My Go-To Voice-loss Brew

I have long been recommending this brew to my friends, having first discovered it in my second year of acting training. I think that the recipe I began with, came from both my voice teacher and another actor friend, but I have since developed it to suit my taste and needs.

During my second year I lost my voice whilst playing Queen Margaret in Richard III, a gift of a role, and one that required a lot of vocal energy. This was the ‘Bridge Project’, our final performance of the year, before we started the round of public performances and trying to secure an agent. An important performance – Margaret is a deeply wounded and bitter woman, who has a lot of angry ranting to do – so needless to say, losing my voice was not ideal.

However, between resting my voice as much as possible, low, gentle humming to protect and warm my vocal chords, plenty of water and drinking this concoction throughout the day, my voice returned to almost full strength for the duration of the performances.

There is no substitute for taking care of your vocal health, through drinking lots of water, and having a good warm-up/warm down practice whenever you are using your voice for more than simply day to day conversation. When ill, resting your voice and drinking plenty of water becomes even more vital, something we as a culture can be quick to ignore. As a supplementary measure however, this drink is a brilliant medicine. Packed full of antioxidants, the natural antibiotic of garlic, the antiseptic of honey, and clove which offers a very mild analgesic quality – this is a totally natural way to boost your body’s recovery. I swear by it, whipping up a batch to drink, any time I find my voice beginning to go, or when I have a cold which is moving towards my throat and chest.

Not dis-similar to a hot and sour broth or a ‘Bel Canto Tea’, this is definitely an acquired taste, but I have grown used to it, as has my husband who actually enjoys the flavour now, and I find it does the trick. So, should you wish to try it, here is the recipe.
Cassie’s Voice-loss Brew

Ingredients

  • 1 and a half lemons
  • Rosehip Tea bag
    (You can also use green tea, but as this is caffeinated, it is better to go for a non-caff option,)
  • Roughly an inch and a half Root Ginger
  • 1 large clove of garlic (you can use two if you can stomach it, but it does somewhat dominate the flavour)
  • A twist of Salt and Black Pepper
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Optional for flavour – Star Anise, 1-2 cloves, fresh thyme or rosemary sprigs. Pick which of these you want to add.

Method

  1. Peel and slice the ginger, and slice the garlic finely.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with cold water, and add the rosehip teabag, the ginger, cinnamon stick, garlic, salt and pepper, and if using – the star anise and cloves, rosemary or thyme.
  3. Squeeze the juice of all the lemons into the pan, and also throw two halves of the husks in too.
  4. Bring to the boil and then allow to cool until drinkable.
  5. Remove the lemon husks and discard.
  6. Take a mugful and add a tablespoon of honey to balance the flavour, more if required, and drink throughout the day as you have need.

The batch will last for a couple of days, if you keep it covered, and you can take a mugful at a time and re-heat in the microwave or on the hob.

I have had good feedback on it’s efficacy from many friends, but as I say, it’s an acquired taste, and I would advise not breathing on anyone immediately after drinking – lol.
I hope that it helps you.

Happy Brewing!

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Racing cars and quality timeĀ 

Today Eldest and Husbandman have gone to see the racing at Silverstone. This is because eldest went through a particular streak over the summer of watching Cars and Turbo (big, brilliant animated movies about racing – a car and a snail, respectively), and kept talking about how she intended to go on a trip to Indianapolis US, with a whole bunch of people she kept inviting, in order to watch and participate in the racing.
She is imaginative, generous and immensely determined, so although we tried to help her understand that Indianapolis was too far away and way over any budget for the time being, she wasn’t prepared to let it go. 

Around this time, as God would have it, he brought Husbandman into contact with a parent of one of the lads he used to have in his youth group, and who along with her family,  races cars. At Silverstone. Among other places. This lovely woman, heard about Eldest’s interest in racing and promptly offered to help, blessing them with a gifted ticket for the next event they were racing at. 

And today is the day.

Eldest went through a bit of an unsure moment, saying she didn’t want to go, but as the day got closer, the prospect of exciting, quality daddy/daughter time became a big draw. She went to bed earlier last night, aware that she was tired and had a big day ahead, and this morning she was zipping about the place pretending to be a racing car and hurrying Husbandman along, impatient to get going. It was gorgeous! 

Today will be loud and tiring for her, but she is with her daddy, and experiencing something new, without her younger siblings in tow, and I have no doubt that she will return buzzing and expanded in mind and imagination. And she will have had her love tank filled by the one to one attention. 

That is what Husbandman and I  want for our children. The excitement and delight of discovering more of the world, the freedom to go at their own pace in order to do it, and a curiosity about life and people. We don’t want anything to cause them them to lose this- Because surely that is where we begin to die. 

For us, the home Ed journey allows us that flexibility, and whilst many parents of school children are equally putting themselves out to provide the same, we are grateful for the gentle pace, and ability to go ‘off timetable’ as little or as often as we need. This week we spent two lunchtime/early afternoons in the woods, messing about outside and exploring, enjoying the last of the good weather. It was wonderful. 

Eldest, however, is currently in need of a few more opportunities to expand and explore, and days like today are a wonderful addition to the mix. Apparently she’s having a great time so far- hanging out with her racing posse.  

Meanwhile, I am at home with the younger two, pootling and getting on with housework whilst they play and direct much of their own time. And I have the freedom to join in and play with them too. We may go to the park, or build Lego or have whole conversations with Anna and Elsa – or we may just cuddle and read stories. As I write this, I can hear singing… 

Whatever happens, I am so blessed by my life and my family. God is indeed very good. 

In the crucible

My frustration reaches fever pitch,
I’m stuck in a rut, nowhere to turn
doors shut in my face,
I’m out of the race
can’t chase my way back in.

Nothing gets started.
Like and engine in the cold
that gave up the ghost
when the spark didn’t catch.

Yet there is plenty inside me,
bubbling away.

The lid is on the pot, but I’m still hot,
gathering heat,
as my core is refined, purity revealed,
I simmer until the time is right, the secret place unsealed.

There is more. SO MUCH MORE –
as my heart lets out the roar of vision and excitement –
THERE IS MORE!

Like a Tardis on the inside,
are my dreams, and deepest longings –
bigger than could be guessed at from without,

Yet my heart is being challenged
to remain, to be at peace,
to trust that things are happening –
that the cogs are being greased

So that when the moment comes
and this lid is lifted free,
what explodes out from my inner world
will be smooth and clear to see.

In this process of refining
He is burning off the dross,
and His faithfulness is evident,
this time is not my loss,

My path will have been levelled,
from the treacherous terrain,
and my progress won’t be hampered by
my brokenness and pain,

And He’ll use me for His glory,
so that many will acclaim
the tenderness of His love,
The greatness of His name.

As we walk this great adventure
and my dreams become reality,
the TRUTH of Him shall set men free
as His love resounds in me.

But, until I can be trusted
not to claim His glory as my own,
I’ll walk out my daily tasks
allowing grace to fill my home,
and these passions held within my heart
continue gaining strength –

for the One who made them
LOVES ME,
made me,
And at the right time –

will release me.