youth. Fried dried shrimps and rice. They wouldn’t eat anything else, grandmother said. And look at them now. Do you want to grow up and be scrawny and short, well, shrimps like your dad and your uncle?

The moral of the story was that we should eat other things, preferably more veggies, not just one kind of food. But we did listen. I was already the shortest girl in class. I wanted to be tall too! How naive of me. Then again, at age 5 you wouldn’t know anything about your genetics disposition.

Hey. I didn’t think about it at the time. If eating the mini dried shrimp turned you into a scrawny, short person, wouldn’t eating bacon turn me into a big fat pig? So there’s a truth to the story after all!

Doesn’t matter. I still LOVE bacon. Love, love, love, love. And it’s the only thing that would make me feel home again. Well, that and mango.

Nothing is like Thai mango though. I mean, the Mexican mango I bought pre-cut from the store is sweet, and enough to satisfy my craving for mango. But it just doesn’t have the same flavors as Thai mangos. The Nam Dokmai variety of mango, meaning “flower nectar”, is king. It’s aromatic, sweet, and ultra juicy. It would be impossible to sell them pre-cut like this because the juice will run everywhere. Perfect compliment to the sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and sugar. Ooooooooooooooooooooooooh

Excuse me. It appeared I just drooled onto the keyboard.

Drool. That’s a good sign. I AM hungry again, this is a definite good sign that my body is winning the fight with this cold.

First comes the sneezes which could be mistaken for allergies. If Benedryl doesn’t do the trick, then it’s a cold. Stuffy nose and loss of appetite comes next. Then it’s ravenous part 1. I’d suddenly feel a pang of hunger, and would eat and eat and eat. My body is preparing for war it seesm. The next day, like today, I wouldn’t have an ounce of energy in me except in occasional bursts, and the appetite is gone again. When the ravenous part 2 hits, I’m through with the cold.

And I believe I am now just entering part 2. Writing about food does help expediting the process though I’m sure.

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