Here’s an interesting personal fact: I hate vodka. Strange fact for a full bred Eastern European (or a Commie as my boyfriend’s friends refer to me as), isn’t it? I mean, think about it, I grew up in communist and post-communist Romania where one of the most popular ways to get warmed up during the cold, harsh winters – like 6 months of the year! – was to drink yourself into oblivion. And with the borders closed for the longest time there was no Jameson, Johnnie Walker or Jack Daniel’s. Noe, noe, noe! Even vodka was scarce. So Romanians made their own traditional spirit called tuica (pronounced tzuika) which is really just moonshine on steroids. I remember visiting my grandparents as a child and waking up in the morning all high on the tuica fumes coming from the kitchen! Ahh those were the days of my life, kids! I can still see my grandpa sitting on a little wooden chair watching the kettle boil really slow and drip one little drop at a time into a teeny tiny bottle. And he would have this amaaazing smile on his face!!! He loved making tuica and I miss him terribly:(
Anyways, the point of the story is this: the women of Romania used tuica as a natural remedy for the flu and sore throats and I brought this crazy witchcraft back with me to Southern California! Yup, and my boyfriend got to experience it not once, but twice! What you need to know about my boyfriend is that he does not take medicine. Of any sort! The most he’ll take is vitamin gummy bears. And yes, this is a grown man I’m talking about. So one time he got the flu and was feeling really miserable so I figured I’d do my commie magic and brought out the vodka bottles (have not gone as far as making my tuica yet)! I remembered my grandma rubbing my feet and head with tuica and then putting on woolen socks and a beanie, and tucking me under a few layers of homemade goose blankets, so I told my boyfriend I was going to nurse him to back to health in no time! He rejected the idea of having his head drenched in vodka but agreed to let me do it to his feet.
And then, a few weeks later he woke up with a sore throat and I instantly went into my commie nurse mode. I rapidly sliced a potato and placed the slices on a scarf (I though orange was the most flattering to his skin tone), poured a LOT of vodka on them and wrapped the whole thing around his neck. A photo is worth a thousand words so please enjoy!
PS – They both worked!!!