Archive | September 2012

The power of chicken soup

I am currently as sick as a dog. Don’t have a clue where that saying comes from, but I use it when appropriate. My cough hurts, as does my throat. I’m thinking that I’m probably in for a bad weekend. What to do, what to do? Well, chicken soup of course.

Chicken soup. That magical elixir that cures everything from colds to heartbreaks. I never realized how much I relied on the healing power of chicken soup until I looked inside my freezer and saw a container. That’s when I acknowledged that I am never without a container of soup at hand. A lengthy marriage taught me to cook for four people. Now that I live on my own, there are certain recipes that are easily adapted to single serving size, and others that are not. Chicken soup is one that I haven’t been able to adapt. Consequently, I make soup for four people, eat what I need at the moment, and freeze the rest.

This has become an advantage to my daughters, who believe in the healing power of my magic soup. The phone rings. A voice asks for soup. My answer is always, “Come get it”.

My home has become the place to go to on three special days; the day before Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Eve. Chicken soup has become the appetizer for all three dates, especially for those who arrive early (the Latino equivalent of ‘On Time’).

The real magic of my soup was verbalized by my sister on the most tragic day my family has ever experienced. When my sister gave birth to a huge baby boy in 1989, I took a container of chicken soup to her hospital room. She slurped it up in an instant and said “Ahh”. Ten months later, that gorgeous boy was taken from us very suddenly and his Titi went straight into the kitchen to make soup, unconsciously seeking the comfort that making soup afforded her. When I served my sister some soup she said, “Do you realize that the last time I had your soup was when he was born?” I gave her a watery smile and found a corner in which to cry. I had not remembered, but now will never forget.

Whether it is made with fideos or rice, whether it has cubed potatoes or not, it doesn’t matter. As long as it’s made with love it has healing powers and will always bring comfort to the cook and to the recipient.

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