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What did you or your Mom make when you were sick?

When I was growing up my Mom didn't make the standard for our upset stomaches.... a can of warmed Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup and a handful of Saltines. Rather she would brown up some plain hamburger and mix it with a cup of plain cooked rice.

I can only imagine where she got this idea, but we ate a lot of that whenever we were sick. She'd occasionally substitute boiled chicken if we were out of hamburger, but it was served the same... with a cup of cooked plain rice. We never had this for a regular meal only when we were sick. Strange as it sounds I liked it and would eat it to settle my tummy.

Now that I'm on my own and have my own kids, I tend to make the version with boiled chicken with the rice stirred in for them.

I also refrigerate canned fruit until its icy cold and will eat that when I have a sore throat or the flu.

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  1. Don't remember any particular food, but if we had a fever and were in bed she would pile on the blankets and give us a glass of hot lemonade with vodka and wait for the fever to break. Probably not the best idea, but we never complained--how else is a kid going to get a shot of vodka without getting in trouble!

    3 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Holy Smacks! Vodka laced lemonade! Your nurse had a lot better arsenal to work with than mine did. ;-)

      1. re: escondido123

        Vodka, that's absolutely blasphemous! Growing up, my mother wouldn't let me have hot lemonade with anything but whiskey ;-)

        1. re: caseyjo

          She did love a Gin Martini, so I'm just glad at that age she didn't pour gin instead.

      2. My mom made jello and a beef broth for us when we were sick. White soda to settle our stomach.

        I make white rice , throw in the hamburger with it while cooking. This is what my vet told me to give to my dog when she is sick. I have a Westie and they are notorious for sensitive stomachs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Living4fun

          Hi L4F, I called my mom and asked her the origin of the hamburger & rice dish she fed us when we were sick. Guess what she said?! When the vet prescribed it for our German Shephard after he ate on some plants that had been sprayed with bug powder she thought the bland diet would work the same for us. Go figure. :-)

        2. a very plain chicken rice porridge ("chao ga" in vietnamese). if we had a cough or sore throat, she would slice lemon and ginger very thinly and cook it in honey until soft.

          1. Pretzels (so I'd drink more) and dried apricots (so I'd go to the bathroom more). I kid you not.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chicgail

              My Grandma was a big believer that a large majority of ills could be solved by eating something that would make us poo. I was always a little skeeved out knowing that was her intentions when she would suggest to my mom giving us dried plums or having us take couple gulps of caster oil. She was very old-school in her home remedies.

            2. As stated in a previous post, when I was young and under the weather my mom usually made pastina with butter and cheese.

              Either that or creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Novelli

                +1 on pastina! Not with the cheese though, just lots of butter.

                1. re: mcap

                  Yep, Ronzoni pastina with lots of butter and salt.

                2. re: Novelli

                  My mom would also make the pastina, but I don't really remember the butter. We had it with an egg scrambled in it -- like a straciatella -- and grated Romano cheese.

                3. Definitely ginger ale & crackers...

                  1. My mom always made me huge batches of cherry jello. I was also likely to get malt-o-meal and saltine crackers. If I was sick with a cold, I could usually talk her into making me a grilled cheese sandwich (made white bread and velveeta, naturally) and Campbell's tomato soup.

                    The best days where when I was recuperating from sports injuries, because she'd make me nachos, burritos, pizza, and all sorts of other delicious greasy treats. But if I tried to pull that when I had the cold or flu, I'd get accused of faking.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: caseyjo

                      And, I forgot to mention, that when I'm sick now I help myself to hot toddies (hot tea, whiskey, and lemon) and I order in pho. I have a theory that spicy foods clear the sinuses so I make sure to throw in jalapeños and sriracha.

                    2. Whenever I was sick as a child, my grandma would send out for take-out Chinese wonton soup and white rice. To this day I still crave it if I have a cold or sore throat. And if I'm ever on the phone with her and she hears me cough or sneeze, she tells me "Go call the House of Chang for some soup" (BTW, the House of Chang closed about 15 years ago, and I don't even live anywhere near where it used to be).

                      1. Mom would always make toast with a little butter and white sugar when I was sick. Later in the day, she'd make a batch of chicken soup with carrots and celery (if she had items on hand). If not, she'd make me plain bean burritos.

                        If it was stomach bug, she'd make my dad pick up Ginger Ale or 7-Up from the grocery store.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: gator28

                          My mom also gave me toast with butter and sugar - but she'd then put it in a shallow bowl and pour warm milk over it. We only had this when she was trying to "keep something down".

                          1. re: rainmom

                            yes, milk toast! maybe a bit of cinnamon.

                        2. soft boiled eggs with toast fingers to dip, cheesy mashed potatoes.

                          1. Ginger ale, jello, Campbell's chicken noodle, saltines.

                            1. My mom subscribed to the BRAT diet when we were sick, so all this talk of stuff with butter is making me kinda jealous!! Dry toast for most of the sickness, she'd mash some bananas on it when we were feeling a bit better. Saltines were allowed, too. Flat ginger ale to drink. and yeahhh that's about it.

                              ETA: I forgot to mention applesauce. Plain unsweetened homemade applesauce. Soooo good!! It was my favorite part of being sick, since usually we ate apples raw or in pies/crisps. She would cook the apples with the skins on so the applesauce would be pink. This is making me want to cook some up now...

                              1. Plenty of 7-up or ginger ale to drink if we had an upset stomach. Plenty of bland stuff like toast or saltines, or a baked potato with butter. She'd also give us some mild soup or broth.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: BigLizard8

                                  Potato soup... always potato soup. I made it for both my grandmother and my mother when they were dying.... Just very plain potato soup. Comfort.

                                2. For upset stomachs, once danger of emesis was past, my mother would give me a jelly jar glass of flat coke, and be urged to sip it. Also, Lipton Chicken Noodle soup would be offered, fortified with additional extra-fine Pennsylvania Dutch egg noodles. If I was really lucky, she would make homemade eggnog with REAL eggs! This was long before you heard about eggs being contaminated with salmonella. I miss that eggnog!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Kiyah

                                    Yes. Lipton chicken noodle soup and 7-up.

                                  2. Ginger ale, homade applesauce and lots of it. There's alot of truth in the benefits of a big dump!

                                    1. homemade chicken soup with thin noodles and carrots. it cured everything,

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: magiesmom

                                        Same here with the chicken soup, and sometimes a thick ham and bean soup depending on what was on hand. Worked great and was always a pleasure to slurp down,

                                      2. My mom always made mr Mrs. Grass(??) chicken soup from a box. We loved it!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                          Was Mrs. Grass the one with the egg-shaped buillion cube in it? Now that was some salty goodness.

                                        2. Chicken and stars soup from Campbells. Also, ginger ale, and had to be Canada Dry.

                                          I had to laugh, Munki, the hamburg-n-rice dish was always for our sick dogs (and German Shepherds were mom's favorites). Hamburger was boiled with the rice like Living4fun's family did. Thanks for a giggle! :)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                            Well it worked so I guess my Mom's logic made some sense. Heh. To this day its still my go-to- meal when I'm feeling icky or have an upset stomach.

                                          2. Crumbled fried lean ground beef; rice; broth; Campbell's soup; gingerale or 7-up; mashed bananas, scrambled eggs and toast, hot cereal. It all kind depended on the illness.

                                            1. Chicken and stars soup, egg drop soup and strawberry banana jello.

                                              1. i have made soft boiled eggs with toast crumbled in for my kids, baked potatoes, noodles,butter and cottage cheese.....depending on the ills.

                                                1. Congee, garnished and mixed with the Chinese pork floss and pickled soy-sauce cucumbers. And, if I was really ill, she'd throw in a Thousand Year Old Egg for good measure.

                                                  1. Lipton Chicken Noodle soup packets. The kind with a lot of little noodles. I'd doctor it up with black pepper and Tabasco.

                                                    1. Depending on the malady and invariably it was the same (upset tummy, fever, cold) it was ginger ale and saltines plus chicken noodle soup if it was a cold. For Grandma however it was way worse. You did not get sick on her watch because you got Fernet Branca even if it was a cold and had nothing to do with your stomach. I remember when Spiaggia (Chicago) restaurant first opened in the 1980's and I saw Fernet Branca on the bar menu. I almost walked out. I couldn't believe that a place that *sold* fernet branca could actually offer good food. I hated that stuff probably much like children from an earlier era hated cod liver oil and the like. The only consolation for fernet branca was that Grandma always made tortellini (meat and cheese or spinach and cheese) in brodo as a chaser.

                                                      1. The Lipton chicken noodle soup in the packets with saltine crackers and ginger ale.

                                                        Once I was feeling better I was upgraded to Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable Soup (still a childhood comfort food for me) with cheese toast.

                                                        1. Poorly food always started with Heinz cream of tomato soup (and still does in this household). There'd then be a moving on to sardines on toast when I was feeling a little better.

                                                          1. When I was sick, my mother would make milk toast for me. If I made it to the second day, she poached an egg in milk and served that on toast. seven up for an upset stomach. And sometimes a liquorless Tom and Jerry or hot toddy for a cold. I don't remember any soups, but maybe my memory is just failing? She really wasn't very big on soups.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                              I haven't thought about milk toast in a zillion years! My mother made that too! I think I ate it, though I hated drinking milk as a child-- and still do!

                                                            2. I had numerous bouts with strep throat - so lots of Popsicles.

                                                              For that uncontrollable, exhausting wet cough which has settled in the lungs she would have me slowly sip a mixture of honey, lemon juice and whiskey. Cuts the phlegm, soothes the throat and helps you sleep.

                                                              Upset stomachs treatment started with saltines, hot clear broth or bouillon and ginger ale. As I improved it moved to toast, eggs, noodles in broth and bananas. When the end was in sight it was (my favorite) Campbell's tomato soup made with milk and served with a little butter melting on top and a grilled cheese (American on white bread). Once in a while she would switch it up with Campbell's chicken gumbo soup, especially for a head cold.

                                                              1. My mom sometimes made banana milkshakes for me. It was the same as a regular milkshake (milk + ice cream + Hershey's syrup) but with a banana thrown in. Maybe that's why I like banana smoothies as an adult. :) They are a bit lighter now - milk, peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, and a frozen banana.

                                                                1. A Ginger Ale with a straw!! Still love it to this day....

                                                                  And scrambled eggs with toast....the scrambled eggs were creamy, but cooked (I like my scrambled dry & cooked) - how she did that I don't know. And the toast was crispy on the outside & slathered with butter....delicious!

                                                                  Nowadays when I'm sick I try & get some Tom Yum soup - best thing for you! Even chicken noodle from Wawa will do...

                                                                  1. Our home rule was always that you could have whatever you wanted while you were sick. If you were not yet up to eating, you could plan for what you would have in a few days when you would feel better, and she would go shopping for the ingredients to make it - usually homemade mac & cheese (which she made with cottage cheese - the Greeks did this where they didn't have any feta), a macedonian chicken and tomato rice dish, or homemade chicken noodle soup, complete with homemade noodles. Sometimes if it was last minute we'd just go for whatever variety of canned campbell's soup we had an the ever-present saltines.

                                                                    1. Saltines or buttered toast and milk

                                                                      1. Mom always had a pot of homemade chicken stock on the stove. So I got that with wonton dumplings filled with shrimp, pork, mushrooms & waterchestnuts. Plus I had to finish off a qt. of pineapple-grapefruit or apple juice every 4 hours.

                                                                        1. 'Pobs', buttered white bread cut in to cubes, sprinkled with sugar and then

                                                                          scalded milk poured over it.

                                                                          Me being English , I was surprised to find that the Dutch have this also, and they call it

                                                                          'Pobs', mention 'Pobs' to a Hollander and a silly look will go over their face, (mine also)

                                                                          1. I had terrible cases of strep, including a chronic case that lasted over 8 months until my tonsils were taken out at 17, so lots of sore throat foods. Popsicles, sherbet, Campbell's chicken and stars soup, mashed potatoes.

                                                                            As an adult, my food allergies prevent me from having a lot of things, but because of my asthma, I tend to get a good amount of sore throats from coughing/croup, and I also tend to eat a TON when I'm sick since we have to up my steroid doseages. Current favorites when sick now (priority is quick and easy) are Celeste frozen pizzas, mac and cheese, and cheesy grits.

                                                                            1. Not a damn thing. As an adult, it's my homemade chicken soup with really good toasted sourdough. And trashy TV.

                                                                              1. Homemade chicken and rice soup (some rice, not porridge).

                                                                                1. I remember my mom would usually go for the can of chicken noodle when she was busy. When she had time she would make some yogurt ice pops and cinnamon toast. As I got into my early teens my mom made a miso ginger soup with chunks of chicken, soba noodles and chard.

                                                                                  1. Vernor's [and only Vernor's] Ginger Ale
                                                                                    Soft scrambled eggs
                                                                                    Toast with honey
                                                                                    Mint tea with honey

                                                                                    1. Wow - so many different moms with many of the same ideas. Aren't moms great?

                                                                                      My mom's sick-bed favorites were Ginger Ale & dry toast for upset stomachs, both Lipton's Chicken Noodle & Mrs. Grass's Chicken Noodle (with the little golden "egg" that I always HAD to add to the pot myself - lol!) soups for general colds, & hot tea laced with lemon & a good shot of a commercial alcoholic beverage called "Rock 'n Rye", which was rye whiskey that had a few wooden stirrers of rock candy in the bottle for sore throats (& to put us to sleep - lol!).

                                                                                      Of course, lots of citrus juice & anything that we particularly had a taste for once we started feeling better.

                                                                                      1. I've always made my kids cubed Spam and potatoes, fried up in a pan. That's a special treat for them when they're sick and they swear it's a cure-all. Of course they've been raised eating Spam having a Polynesian mother, so the Spam 'n potatoes is our go-to when they've got the blehs.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Mutch2Do

                                                                                          Spam and potatoes sound great, maybe some onion when not sick?

                                                                                          My mom made egg in the whole she would butter toast and fry it in a skillet. She then cut a hole in it with a biscuit cutter and break an egg in the middle and then fry the egg. Dip the cut hole in the yellow! She also made "milk shakes" with only milk, egg and flavorings; no ice cream.

                                                                                        2. For colds..homemade chicken stew
                                                                                          Upset tummy--- jello and ginger ale
                                                                                          Either way i got to drink coke or sprite...neither of which i could have on a regular basis