Cure alls


29 Oct Cure alls


When I was a child I had a very bad case of the mumps. Certain I wouldn’t survive, I lay on the couch and did my five-year-old best to contemplate death. I don’t recall any profound thoughts beyond “Ow, this really hurts.”

At the end of what the calendar said was a week, but what felt too long to measure, my mother tempted me to eat with miniature vanilla cupcakes, no wider than a quarter. She had iced them with tiny pink and yellow flowers and bright green leaves. They were the first thing I’d eaten that didn’t feel like hot coals. I ate several and awoke the next day feeling fine.

I was convinced the cupcakes cured me. After that, every time someone got sick, I told Mom to make those cupcakes. But instead of heading to the kitchen when fever struck, she hauled us off to the doctor and forced horrid tasting medicine down our throats. It made no sense when the cupcakes were delicious and worked much faster.

Of course, as an adult I realize the magic lay in the timing and not the tiny cakes. But I still have a strong association with that dessert. I don’t crave them when I’m well, yet to this day, when I’m sick I think of those miracle-working cakes and wonder if knowing the truth would counteract any placebo effect.

Having recently discussed the classic cure-all, chicken soup, I’m now curious. Do you have a dish you associate with healing? Or do you rely on Buckley’s, over-the-counter meds and time?

Photo © Joe Seggiola. Published under a Creative Commons License.

No Comments
  • ClaireWalter
    Posted at 10:28h, 29 October Reply

    Is ginger ale a food? We NEVER had soft drinks in the house, except when I was running a fever, and then, ginger ale appeared.

    Claire @

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 11:44h, 29 October Reply

    Yes, Claire, ginger ale counts. We never had pop in the house either until someone got ill. Mom served it to us flat, stirring it vigorously with a spoon to kill the bubbles.

    I’d forgotten about that.

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 12:07h, 29 October Reply

    I strongly believe in feeding both a cold and a fever with whatever is at hand!

    To be honest, the chicken soup cure all is one of my favs and really does seem to work.

  • Andrew
    Posted at 14:17h, 29 October Reply

    I always find that coffee makes me feel better. Strong black coffee. Of course it does that when I’m not sick too.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 14:42h, 29 October Reply

    yes, ginger ale! I keep some in the garage just for when I’m sick 9and then forget it’s there).

    Also, Campbell’s chicken soup with stars. Also, pudding. Also, applesauce with cinnamon. Also, trashy magazines.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 18:20h, 29 October Reply

    Dana, I’ve never been able to keep the “starve a cold, feed a fever” wives’ tale straight. I can’t see chicken soup hurting either condition.

    Andrew, coffee is a prophylactic, not a cure.

    Cheryl, my mom gave us Fuzzy Felt, not trashy magazines. But like you, we did get the old applesauce and cinnamon combo.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 21:22h, 29 October Reply

    Dear Charmian, I got popsicles, scrambled eggs or a small baked potato. Later in the recovery stages it was cinnamon toast cut into soldiers. Never did I get cupcakes!! How come the first born has to suffer so much??
    I would happily wash the dishes/pots and utensils for one of your meals. Just not my birthday one though.
    Stay well,

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 22:55h, 29 October Reply

    I like whiskey for a cold

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 22:59h, 29 October Reply

    Robin, I got the cupcakes because I moaned and groaned louder than you. And don’t worry, you won’t have to do the dishes on your birthday. But John? He might be busy after dinner.

    Anonymous, if a hot rum toddy can help, why not a shot of whiskey? My husband would agree with you.

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 21:15h, 02 November Reply

    Ginger ale..yep. Lipton’s chicken noodle soup…it’s what my Grandma always made when I was a kid, and sodium laced or not…it helps. Of course, it takes me back to my grandma’s kitchen, but it makes me feel better. And junk daytime television, a good book, my cats snuggled on the bed with me and hot tea by the potful.

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