This weekend, being cursed with a seasonal flu bug, I called my daughter in search of sympathy. I explained my symptoms.
“Sounds like you have the 24-48 hour flu,” she said. “You need to do three things,” she advised quickly. “Hydrate. Drink plenty of water.”
“I’m doing my best,” I said feebly.
“And, sleep. Put your body into warm clothes, pull up the covers, and rest.”
“But it’s daytime,” I argued.
“No matter, just take to your bed and don’t try to do anything more for the time being.”
Frankly, that didn’t sound like a bad idea. “Is there anything else ‘doctor,'” I said with a hint of sarcasm, so she’d know I was still myself.
The Chicken Soup Remedy
“Yes. Chicken soup. Defrost that broth we made from the turkey bones at Thanksgiving. It’ll be perfect.”
I hung up the phone and returned to my misery. I knew all that she had told me, but it was good hearing it from a loved one concerned with my well being. Before thawing the broth, I took a look at a can of Campbell’s Chicken and Wild Rice, sitting in the back of the cabinet. I noticed it had MSG (though the word was written out to confuse those who skip reading ingredients with polysyllabic spellings.)
I put the can back in the cabinet and began thawing the miracle broth. I even crunched a few crackers in the bowl. Ahhh. . . the soothing relief. What is it about chicken soup that has this medicinal effect? Is it the soft fumes reaching into the bronchial tubes? Or the warm aroma that reminds us of a parent’s comfort during a childhood illness? Is it the air of wellness brewed from earthy vegetables and poultry?
Whatever, it works. Or, at least, it makes the time pass more tolerably during the flu season.