“Worries go down better with soup”

Today is windy and cold. The heat even went on this morning but it shut off once the house got warm. My street, usually quiet during the day, is aflutter with workers and noise. The roofers are still across the street and another truck is down the end of the street working on something in another neighbor’s house.

I think I’m on the road to recovery, but I’m exhausted. I still have that deep voice suited for those obscene phone calls and I still have a cough. I love my afternoon naps.

When I was a kid, we used to buy Smith Brothers wild cherry cough drops. I loved them because they tasted more like candy than medicine. It was easy to finish a box eating one right after the other. I liked the bearded Smith Brothers on the package. They looked so serious and stern befitting men who made medicine. Mark’s beard was better than his brother’s.

Cough medicine always tasted awful. My mother would come in with the bottle and the spoon, and I’d cringe knowing what was coming. The cough medicine was always thick, and if I had known the word vile back then, I’d have used it. I opened my mouth reluctantly knowing I really had no choice. My mother was relentless.

My mother had her sayings and warnings for winter, her truisms. Starve a cold, feed a fever was one of them. She believed in the medicinal power of soup be it chicken or tomato and that’s mostly what we ate when we were sick. I always believed it worked. I felt warm inside and out, and it was never too much to have to eat. We had the bundle up or you’ll catch cold admonition if we dared go without a hat because as every mother knew most of your body head escaped through your head. We would never go outside in the winter with wet hair because we were bound to catch a cold. I used to think wet hair attracted cold germs.

When I was a kid I never doubted my mother and her medical knowledge. I know better now about hats and wet hair, but my mother was right on about soup. Yesterday I had chicken noodle and saltines. I could have been ten again.

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20 Comments on ““Worries go down better with soup””

  1. greg washington Says:

    my mom’s fav saying to a sick child was”stay away from me. i don’t want to catch it”. my nursing skills are somewhat better than hers.
    glad you are feeling better!

    • katry Says:

      greg,
      My mother was always in the fray and seldom got sick. I always figured there was a protective mother’s gene.

      We all took turns taking care of her the year before she died. We did a week at a time. It was the very least we could do for her, great mother.

  2. Hedley Says:

    “I still have that deep voice suited for those obscene phone calls ”

    Cool, call up im6 and tell him its Mike Love.

  3. sprite Says:

    Interestingly, science has backed up the wear a hat in winter theory of staying healthy — wet hair is fine, as long as your head is warm.

    • katry Says:

      sprite,
      I thought that had been debunked because not that much heat is lose. My mother would love being vindicated!

      I can’t see your head being warm if your hair is wet.

  4. Birgit Says:

    Chicken soup means we shouldn’t complain that they feed the poor birds lots of antibiotics 😉
    Tomatoes were not among our miracle drugs for cold as far as I remember, just later for men to keep the prostate healthy. Open windows were necessary to cure a cold, lots of cold fresh air for sick kids. Well, fresh was relative when I consider the air pollution we’ve had. We survived 🙂
    I’m glad to read that you’re feeling better now. Take care, or as we say: don’t rip out trees!
    Library luck today, I’ve got Dylan’s Another Self Portrait and his Sinatra schmaltz CD. I wonder whether I will like it.

    • olof1 Says:

      So You had open windows too! I guess my grandmother was right about that then 🙂

      It isn’t allowed to put any antibiotics in the animal food here (or in the animal in any other way unless it actually is very sick) so chicken soup wouldn’t help here 🙂 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      The soup was wonderful with thick chucks of chicken, wide noodles and cut up veggies. The tomato soup was also wonderful. It helped my spirit as it was so delicious.

      My cleaning couple came yesterday and she opened the windows to give the house clean air but closed them when it got cold. The house felt nice and fresh for a while.

      That’s interesting: don’t rip out trees!

      Let me know about the Sinatra!

  5. olof1 Says:

    Yes why did the coigh medicine always taste so bad 🙂 Today we can get any yummy taste but I’m not sure if they are better or not. At least they taste better. I usually buy one that taste like cherries 🙂

    We always had eucalyptus throat pastilles when we got a cold. The pastilles were tiny but after a few one couldn’t feel anything in the mouth or throat 🙂 Or we could have something called The Danish King’s throat pastilles. I’m not sure they worked at all but they did taste delicious 🙂 I think those still can be bought but I haven’t seen the eucalyptus ones in a long while.

    We always followed my grandmother’s advice, stay in bed beneath the blanket and open all windows. According to her thye cold would leave sooner and I actually think it did. Today I more think of the cost of reheating the house again than getting rid of the cold 🙂

    I’m glad that You’re on the way back to health!

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Caryn Says:

      Christer, the cough medicine tasted bad for two reasons. Firstly, every mother knows that if it tasted bad, it worked better. Secondly, it tasted bad so little kids wouldn’t be knocking back the whole bottle at one go. Back in those days the stuff contained more alcohol than the adult beverages.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      My cough medicine now tastes good, and I do think it’s wild cherry. That stuff my mother fed me was terrible.

      We just had cough drops. The Smith Brothers had those great wild cherry ones and also black licorice. I don’t like black licorice except in black jelly beans.

      I can’t think of being in a cold house as healthy. Staying warm in bed is my favorite spot when I’m sick windows closed.

      Enjoy your evening!!!

  6. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I never thought about it before but you’re right. Mark’s beard was better than his brother’s. 🙂 I loved those cough drops. I ate them even when I didn’t have a cough. Luden’s were good, too.

    My mother had all those sayings, too. I ignored them. I hate to think of all the cold mornings I went off to work with a wet head because it took too long to dry my hair. It never made me sick but it probably wasn’t very good for my hair.

    Today is cold, sunny and windy. The walnuts continue to rain down and there are many more still to fall. I should put up a warning sign. Watch Out For Falling Nuts. Even the spawns aren’t hanging around on the ground. Too risky. Even walking is risky. They act like big ball bearings under foot.

    Glad you are on the upswing. Keep ingesting soup. It’s good for what ails you, as my mother always said.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I forgot all about Luden’s. You’re right. They were good too. It was always funny to me that Trade and Mark seemed their names on the box.

      I never took morning showers just because I wanted to sleep longer and I couldn’t if I had to dry my hair. I was always an early evening shower person. In Ghana it was so I’d go to bed wet and feel a bit cool while drying in the air.

      Gracie would be barking at the falling nuts. I figure the cats would just ignore the noise.

      My mother always said good for what ails you too.

      Have a great evening!

  7. Bob Says:

    Earlier I posted my friend the ophthalmologist’s advice to me many years ago about home made chicken soup actually containing the correct vitamins and electrolytes to fight a cold or the flu. Too bad Campbell’s only feels good.

    The Luden’s tasted better, more like candy, than the Smith Brothers. Both had purely a placebo effect on coughs.

    Back in the 1970s my cheap father discovered that he could buy the active ingredient in cough medicine, Dextromethorphan (DXM), over the counter at a much lower price than the branded cough medicine. I took a bottle to work while I taught an all day class and was taking a swig every 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about the class because the stuff was 150 proof. I was told I was entertaining and I didn’t caugh much. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      The one I just ate was homemade soup, and it was delicious. I hope it did some good as your friend suggested.

      I knew the Smith’s didn’t help much, but they tasted great.

      That’s a funny story.


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