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January 11, 2017

Hello National Hot Toddy Day!

A Better Cure for Whatever Ails You
Could there be any better timing for a National Day recognizing that wonderful wintertime companion--the Hot Toddy? Well, after over 10 inches of rain in 10 days coupled with life in a nearly 100 year old house and teaching, it seems my voice has taken a winter vacation. For me, a guaranteed way to right my world and reclaim my vocal ability is right in my own kitchen, where as I set the tea kettle on the fire, I thank the brandy makers, lemon growers, tea producers and yes, the humble bees for giving me all the ingredients I need to get myself well without a single phone call to the doctor's office or a trip to the pharmacy.

Though there are many versions--some quite elaborate--of the Hot Toddy, I much prefer my recipe, or more appropriately, the version that Mr. B first made me many years ago when we were living in San Francisco and I had a terrible case of pneumonia that I just couldn't shake. Of course, back then, I did need medical intervention, but the powers of this magical elixir certainly hastened my recovery. Plus, who is ever going to say no to a little hot brandy to soothe one's soul and kick off a night of delightfully uninterrupted slumber? Not me!

Here's my recipe. Follow it exactly, or play around and concoct your own version. I'd love to see your recipe, too, so please share.

Mr. B's Hot Toddy

3 bags of Tazo Calm Chamomile Tea
1/3 of a cup honey
1 Myer lemon, juiced
Brandy, to taste--I prefer it quite brisk

1. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, add the lemon juice and honey to a clean 4 cup glass measuring cup and hang the tea bags so they won't fall into the hot water.
3. Once the water is hot, pour it into the prepared measuring cup and allow the tea to steep.
4. Pour into a cup and add brandy to taste.
5. There's enough to share, but there's a lot to be said for being selfish--especially if you're feeling under the weather.
6. Enjoy!

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