I was never a Girl Scout, but I do like to be prepared. I’m a plan-aheader, a list-maker, a just-in-case kind of person. And when I get sick, I like to be prepared with certain foods. Because let’s face it–a trip to the grocery store in your baggiest sweats, stringiest hair, and clutching a kleenex is just a drag. Now, I am blessed with people in my life who will gladly drop everything and deliver a box of kleenex and a take-out container of phở. But sometimes I am just too miserable and/or contagious. That is why I have long had a stash of sick-day food on hand for those occasions.
The items in the kit are non-perishables, and don’t require much in the way of cooking. Popping a top or peeling off a foil lid are about all a sick person should be required to handle.
I have put together sick-day kits for one or two of my nearest and dearest, instructing them to stash it away in case of dire need. But preferences in sick-day food are often fiercely idiosyncratic, and I suspect that these lines in the sand are drawn early, based on what an individual’s mother served (or didn’t serve) when they were sick as a child. Sprite vs. Seven-Up vs. Ginger ale can be the source of impassioned debate.
Personally, I had enough 7-Up when sick as a child to forever associate the taste with vomit, and thus I go for Ginger Ale (or Sprite in a pinch) as an adult. But the Lipton Noodle Soup (without chicken, please!) that my mother used to make for me with four saltines when I was feeling poorly and serve on a tray all tucked up in her bed watching The Price is Right? Nothing else is ever quite as comforting, whether I have a cold, flu, or stomach bug. Gatorade for real emergencies, applesauce and peaches for day two, plenty of saltines to nibble on, and I can crawl back into bed to sniffle and amuse myself with a pile of magazines, my iPod, and the cat for as long as need be.
What would you put in your personal sick-day kit?