When I was a little girl, whenever I was "under the weather" with a cold or flu bug, my father's remedy for everything was a cup of cocoa. He would use only Fry's cocoa. He put two tablespoons of cocoa into a mug, mixed in some sugar and then slowly mixed in the hot milk. No one could make cocoa the way my father did. He also made the best bacon and eggs and pancakes. And every Saturday he would bake a special chocolate cake with raspberry compote filling. He made the filling with raspberries that he grew in his garden.
It didn't matter what illness my brothers or I might have had -- rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, a broken bone -- the remedy was always food. I remember once I had a severe bout of tonsillitis, and my father gave me a sardine sandwich. What happened, you ask? Oh ... you don't want to know.
The family doctor was also a personal friend of ours, so he made house calls, and they always turned into social calls as well. I remember one year my mother was very ill with a cold, she called the family doctor, and he said he would pop around to see her. She had been too ill to sweep or tidy up, so she jumped out of bed to straighten the house before the doctor arrived. He caught her sweeping the floor, and scolded her. He said, "This house will still be here long after you're gone. Put the broom down and get back into bed." A couple of years later our town was struck by a tidal wave, and the house was washed out to sea. My mother phoned the doctor and said, "Oh, Chesley, the house is gone -- but I am still here..." She took great delight in pointing that out to him every time she saw him.
My father had a plum tree in the back yard, and every summer it was so laden with plums, he had to hold the branches up with two-by-fours. My favorite breakfast on a summer morning was a bowl of stewed plums and a piece of toast with sweet butter melting on it -- and a cup of cocoa. To me, plums will always taste like a summer morning.
I still occasionally use food for (*cough*) medicinal purposes. I don't care much for drinking, and drug addicts can keep their drugs. But a big bowl of Häagen-Dazs vanilla bean ice cream, covered with raspberries -- now, that's for me. I just happen to have one here right now, and as soon as I'm finished posting this, I'm going to dive in. Oh, I can't fool you -- I've already eaten it.
Have a great evening, everyone.