February 23, 2012
School break is well underway—more than halfway through now—but the Hungry Boy is just getting into the swing of things. Poor thing got hit with a (thankfully, pretty mild) stomach bug last Friday evening. He fought a fever and tummy ache for three days—the bug won one of the days, knocking him out completely, but the Hungry Boy came out on top the other two. Even so, he didn’t eat anything the whole time. Nothing. Not even toast. The only thing other than water that he put to his lips was this homemade Lemon Ginger Infusion.
Jenny, the Hungry Sitter, keeps a special ginger tea from Jamaica in the house that the kids have come to love. It’s a powder that mixes into hot water and makes a tea with serious bite, more than the Hungry Boy could handle. At least that’s what I suspected, plus I wanted to make his drink from scratch. With a little cajoling, the Hungry Boy agreed to set the potent ginger powder aside and allowed me to make this simple infusion (can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*.
Start with about 2 cups of water, 2-1″ strips of lemon peel and 1-2″ knob of fresh, peeled ginger cut into 4 pieces. Bring the water to a boil and then reduced the heat to a simmer. I allowed the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes, which left me with 1/2 a cup of a fairly strong infusion. If you do the same and find that it’s too strong, just add more (plain) water. Alternatively, simmer for just 10 minutes.
This is simple business, friends. Just taste as you go—keep simmering for more concentrated flavor and add water if it gets too strong. However long you leave the infusion on the stove, you will end up with a calming concoction that will soothe any savage tummy. Or even a tame one.
*Note: Unless otherwise indicated by a doctor, children under 12 months should not drink any liquid other than breast milk and/or formula in quantity. From 6- to 12-months they may sip water—or simple infusions like these—at meals or when they are sick, hot or otherwise at risk for dehydration.