Goutch! Fish Tales


Gout: it hurts. A lot! That darn oxalic acid, it makes me moderate the goosefoot family and sometimes avoid fat-hen (lamb’s quarters), Swiss chard, regular spinach and my beloved sorrel. Even peanuts, as tasty and healthy as they are, may contribute to this suffering pain. Sugary foods, including fruit, should not be consumed in excess, especially if you tend to feel cold or have low energy. Help!

Nettles are a known external treatment, but I never tried it. Essential oils—basil, rosemary, mace—taken regularly in small amounts are good for prevention. Tomatoes, cooked without seeds and skin, help regulate acids in the body. The Romans used blackberries as a treatment. Celery and cherries are the most chemically tainted, so organic only! Dandelions, with their roots and leaves, are not just for looking—they are tasty, too. I used to think asparagus was bad, but it’s good: an amazing vegetable. Capers and chicory make for a healing salad. Fenugreek greens are good, but don’t over-toast the seeds, as they’ll get bitter. Figs are great, though the sugars are amplified when dried. Kombucha! Especially if you make your own and know your yeast.

Cherry Bounce, Makes 2 quarts

8 cups fresh sweet or sour cherries, with pits

2 cups vodka, port, cognac, brandy or rum

Discard stems, wash and dry fruit and pack into two glass quart jars. Add 1 cup of sugar to each jar and top with your liquor of choice. Stir, cover tightly and refrigerate or set in a cool cellar. Over the next few days, stir a few times, until sugar dissolves. (Allspice, clove or a stick of cinnamon can be added to each jar if desired.) Let the cherry bounce age six to eight weeks, then strain. Enjoy the cherries as you will and drink a daily jigger to ease the “goutch.” 

With help from Rebecca Woods’s “Whole Foods Encyclopedia.” Oh yeah—I forgot to say that overconsumption of alcohol is not good!