Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Cough Syrup using................ ONIONS?

We have had the flu - the whole family was down with it all at once. After the 2nd day, I was able to make elderberry syrup which really helped to fight the flu - elderberries are wonderful and are great for flu. That will be in a different blogpost; however.

This post addresses a homemade cough syrup that I made and we are using.

The recipe was passed on to me by a dear friend who has made, and used, it for over 30 years. She got the recipe from a missionary friend from South Africa. Here's the recipe as I received it:

                                        Homemade Cough Syrup

Cut an onion in large pieces. Mix with brown sugar and set in a warm place for a few hours. We have a gas oven so I always start there. Then it keeps well in the fridge. This is full of Vitamin C.

Here are the pictures of how I made it......
I didn't know how much brown sugar to use, so I just added and stirred till it looked like the picture above. I used a stainless steel bowl since I was planning to put it into the oven.

I do not have a gas oven, it was late and I needed to get to bed since I was still feverish from the flu, so I just covered the stainless steel bowl with a cookie sheet and put it into the oven. I turned the oven to 350 degrees for a few minutes and then turned it off..........and went to bed.

The next day, this is what is looked like. Notice all of that wonderful juice in there that mixed together overnight, all by itself.

The next thing I did was to spoon the onions out. I just put them into the trash, but if I had been feeling better at the time, I may have tried to use them for something else.
Since there were still some little tiny pieces of onion, I also strained the syrup.....

 I was using a medium sized jam jar (about 4 1/2" tall x 2 1/2" in diameter) and the syrup almost filled it. Pretty amazing.
Next was the bad would it taste?????

It was still warm from the oven when I first tried it and I was surprised that the onion taste was not as strong as I expected. Yes, you can taste the onion a bit, but it is not overpowering and it doesn't linger, so all in all, we were very pleased with this and will be making it again.

We have the terrible cough left from the flu and this does seem to help so that we can stop coughing as much and get some sleep. It is cheap to make, with things already on hand in most homes, and is done in a few hours. No, the brown sugar isn't good for us, but I decided to do it anyway and we are pleased with the results.Our bottle is still on the counter instead of the fridge since we are taking it frequently. I do need to put it into the fridge today, though, so that it will keep longer.

I really appreciate being able to make our own remedies like this. I am so thankful that my friend passed this on to me. Hope it helps you also.

"But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Other sites you may enjoy..................

Traffic Jam Weekend Linky
Thrifty Things Friday

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rice bags are so nice in the winter.......or anytime! :)

Rice bags are a favorite thing in my house. Years ago, after having a baby, I was given a rice bag for pain. It really helped...........and I found that I loved using least until a year or so later when it was "cooked" and yes, I do mean "cooked" in the microwave. One of the kids put it in and set it for too long and it smelled too strong/burnt to ever use again, so I was sad to lose it. Eventually, though, I made some of my own and keep having to make more - I made some for Christmas presents for some of the family and remembered to take some pictures, so will share those with you..............
This picture shows what will become 4 rice bags. The picture shows one casing right side out and one needing to be turned with the 2 different sized rice bags. I usually line my rice bags, just in case....:)  It is no fun to have rice on the floor or in the bed. I make one bag - usually out of muslin which I sew and turn it right side out, just like the outer casings.
This picture show the smaller rice bags with the inner bags already full of rice. After filling with rice, I sew the bag shut - very simple and no fancy stitches. After the outer casing is sewn and turned right side out, I place the muslin bags of rice inside.....and again sew it shut. These bags were actually too big for these casings, sooooo.......I made new outer casings (for the girls :) for these bags and then made new muslin rice bags to fit inside these cases.
I just use regular white rice to fill the bags.
These are all of the bags I made on Christmas Eve this year - the 2 pink ones are the ones added because of the wrong sizes - the girls loved it because they also received rice bags.
The bags looked very full in the other picture, but they are only about 3/4 of the way full or so.....this allows them to fold as shown here. The nice thing about that is that these long rice bags fit around the neck and warm on a cold day....or are a help for sore muscles and can lay around the back muscles or wherever needed. The smaller bags are also very useful.

Like I said, I have a long rice bag for my feet. Well, I also have a few other smaller ones (without lining) that I use most nights. My precious children have made it a ministry to me to heat my rice bags each night - I keep them in a denim bag and they just put the whole thing in the microwave at once and we have learned how much time is needed for all of them.

The smaller ones are so nice for things like swollen glands or earaches or sore spots or just to warm up and I love having them available if I want them.
This is just a closer can see how I have left the long bags open on one end - I do this so that I can take the outer casing off to wash if necessary; however, we rarely do that. The smaller bags, I sew shut.

I make the longer bags and those are a favorite - they are about 28"-30" long and about 3 1/2"-4"" wide. It takes about 3 pounds of rice to fill one of these enough. This is the bag that goes at the foot of my bed each night to warm up the bed for my feet. :)

I remember going to Grandma's when I was a girl and sleeping upstairs in an unheated old farmhouse. We always had to remember to get the old antique metal irons off of the old oil stove(assuming we remembered to put them there earlier to warm up! :), wrap them in newspaper and put them in the bed about 30-60 min before bed and then it was so nice to crawl in under all of those heavy old quilts and sleep. I don't think I have ever slept as soundly as I did on those nights - of course, the heavy quilts made it hard to move around, so that probably helped us to settle down and sleep! :)

Besides the long bags, I also make other sizes - and have made square ones, rectangular ones, big ones and little ones. One year when it was terribly cold out and there was lots of snow, my guys were shoveling drives........I got the sewing machine out and made LOTS of little bags that were about 2" x 3" or 2" x 4" or other. I did not line any of these - just sewed them up quickly. These were used in pockets for warming up hands and body....some were small enough to rest in the palm of the hands, inside gloves, which helped much. Some were used in the boots - not in the foot part, but as far down as we could get them. We even found that putting one inside a coat up near the upper back - anchoring it w/ a pin or cloth - really helped to hold the heat in. The nice thing is that they could be used over and over again.

Yes, we have a microwave, but the funny thing is that the main thing we use it for is to heat rice bags. :) I know microwaves are not good for food, so we do not cook in it. It only takes about 2 minutes or so to heat the large bag - maybe less if you have a more powerful microwave. It is a good idea to start with 30 seconds and see if it is warm enough, then do 30 more seconds until the right temperature is reached. Remember how long it took and that is the time for that rice bag.

Rice bags do hold the heat a long time and can help when the house is cooler at night.You may enjoy making one rice bag as a test to see if you like it or not......chances are that you will really like it and will make more of them. :)

"The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace."
Psalm 29:11

Other sites you may enjoy...........

Traffic Jam Weekend
Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Home Sweet Home
Wise Woman
Counting Our Blessings
Cooking and Crafting w/ J & J
Modest Monday
Art of Homemaking Monday
Traffic Jam Weekend Party

WELCOME to my new blog......

Welcome to my new blog where I hope to share a variety of things about homemaking, gardening, herbs, health, essential oils, family and much more. God has allowed me to learn many things and I hope that I can share some of them with you.