Nate’s home sick from school today. He’s sniffling, snuttering, sneezing and hacking with what I first assumed was allergies and now am convinced is a good old-fashioned cold. When I offered to make him some Jewish penicillin, as my grandmother might have done, he rolled his eyes. And when I suggested some hot tea with cherry preserves — as my mother made for me when I was home sick from school — he wrinkled his little reddened nose. “Got any tomato soup?” the kid asked. Indeed, I did, since it’s what his father likes to eat when he’s feeling low. “And could I have a grilled cheese sandwich with it?” he wondered. (Is that starve a fever, feed a cold, or feed a cold and starve a fever? Whatever.)
Me? I’d opt for the chicken soup, preferably with matzoh balls.
Anyway, that got me thinking: When you’re laid low, what — besides that old “home sick” specialty “nothing” — do you feel like eating and drinking? And what was it your parents or grandparents made when you were a sick little kid?