I'm feeling a little bittersweet today. Here I am on the last leg of February with this month's Kulinarya Cooking Club Challenge. Brought to us by Pia from Inato Lang Filipino Cuisine and More, this month's theme is to create a February-Valentine's-Aphrodisiac Filipino recipe. I've known this whole month what I was going to make. Before I left to come to Paris, I scanned a bunch of Filipino recipes from my mom's favorite cookbooks. After browsing through the recipes, I came across Salabat, a Filipino Ginger Brew. It's a seductive infusion of spicy fresh ginger and sweet brown sugar. I've never actually had this drink before, but ginger + brown sugar? Sounds good to me. Ginger is an aphrodisiac, right? I think so.
Now, I'm not one to post a recipe without at least giving a little backdrop to set the scene, but today, I just am not channeling the aphrodisiac vibe.
My Valentine's Day was sweet, and just what I wanted; no fuss, just some quality huggle-time with my man. But for the rest of the month, I've been struggling - pretty unsuccessfully - with some serious winter blues. I won't go into detail, but I'll just say that being born and raised in sunny-all-the-time Florida doesn't prepare you - in any way, shape, or form - for a long, cold, gray winter in Paris. I've been trying to stay afloat by eating more healthily, testing my hand (and mouth) at bright, vitamin C-boosting recipes like my Blood Orange and Green Olive Tartines and Blood Orange, Fennel, & Rouget en Papillote. I think I saw the sun a total of 2 days this month, in which I made a serious effort to soak up as much vitamin D as I possibly could. It didn't help much.
And on top of it all, I've been sick these past three days. I've been able to fly by most of the winter without the catching the inevitable flu, but seems as my luck has caught up with me. So, being sick + winter blues = me going a little cuckoo. Yesterday was the accumulation of it all, and whatever emotions that had been brewing in my brain all winter had finally reached the boiling point and exploded onto Quentin. Sorry, babe... but I think I'm a little bit better now.
The weather forecast for this week shows more suns than clouds, so I'm optimistic. I'm continuing to remedy myself with lots of water, rest, and this little brew that not only soothes my throat, but also lifts my spirits.
... and if you're not sick, this might lift a little more than just your spirit... *wink* *wink*
Salabat (Filipino Ginger Brew)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 cup of water
Using an electric kettle or small saucepan, heat water until boiling. Pour into a mug and add brown sugar. Stir until completely dissolved.
Place the grated ginger inside a tea infuser or tea strainer, and steep in the mug for 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot. Makes one serving.