The Recipe–But Nothing to Do With Cooking

Several years ago, during my annual physical exam, my doctor asked, “Do you drink?” He always asks that.

I like to give doctors accurate information, so I said, “About three glasses of wine a year.”*

He said, “You don’t drink.”

This year when asked I said, “I don’t guess I can drink since I’ve had chemo.”

He said he thought I could get away with a little.

I said I hoped so, because when I have the respiratory miseries, a stuffy head, sore throat, and heavy chest, I take a mixture of bourbon and sugar.

“Does it work?” he said.


Oh, yeah. It’s the only thing that works.

So I asked my oncologist’s assistant if I can have alcohol. She said Yes, and the guidelines say the acceptable amount is fourteen drinks a week.

Mercy, I thought, that’s more than I expected.

I thought about the Recipe today when I woke with a budding case of the miseries but I didn’t act on it. When the miseries increased, I thought of it again and decided to act. But having had nothing to eat today, I was reluctant.

In addition, the thought of eating three inches of sugar was off-putting. I didn’t want it, and I don’t need it, but it’s impossible to send perfectly good sugar down the drain.

So I poured the bourbon over a small bowl of frozen cherries. I didn’t cover them, because that would have been excessive. I didn’t want this post to trail off before I’d said what I have to say.

I thought about setting them on fire but David wasn’t here to extinguish them.

Cherries aren’t as sweet as I’d like, but they aren’t bad. I’m eating slowly, so the only bourbon I’ve had is what has soaked into the fruit. It’s not bad either.

As my good deed for the day, I offer the Recipe. I call it the Recipe it as an homage to the Waltons Baldwin sisters, Miss Emily and Miss Mamie, who made the Recipe, pronounced Recipi.


  1. 1 small mug
  2.  pure cane sugar
  3. bourbon
  4. 1 teaspoon


  1. Spoon or pour three inches or more of sugar into mug. More is better.
  2. Pour bourbon into mug until it’s about 1/4 to 1/2 inch or more above sugar. More is better.
  3. Sip bourbon.
  4. Eat sugar with teaspoon.


Your throat and chest, and possibly your head, will feel better.

If you use more than the Recipe calls for, the rest of you will feel better. If you like bourbon, don’t use sugar. I don’t like bourbon.

If you have a problem with alcohol, don’t take this medicine. So far I don’t have a problem. If I drank enough of it, I would, and that’s the truth, and I know it. That’s why I drink only three glasses of wine a year, if that.

If you have a problem with sugar, don’t take this medicine. I do have a problem. That’s why I’ve switched to cherries.

Many people who have a problem with sugar also have a problem, or are likely to develop a problem, with alcohol, which my ophthalmologist calls a supersugar. I throw in that tidbit as my second good deed for the day.

I don’t know what the white specks on the cherries are, but they’re not sugar.


*That’s a little more than accurate, since some years I don’t drink any, but I also like my doctor to have all the information.

**I wasn’t happy about the prospect of having unmedicated miseries.



Image of sugar from pixabay.

Image of cherries from me.

2 thoughts on “The Recipe–But Nothing to Do With Cooking

  1. First of all, 14 a week seems very generous. Second of all, 3 INCHES of sugar? Third of all, the specks are reflections, I think. I sometimes have tea with Scotch and honey in it. That’s good, too. Fourth of all, I hope you feel MUCH better VERY soon!


    1. Maybe 1/2 inch of sugar, or 1 inch, but I wish it were 2 or 3. It’s a very small mug.

      Teddibly generous. I checked the CDC: “According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. This definition refers to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days. However, the Dietary Guidelines do not recommend that people who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason.” Looks like 14 is for the guys.

      I feel fine. It’s just that pre-respiratory thing–either blossoms or wears off. This one wore off. No thanks to the Recipe–without sugar, it’s not all that tasty. The cherries are now soaking in the refrigerator. If it comes back before bedtime, I’ll treat it.


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