It looks like winter has set in. The temperature has dropped down to single figure in some areas and with the threat of swine flu, we can never tell what is going to happen. It is difficult because the sympton of this new virus is similar to ordinary flu but it is sometimes fatal as there are many deaths already recorded in Mexico where it originated. People should take all the necessary precuations as we all know that winter is a season when many get flu. It is very necessary to get a shot of flu vaccine as early as possible.


This is the time when it gets warmer during the day and then the temperature drops during the night especially during the early morning. I always have an extra blanket near me when I go to bed. I just pull the blanket over me when I feel cold. Avoid crowded places as authorities said the virus is probably transmitted through human contacts. Eat proper food and take plenty of fluid.


There are foods that can help the body to keep warm. Coffee and tea are popular drinks in winter. There are so many kinds of tea that can be bought in the supermarkets. Fresh ginger tea is my favourite during winter. It is called salabat in the Tagalog region of the Philippines. It is easy to prepare. Cut crosswise, peeled and washed 2 inches length of the rhizome (ginger root). Put it in a pot or kettle with 2 litres of water and boil for around 5 to 6 minutes. You can add a bit of sugar or honey depending on your taste. It can be refrigerated for few days. Escabeche is a fish dish with ginger as an important ingredient.


4 pieces of fish cutlets or whole (of your choice)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup seasoned flour
1/4 cup olive oil
Ginger sauce:
1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornflour blended with 1 tablespoon of water

1. Sprinkle fish with lemon juice and coat with seasoned flour.
2. Heat olive oil in a frypan and fry fish for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until done.
3. Place cooked fish on a platter and keep them warm.
4. Fry ginger and onion in the remaining fat for about 2 minutes.
5. Add vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and blended cornflour.
6. Bring mixture to a boiling point with constant stirring.
7. Add fried fish to the mixture and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve hot.


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