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Cold makes a cold. How funny is the English language? Oranges are orange – which is very confusing for small children. But how clever it is that cold and cold come from the same conditions.

I have a cold. It’s not a simple wussy sneeze sore throat kinda thing, nor is it the full blown flu. So when you’ve got your feet up, staying in bed all day, the guilts slip in there and have a go at you! “Too much to do woman! Kids, activities, cooking blah blah blah.” But all you can muster is rolling over and hoping that the snot will catch up with your new position.

And sleeping at night is another effort. When one’s nose is completely blocked it is always a good idea to breathe through one’s mouth otherwise you have the drowning effect which is not fun. Nor should you assume that you’re feeling better until you actually get out of bed. Then the snot comes back, shoves itself down your nasal passages and proves your wishful thinking wrong. The nose tilts forward, taking the head with it, leaving the brain back where it started so everything feels like its stretching.

Your head is at war with your face, your brain at war with your head. The body doesn’t know what it’s doing, it’s just happy to be still, for a while. The throat is still making up its mind as to how it’s feeling. The indecisive monkey! First it’s sore, then better, then, after a few hours mouth breathing, it’s dry and it needs a drink. Really, throat, with my head, brain and nose having a go can’t you just be quiet and make up your mind?

Then that guilt. That darstardly sneaky little devil raises its head and with a slow growl messes with your brain. It goes something like this: “But you’re a mother! You must look after the little ones even when you can’t. What will the other mothers think? They don’t have the help you have.”

I’m happy to say that I quickly squashed out the guilt monster with a good wallop of sensible thinking. Afterall, I thought if I don’t kick this cold NOW then it could go on for weeks and what good would I be to anyone?

Then I decided when I would be feeling better, chomped down some Vitamin C and got up and started to move again. All that to say that I am now upright, breathing through my nostrils (thank you Vicks or cheaper equivalent) and the cold is on its way to my chest and out the door.

It’s winter. It’s cold, so you get a cold. It’s not surprising but still frustrating. So when you get a cold, don’t let guilt ruin your rest, embrace it, make the most of it because normal life is just around the corner.

Sick days should be fun for everyone. If you’re sick then you should be entitled to a ridiculous amount of television, freshly squeezed juice and endless cuddles. Attention! Sickness should also command much, many, heaps, loads, lots of attention.

When you are sick, down and out, when your bed has swallowed you whole and you just want to DIE, it is time for the ‘healthy’ person to step up. You never know, healthy person, when you will be in that sickbed, so make it good!  Bring on the vaporizers, Vicks VapoRub on chest, back and neck, Panadol or Apsrin (whichever takes your fancy), hot tea with lemon and honey, a warm candle lit bath, entertainment and glorious comfort food.

Food is important when you feel that greenish tinge coming on. The scratchy throat signals trouble. Gulping, you know that the phlegm days are only one sleep away. It is now time for comfort food: Spaghetti with garlic, Pumpkin Soup with garlic, Beef Stew with garlic, Butter Chicken with garlic, Thai Green Curry with garlic and of course Garlic Bread! Your body is at war and it needs quality rations. It craves freshly squeezed juice and water and antioxidant tea and I hear Brandy is pretty handy as well.

It’s wrong to deny a good soldier quality food. Why, a tired soldier is a dead soldier. By chugging down fresh, quality ingredients, your tired, listless body is strengthened. The antibodies go to war armed with garlic breath and rapids of orange juice. On they fight while you sleep or watch tv. A cuppa? Great, more antioxidant soldiers to fight that evil, spiky, virus. (I should write for Codral, should I not?).

But enough of war and phlegm imagery! Like I said before, sick days should be fun days, because at the end of the day, there’s nothing fun about being sick!

Butter Chicken for slow cooker

Ingredients
40g butter
2 tablespoons (40ml) vegetable oil
4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon Indian curry paste
2 teaspoons tandoori masala
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 (140g) tub tomato paste
15 green cardamom pods
1 (400ml) tin coconut milk
1 cup plain yoghurt
pinch salt to taste

Method
1. Melt the butter and vegetable oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, curry paste, tandoori masala, garam masala and tomato paste until no lumps of tomato paste remain. Pour into a slow cooker, and stir in the cardamom pods, coconut milk and yoghurt. Season to taste with salt.
2. Cook on High 4 to 6 hours, or on Low 6 to 8 hours until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency. Remove and discard the cardamom pods before serving.

Tip
Take a needle and thread and pierce the needle through the top of the cardamom pod. Continue with all the cardamom pods and then tie the ends together in a knot so it looks like a ring (you don’t have to do this if you don’t want the extra step…it just makes it easy to remove and nobody crunches down on a big bitter cardamom pod).

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