Last week, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care) and EPH (Excellence and Public Health England) advised us to use honey to reduce the symptoms of a cough instead of rushing to the doctor to ask for antibiotics. How gratifying to discover that some old wives tales are true and that we really have been doing ourselves good when we drank a mug of hot water into which we’d stirred a spoonful of honey and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Here’s another piece of SOWTAT (Some Old Wives Tales Are True) advice: Raspberry Vinegar eases a sore throat. Just add a dash of hot water to a spoonful or two of Raspberry Vinegar and sip it slowly. There may be some scientific evidence to support this or it may be that the pain of your throat is less rasping than the the eye watering sensation of drinking almost neat vinegar. Whichever, it works for me and plenty of others.
Beth has picked all the raspberries she needs for her raspberry gin, so there’s a bit of a family free-for-all to pick the remaining fruit, which is so abundant that the canes growing outside the constraining wires are gracefully swooping and bowing to the ground under the burden of their fruit. Thankfully, most of the canes have grown or been gently coaxed into the correct growing space and picking is very easy, so long as we avoid the wasps and the patch where a large stinging nettle has sprung up. As it can only be a matter of time before SOWTAT advice regarding Raspberry Vinegar is issued by the powers that be, I’m getting ready for winter coughs and colds by making a bottle or two.
Should you wish to prepare yourself for the winter months, here’s the recipe to make your own Raspberry Vinegar.
Don’t confine your vinegar to medicating a sore throat. Use it in salad dressings and marinades; deglaze a roasting pan with a spoonful of vinegar or add it to stews that need a bit of bite. Some people drizzle it over ice cream or Yorkshire pudding. I also read on a label that it can be diluted with sparkling water to make a “deliciously refreshing” drink.
If you have raspberries to spare, make this Raspberry Loaf Cake. You could it eat it as an accompaniment to a glass of diluted Raspberry Vinegar.