What's Your Sick Day Dish?

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There’s something sweet about a child staying home sick (and something decadent about an adult staying home from work, even if a sore throat is involved). When I was young, and home from school with some illness or another, my mother would make chicken bouillon (with a cube, of course) if the malady was stomach related, and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup if it was in the sinus region. No matter what the illness, she also provided a lovely brown, orange and yellow crocheted afghan she had made for comfort. Now a parent myself, I am just as predictable.

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On a recent rainy Monday, my middle school aged son arrived home from school, dropped his backpack, and wiggled his eyebrows.

Oooh, smells good. What’s for dinner?”

The slow cooker had been loaded up hours before, and a wonderful smell filled the kitchen.

“Chicken soup,” I answered.

“Yum! Who’s sick?”

Since my children are not unlikely to jump from one subject to another with no warning, I didn’t immediately see a connection.

“Nobody. Why?”

Apparently, I only make chicken noodle soup when someone stays in bed for the day. You know how it goes, one child or another wakes up in the middle of the night complaining of an ear ache, a sore throat, or an unsettled stomach. So you get out the thermometer and fire up the slow cooker, knowing the soup will be ready by the time they are feeling well enough to eat a little. At least, that’s what I do. Chicken soup is an easy choice, because the rest of the family enjoys it too, and they don’t even have to be sick.

Chicken soup made from scratch is an easy treat. My recipe is simple and delicious, just right for a cold day. (For the curious, it’s a riff on this one.) And that’s what I make when other people are sick, but old habits die hard. When I’m under the weather, my husband has to head to the store for Campbell’s, if I don’t already have a can stashed somewhere, and out comes the can opener. To this day, I swear Campbell’s cures whatever ails me, from a cold to a sprained wrist. Also? I still have the seventies-hued afghan.

What’s your choice for a sick day? Is it the same thing you expected as a child? 

Related: Sick? Try the BRAT Diet

(Images: Anne Postic)

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