By Gina Marinelli, Gourmet Cook & Contributing Writer
"A Pembrokeshire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
A mama gina maxim. Raw onion ablaze will surely still malaise !
No kidding. I can remember my mother making my sister and I eat raw onion every time we were sick and wash it down by sucking a lemon with salt. She'd say, "the onion heats the blood. the lemon and salt clears the throat. and then she'd follow with" my father used to eat a raw clove of garlic ,raw onion and a piece of stale bread everyday, he was never sick a day in his life"! I thought, Yeah well, he never got sick because no one could stand to get close to him! It turns out that fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. Everyone in my household was feeling out of sorts this weekend. Sniffles, sore throat, tired and chilled. Poor babies! And guess what I said? "Onions, they heat the blood."
At first I made them a hot tonic concoction to soothe their sore throats (another of mama's home brewed remedies) of fresh lemon juice,raw honey,apple cider vinegar in warm water. Rather than give them a raw onion to eat, I slow cooked an onion soup made with every onion I had in the house! Six yellow onions, two shallots, two cipolline, two leeks and a bunch of fresh young red onions with their tops, homemade chicken stock and a stick of unsalted butter. They drank it down and slept like angels on clouds.
Onions are a member of the allium family, the same as garlic, leeks, shallots and scallions. For centuries almost every culture has used the onion for its healing properties.
The Egyptians believed the onion helped fight off infections,aided digestion and helped ease pain in the joints. They were right and so was my mother and her father. Research has shown that the onion plant is a potent diuretic, antibiotic, expectorant and helps with inflammation. Onions are packed with powerful antioxidants that are known to prevent disease by attacking harmful free radicals within the body.
Listen to the elders: onions-are highly recommended at least once a day everyday! Followed by a lemon with some salt.
Foods other than onions that are rich in the flavonid quercetin include black & green tea, capers, apples, red grapes, citrus fruits, tomato, rasberry, and cranberry.
a recipe to your health!
slow and steady
never to a boil
For a big pot of soup
Prepare to cry a lot unless you have a really sharp knife or have chilled the onions before cutting. If you answered to none of the above try wearing a pair of swimming goggles while cutting or just tough it out. Cutting onions will clear the sinuses.
Onions make you tear because they absorb sulfur in the earth, which helps form a class of volatile organic molecules called amino acid sulfoxides. These sulfoxides are the real tear-jerkers when onions go under the knife.
6 organic yellow onions
peeled and sliced
if you leave the root on until the last cut sometimes the pain is easier on the eyes
2 Cipolline late summer italian disc shaped onion)if available
peeled and sliced
washed and cut
I use the whole leek the easiest way to clean is to gently cut and soak in the sink for about 15 minutes swishing a few times to release the sand. I then put them in a collander and rinse under cold water
Shallots as many as you have on hand
peeled and left whole
Scallions or fresh spring onions whole bunch
washed roots removed
4-6 cups chicken stock or any stock that you have available
if using water please use filtered only
1 cube of unsalted organic butter
salt and spices to taste
sometimes i sprinkle red pepper flakes for some extra heat and to help with tasting the tonic through the stuffy nose
After cleaning and cutting all of the onions slowly melt the butter in pot over low heat this will help maintain nutritional value of the onions and make the best tasting tonic ever!
Once butter is melted add onions and let simmer until they begin to shimmer and glisten gently turn onions every five to ten minutes until they begin to shimmer and glisten then add chicken stock to cover or water or a combination of the two
Let cook for about an hour low flame
Fill a mug with the brewed tonic drizzle a small amount of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and slowly sip.
Believe me this is a body warmer be prepared to want to remove layers of clothing. resist! Stay bundled up. If you have a warm hat on take that off. get in bed. relax. Settle in. Close your eyes. Count sheep. 1,2,3,..... Sleep, sleep sleep.
And good health to you!