Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Southern Comfort......

Now I know some of you probable got really excited when ya saw the "Southern Comfort" in the title...LOL!!! It's not a drink, so sorry guys....but some old Southern remedies for this nasty cold and flu season that is upon us. I'm thinking it actually never left us from last year and since my lil man Chaz has come down with a nasty case of the flu, I decided to hunt through my book of remedies to see if I could find a few to pass on down to ya'll. These are some passed down to me from some wonderful older Southern moms and grandmoms (I really shouldn't say "Older" cause I'm getting there really fast myself) So sit a little and maybe some of these can just help ya out a bit. (remember....these are just old remedies passed down...if you have some real medical issues that need attending to or addressing then PLEASE call your doctor)

Herbs & Spices...ohhh so nice!!! Did ya know that chives are a member of the family known as onions, scallions and garlic. Chives grow from small bulbs and have a long history in the culinary world as well as being used for old time Southern medicinal purposes. A long long time ago it was thought that chives could promote a cure for melancholy and was also believed to drive away evil spirits. Of course, I always thought that garlic was the only herb that could do that...peeuuu but as a matter of fact, chives have a high concentrate of sulfur compounds and other essential oils that give it that tangy and aromatic taste. These are what are believed to help give chives their healing properties. Chives ease stomach distress and promote good digestion, reduce flatulence (that's a nice way of saying farting) protect against heart disease and stroke, clear a stuffy nose and prevent bad breath and many believe may help the body fight bacteria due to it's antibacterial properties. That's a GOOD thing!!! Today, we know that chives and the chive flower are high in vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. Just 3 1/2 oz of chives supplies enough vitamin C to meet your daily requirement of 60mg. Chives would be oh so nice to add to some of your recipes to help restore vital nutrients lost in cooking. Don't overlook the chive flowers either. They have a milder taste than the leaves and add a decorative touch to salads and herb oils. Yes, that means they are edible!! Here's a few Old Southern recipes for using Chives:

**Chive-Flower Oil**
Add 1 1/2 oz of the blossoms to 1 quart of vegetable oil. After a week, the oil will turn lilac
and take on the smell of the flower. Use the oil in salads or in cooking when any oil is called for.
Just keep it refrigerated when not in use.

**Chive Salt**
Add some chives to some salt. Bake the mixture in the oven to dry leaves and blend flavors. Store in an airtight container or jar. Use this to add some zip to all sorts of dishes.

**Cottage Cheese with Chives**
What you will need: 8 oz cottage cheese
1 tbsp mustard
1 shallot
1 bunch of fresh chives
1/2 tsp paprika
White Pepper

Blend the cottage cheese and mustard. Peel the shallot, chop finely and mix with the cottage cheese blend. Wash and dry the chives and snip them finely. Stir about two-thirds of the chives into the cottage cheese mixture. Season the mixture with the paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the remaining chives on top. Makes 4 servings. Taste great on top of some good vine ripe tomatoes.

In case you don't know how to handle chives, here are a few helpful kitchen tips for ya'll.
*Don't heat them (unless you are making the salt recipe above) or they will lose their valuable vitamin C as well as their digestive properties.
*Cut them right before you are ready to use them. Chives are very delicate so to prevent from losing any of the essential oils, snip yes I said SNIP them with kitchen shears instead of chopping or grinding them.
*Grow them at home in a pot right in the windowsill. Wait until the plant reaches about 6" before cutting. Harvest the leaves frequently unless you specifically want to use the flowers...remember I told ya they were edible. The leaves become much less flavorful once they start to bloom fully.
*Freeze chives for future use because frozen chives retain more flavor then dried chives. Snip fresh chives into small pieces, then place them in an ice-cube tray and fill it with water. To thaw, put a chive cube in a strainer and let melt.

I hope you might be able to gain some useful information from these Old Southern post. I love passing along information that can be used in our everyday lives. So ya'll come back again here real soon...Ya hear!!!!!


No comments:

Post a Comment