Today on Alphabet City: Kitchen Knightmares returns with a special “Green Day” edition of natural remedies. Special Guest Stars: VitaMix 5200, Coach Farm’s Probiotic Yo-Goat
Please pardon the previously unannounced hiatus of Kitchen Knightmares, the spin-off kitchen series about improving my efforts to cook for Chef. While KK was “off the air,” one episode picked up quite a devoted following in the Middle East—so if you missed Moroccan Halibut with Carrots make sure to check out Kitchen Knightmares: Something Fishy.
One of my excuses for falling down on the cooking job is I’ve been doing battle with a nasty bout of flu-cold-allergies-infections for nearly a month. In my overly dramatic mind, I was convinced I had picked up some exotic bug while on assignment in the tropics for Bon Appétit. It took several doctors, including my own father-in-law, to dissuade me of that notion. But it’s taken a couple of all-natural remedies from my Whole Foods peeps Paige & Chef to speed me into recovery.
First problem: chronic cough, often keeping me awake at night, and making me sound like Lauren Bacall. My sister Paige stepped up with this all natural cough suppressant that works for my niece Hannah—and it did for me. Who doesn’t love a recipe whose active ingredient is Cayenne Pepper?
Texas-Style Kickin’ the Cough Syrup
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 TB honey
1 TB apple cider vinegar
2 TB water
**Take about one tsp at a time, but okay to start with 3 tsp. Take as often as needed.
The syrup was super-easy to make. I accomplished the task even after taking an Ambien when I couldn’t sleep for 48 hours thanks to being hopped up on a dose of steroids. I imagine it was like crystal meth minus the sex.
Second problem: struggling intestines after havoc wreaked on them by a couple of rounds of monstrously strong antibiotics. Chef used my stomach issues as a teaching moment about the power of Probiotics using Coach Farm’s Yo-Goat Cultured Goat Milk. Although hesitant because I rarely drink milk of any kind, I was encouraged by the May issue of Bon Appetit. Check out p. 46 for a quick explanation of “good bacteria” that may help regulate lactose digestion (for some reason it’s not online). Plus, the goat milk packaging was cute, and Chef insisted that I could make a tasty smoothie using, what else, the VitaMix 5200, our newly adopted kitchen child.
Chef Juan Pablo’s VitaMix5200 Probiotic Smoothie Operator
16 oz. Yo-Goat Cultured Goat Milk (strawberry flavored even though Jamie Oliver would have a cow)
1 pint fresh blackberries (or other berry fruit)
1 pint mango sorbet (Chef made some previously in the VitaMix 5200, you could use store bought)
Honey to sweeten if berries not enough
Pour cultured goat milk in first. Then everything else. Start VitaMix 5200 on low, gradually increase speed, using special utensil (which looks like a sex toy to me) to mash down. If you must use a traditional blender, make sure the sorbet is soft or you’ll blow your motor. Cue product placement commercial for VitaMix 5200 with harried home cook looking exasperated as smoke comes out of a blender with voice over: Are you tired of burning up blenders?
I’ve been enjoying the smoothie for 2 days after refrigerating the extra, and my tummy seems on the mend. But not my feelings—during my lesson with Chef, I think I caught him rolling his eyes when I got flustered at the controls. Then, he muscled in and basically took over, clearly worried I might cause injury to his new baby. I even caught him double checking the gadget after I cleaned it.
That’s okay, because I got my revenge. My news ears/nose/throat doctor diagnosed me with allergy-induced asthma that is causing my cough.
“Air conditioning is your friend!” the doctor announced.
“I’m from Texas, you don’t to convince me!” I shrieked in excitement.
The doc explained that running an A/C in the bedroom at night helps filter out the pollen in the air. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. You see, Chef pretty much hates the A/C, something I can never understand since he’s from South of the Border. It’s always a tense weekend in summer when I get out and install the window units.
But this year, Christmas in July comes a couple of months early—courtesy of a doctor’s note.