Friday, July 11, 2008

Pride, get thee behind me

Appropos of what I do not remember, but last night I was priding myself on the fact that I never get sick. Not since The Whoop of...1999? Oooooh, I'm so clever, Ooooooh, I take such good care of myself, Ooooooh it's all in the head.

So I woke up with a raging sore throat.

I had slept badly a couple of nights in a row (I am a sleep-wuss: it's 8 hours or else), stressing out about things in the middle of the night when nothing can be done about them. After those nights I took myself in hand, thinking immune system thoughts (Oooooh, I'm so wise) and made a papaya salad, ingredients above (the beer is ES-sential). It's a great tonic: fresh green papaya, yes, but raw garlic and ginger and lots of lime juice plus fiery chile are the essential ingredients of the dressing. As well as stinky fish sauce which I like a lot, and other esoteric things like palm sugar. Though I imagine there are as many versions of this salad as there are cooks in Thailand.

The best papaya salad I knew in New York used to be made at Pat Pong, a small place next to Izumi's backroom salon on East 7th Street, which has now closed (the restaurant, not Izumi's salon). They also made killer crispy duck. I think the owner still has a tea room now on E 13th, but I have not checked it out in a long time...Few people seemed to know about Pat Pong - it didn't even make it into Zagat, and it stills ranks as one of my favourite places to have eaten in New York. Nisa, a charming, very small waitress there, used to know how to fix the papaya salad for you- mild, or so it would blow your head off. She escaped a horrible man who beat her, and went to live in public housing with their pretty little boy child who wore bells around his ankles after Thai fashion.

Anyway, so I made my version of the salad, with cilantro, too, and shrimp paste (thank you Mimi) to ward off the dreaded Lurgy...but it was probably too late. The bug had bit me.
So tonight it's chicken soup with a Latin flavour. Ancho chiles, cilantro, lime, again, and lots of garlic and onion. It smells very good.



  1. Honey, grated fresh ginger, lemon or lime juice, crushed garlic if you can bear it, all in hot water and drunk frequently. Also works sonder garlic. Oops, here's Trebor with mouse! Gotta dash...

  2. Hot Toddy recipe.
    A shot of fine malt whisky
    1tsp honey
    boiled water
    1 slice lemon and a couple of cloves
    A sprinkling of French Canadian

    This makes you sleep well too!

  3. Marie, your papaya salad sounds so tasty, and nourishing.

    Sorry about the throat...its dangerous to have 'I'm so healthy' thoughts because that is when the bug gets you, I don't know why it works that way, it just *does*.

    Anyway, I do have one tip for you and that is get some vicks vaporub, I advise this for everyone, it is the best thing and a wonderful cure all.

    A spoon of honey swallowed loosely so that it coats the throat is another big helper.

    Hope you are feeling better soon...

  4. marie, I just noticed the recipe for a hot toddy in one of the comments here. According to a friend of mine who is a sea captain (oil tankers), navy rum is the alcohol he prefers for it, and also a dab of butter added to it.

    Everyone has their own preferred mix, but after all, this is coming from a sea captain...:)


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.