The golden cure


Golden milk (which is purported to cure colds, congestion, headaches, sore throats, arthritis, skin problems, cancer, high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression) turns out to be quite nice, though not quite delicious. You just add a bit of turmeric and ginger (if you like) and black pepper (to help the body absorb the turmeric) to milk, heat it up, add some honey to taste, and you’re, as they say, golden. This is one way to make it, though you can use almond or coconut milk (some golden milk aficionados insist that you do), and you can even make up a special turmeric paste, if you want to get fancy, but this, as I described it, apparently does the trick. Now I just have to wait for the healing to begin.

I had read about golden milk some time ago, and honestly, the pictures of the golden milk tempted me more than anything (so pretty!), plus the fact that it sounds like a drink you might find in a fairy tale. I’m not expected to be cured of all the ailments I listed (most of which I don’t even suffer from), but I like the idea that it might be good for me.

Which reminds me that in the (fascinating) book I just finished, Born to Run, the author discovers that the Tarahumara of Mexico drink something called iskiate before running hundreds of miles through the mountains for basically 24 hours straight. Turns out that iskiate is made from none other than chia seeds, which are probably the most nutrient-rich food in existence. I have been putting a tablespoon of chia in my cereal every morning and hoping for the best.

I actually have a real fondness for homemade remedies, which started many many years ago with my grandmother’s chicken soup, which I have for the most part managed to duplicate (realizing that the thing she called “soup greens” was actually fresh dill was a major revelation), and which I have referred to as “Jewish penicillin” to the delight of my older daughter, who requests it whenever she has a cold. I’m pretty sure it works.

The same goes for a remedy that my friend Leah and I refer to as simply Remedy, which involves cutting up lemons and boiling them in water for a long time, but not so long as to make all the water boil out (this may have happened on one occasion), and then adding lots of honey and, at Leah’s suggestion, Red Zinger tea, though I like my Remedy tea-less for the most part. I have such fond memories of drinking Remedy at our kitchen table in Astoria, way back in the mid-90s, and any time I make it now it always takes me back. The same way the smell of “soup greens” takes me back to my grandmother’s long narrow kitchen in the Bronx. Which is part of the trick of homemade remedies, I would guess.

Even golden milk, with its familiar scent of many Indian meals I have enjoyed in my life, somehow has a way of taking me back to childhood and my earliest memory of an Indian restaurant in which a glass of water broke in my mouth because I had been trying to pick it up using only my teeth. You could say I learned a lesson from this experience (as important lessons are learned in most fairy tales), though the lesson turned out not to be never to try to pick up water glasses with your teeth again (I may have tried one more time), but rather if something goes wrong in a restaurant (even if, embarrassingly, it is your own fault) the waiter might kindly offer you a free meal. Which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with curing insomnia or cancer, or even really with golden milk, but sometimes this is where our memories take us. Obligingly, we must follow.


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