FROM THE HIP: Soup? Pass the crackers!

- In 1993, a pair of motivational speakers were asked to publish their stories used in front of audiences. Their book was universally turned down by many publishing firms before it finally went to print. To date "Chicken Soup for The Soul" has sold over 11 million copies worldwide! Plus, in the years since the "Chicken Soup" line of books has spawned countless sequels. 

Some studies, although disputed, have shown chicken noodle soup actually does have many healthy benefits from proteins that lead to healthy hair (among other things) to micronutrients that lead to better thyroid and gland function. My friends of the Jewish faith will tell you their moms already knew this. For decades their families have referred to a bowl of chicken soup as "Jewish Penicillin."  Luckily, the tradition crossed cultural lines years ago, so all of us have benefited from the motherly wisdom and a warm bowl of soup when we need it most. Those who want can question the findings, go ahead. I just know it makes me feel good.

The power of soup. The other day a friend of mine called around lunch time with his usual, "What ya doin'?"  I said, "Why?"  And he said, "'Cause I'm at this deli having a bowl of chicken noodle soup." I wanted to jump in my car and drive to meet him! He knows that's my favorite! OK, I also like just about any other kind of soup.  Chicken wild rice, vegetable beef, clam chowder, minestrone, tomato (with a grilled cheese sandwich), beer cheese, lobster bisque, you name it.  Although every time I order lobster bisque I think of "Seinfeld" and the "Soup Nazi" - "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" :-) It's safe to say I'm super crazy about soup!

But not all soup. Before his untimely assassination in 1881, our 20th President James Garfield relied on his security staff to shoot small animals on the White House Lawn. They became the main ingredient in his favorite meal, squirrel soup. No thanks!

Another observation? Have you ever noticed how chicken noodle soup can taste so different depending on where you get it? Not the canned stuff, although I like that too. I'm talking about homemade varieties at delis or restaurants or even someone's house. No two seem to have the same ingredients or taste, but they're all called the same thing. I guess that puts them even with chocolate chip cookies, potato salad, cole slaw, Bloody Mary's and many more. Each item shares a name, but most often none taste the same! 

One of the things my wife did when I was first laid up with a broken hip was make a whole bunch of chicken noodle soup. Then she put generous servings in containers in our freezer.  So now all I have to do is grab a container, pop it in the microwave and 'voila'!

It might say "chicken noodle" on that container, but right now it definitely has my name on it!

Now where did she put those crackers?
 

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