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?