My mother was a strong willed woman who had little to no tolerance for sickness in her house. With four children to raise pretty much on her own because my father was away from home so much, she always seemed to approach sickness with one of two approaches…




Unless there was some evidence of a fever or body parts falling off, Mother presumed one was healthy enough to carry on. Sniffles, coughing, or a slightly scratchy throat would be ignored and the child in question would be bundled up and sent off to school with the usual determination. A good education rated high on my mother’s list of life’s accomplishments, and the barometer of the day if one didn’t have a fever was, “Can you make it through school?” If I hadn’t contracted the plague, I knew my butt would be sent to school whether I wanted to stay home that particular day or not.




I was by no means a sickly child growing up, but there was one thing I could always count on during the fall and winter months. At least 4-5 times a year I would develop tonsillitis or strep throat.  The doctor told my mother I needed my tonsils removed, but with our family being so poor, she knew there was never any chance of that happening. She barely had the money for antibiotics so when they were purchased, I was never given the full dose…just enough to make me feel better because the rest would be saved for the next round the next month to help stretch the money.

There were three things I could always count on if I truly got sick. An alcohol rub down to help break the fever. Tepid, strong tea with little sugar. And poached eggs on dry toast. While I hated the constant battle with tonsillitis and strep throat, I hated even more my mother’s “home remedies” for trying  to cure what ailed me.

To this day, I like my toast heavily buttered, my eggs fried, with my weak tea boiling hot and sweet! Don’t even think about trying to serve me one of Mother’s “killer cures” the next time I get sick…



2 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Killer Cures

  • The one ‘cure’ I remember liking was what I call ‘onion tea’. It was Mother’s decongestant. She sliced an onion thinly into her gravy boat. Then added sugar and a little warm water. She let it sit on the counter in the kitchen overnight. In the morning, she would give each congested child a spoonful of the liquid. It tasted good–sweet and lightly oniony. We lived, so I will assume it worked.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.