Over the past couple of weeks, we have been treated to a number of intermittent days of heat and sunshine. The heat of the mid-day sun always has the ability to trick me into thinking that this warmth will last the evening long. However, as soon as I decide to leave the house, without the winter jackets in tow, a blistering cool breeze seems to blow and I find myself, yet again, complaining of the cold. I've two young men who keep me active with all things GAA-related, so this scenario is normally at the side of a football pitch. Therefore, after a busy weekend of cheering from the sideline, it was no surprise I found myself with a touch of a cold this week. 

As a child, my mother’s first line of action, for any sort of sniffles, was freshly squeezed oranges & lemons. To this day, I maintain the same approach to everyday colds. I use quite a few lemons in my cooking and baking, so I normally have a couple in my fruit basket. To some freshly squeezed lemon, I add a bunch of whatever herbs I can get my hands on, and this concoction normally eases the symptoms of a croaky cold. If there is an advantage to a summer snuffle, it’s that my lovely herb garden is in full season, so I'm spoilt for choice as to what herbs to include in this nutritious drink. Mint or lemon balm pair very nicely with the lemon; however if I'm hoping for a little anti-inflammatory action I normally add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. If I have some to hand, fresh ginger is a great addition to this cold-busting drink. The feeling of nausea can also accompany the symptoms of a cold, and sometimes a little fresh ginger can be enough to ease this.  This tonic won’t cure a cold, but it will ease the symptoms. I plan on arming myself with a little flask of this tea, the next time my cheer-leading qualities are needed at an under 10’s match.

Lemon & Thyme Tea

½ lemon, juiced
2 sprigs of thyme
1-inch knob of ginger
250ml of recently boiled water
1tsp honey

  1. Using a bowl, flask or teapot, add the lemon juice, sprigs of thyme and ginger. Cover with the 250ml of recently boiled water.
  2. Pop a saucer on top and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Then, pass through a sieve and stir in a teaspoon of honey. Enjoy straight away.

These days, this little lady hasn't had as much time to help me out in the garden. She has three new kittens that she's taking great care of non-stop. We have a good few kitties, at this stage, so she has agreed that two of them can take up residence with a very nice new family. I know that there will be tears when that day comes. However, we're planning to extend our outdoor family, here at Killachonna, over the next few months so this animal-loving lady will be kept very busy. 
Have a lovely weekend. Nessa x