So...the EF has been felled by her ancient nefarious nemesis...food poisoning.
Once you've clocked a certain number of hours grasping porcelain for dear life, it's important to get right back on the horse and shove some nutrients back into your betrayed body.
It's times like this that we bust out our personalized short lists of Never-Fail Food (one notch more crucial, particular and reliable than mere comfort food).
As I rubbed my wounded, whimpering belly in a guest room in Virginia, one thing kept coming to mind:
Meet the Hawaiian answer to Jewish penicillin: Oxtail soup.
Sadly, most of the oxtail temples of my childhood have shut down since I've swapped to the East Coast, but my last visit home, my BFF Allison clued me in on Asahi Grill, a newer kid on the block with old-school sensibilities and killer oxtail soup.
There are no frills involved; just tender, bone-in hunks of long-cooked oxtail suspended in consomme-clear broth scented with star anise, cilantro, peanuts and ginger. No matter where you order this is Hawaii, you'll always get 2 scoops of rice and a little bowl of grated ginger to go with it.
Ironically, it's been an exact calendar year since I was sitting at Asahi Grill with my family, coating my insides with collagen-rich broth. As I slurp down conciliatory Campbell's, I concede that this may be a sign from mischievous deities that I should visit the motherland more often.
Or at the very least, call Allison more. Alli, I MISS YOU, I LUV YOU...SEND SOUP!