Tag Archives: honey

Home remedy for tickly coughs


The aim of this ‘recipe’ is not to titillate your tastebuds, but to afford you a nights sleep (or a less irritating day :-)) if you’re suffering from a dry, tickly cough.  I discovered this mixture after having tried what seemed like every over-the-counter remedy on sale, as well as numerous prescription medicines. The taste is a bit unusual, so you might have to use a bit of coercion with children. In my experience though, it’s well worth it as it really works better than anything else.

As a rule, coughs should not be suppressed as it’s the body’s way of expelling germs, dust and other irritants. However, if you have one of those irritating dry coughs that just go on and on, then this is definitely worth a try.

Ingredients (one dose)

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (organic if possible)

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)

1/4 glass of boiling water

Drop of cold water to cool mixture if necessary

Melt the honey by adding to boiling water, then add the other ingredients one by one. Mix well and drink.

Honey should not be given to children under the age of one. If your cough lasts over ten days, you have trouble breathing or blood in the sputum you should consult a doctor. This post is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace a trained healthcare provider. 


Fig and honey mousse (for when you’re so over fig jam)

We’re savouring the last of our figs in this delicate, fragrant mousse.  My husband decided that 346 pots of jam was probably jam enough to last until next year ;-). Not a moment too soon if you ask me – I’ve been able to reclaim my kitchen.

Ingredients (serves 8)

1 cup greek yoghurt

3 cups pureed peeled figs

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon of grated ginger (optional)

1 tablespoon rum

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup chilled cream

Combine the yoghurt, figs, lemon zest, ginger, honey and rum and leave to chill.
Whip cream to until stiff and gently fold in with the chilled fig mixture.
Serve immediately for mousse OR spoon into a mold and freeze for frozen mousse.

Duck breast

This is a typical Gascon dish, and one that we enjoy quite frequently.  In the winter it’s lovely served with potatoes fried in duck fat and green beans. In the summer it’s delicious finely sliced and served lukewarm on a green salad with orange slices and mint. It should not be overcooked  – the meat should be pink.  The aim of a good magret de canard is a crisp skin on the outside and liberation of all the fat between the skin and the meat (which is why the fat should be drained off several times).

Everyone benefits from this dish; we eat the meat and the dog eats the fat, which is often slung across the table at him (not by me I hasten to add). Not that he actually sits at the table with us, obviously. It’s funny though how his ‘catch on the fly’ reflexes are spot-on when it comes to catching airborne duck fat, far more so than for catching common or garden morsels.

One last thing. Please remember if asking for this in a restaurant in France that it is ‘magret de canard’ and not, as a friend of my once ordered, ‘magret de connard’; the former is duck breast, the latter roughly translated means ‘breast of arsehole’…

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 duck breasts

rock salt, pepper

1 tablespoon of honey

star anise

Preheat the oven to very hot (220°C). Score the duck breasts on the fatty side using a very sharp knife, cutting in a parallel lines. Generously Season both sides of each breast with the rock salt and pepper and then the honey.  Put the two breasts together, fat side out. Bind with colourless string.  Cook for 15 minutes on one side, remove from oven and drain the fat. Then 15 minutes on the other side, remove and drain. Put back for another 15 minutes or until the skin is golden brown.

Slice into slices of just under a centimetre and serve.