There are many different types of foodstuffs that are referred to as "medicinal". A nip of brandy, a sherry before dinner, chicken soup - all qualify.
In our family, however, it is - without doubt - the Shepherd's Pie.
Whenever someone has been grievously ill, you know they're feeling better when they will accept some Shepherd's Pie - and you know that it will do them so much good, that they'll be well on the way to recovery thereafter.
Take when I had Shingles. Now Shingles is a horrid thing at the best of times - but on your face (from my chin to the top of my head) is especially nasty. Add to that a secondary infection and you can just begin to imagine how ill I was. Knocking on the door of not being here, in fact. I can well remember lying in bed wishing for Shepherd's Pie. Dreaming about Shepherd's Pie. I eventually asked hubby whether he could make me a Shepherd's Pie and of course he was straight into the kitchen, rattling pots and pans.
That Shepherd's Pie was of life-saving quality. The first forkful, carried weakly to my mouth, was absolutely ambrosial. Every forkful thereafter brought with it a little more nutrition, a little more energy - and ultimately, more life.
I can remember that, from that moment onwards, the slow creep back to normality began.
Shepherd's Pie was on the menu list for tonight - and my goodness, but did hubby do it justice? You bet he did. From the mashed potato that was mashed with double cream, butter, sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to the lamb mixture that included onion, carrot, celery and stock enrichened with a little sweet sherry and tomato puree. He gave it his all.
My only regret was that we had a guest for dinner tonight, so there wasn't any leftovers. Ah well, all the more reason to put another one on the menu list, very soon!