The Magic & Science of Chicken Soup by Mary Feliz

Years ago, when my family was fighting a “never say die” respiratory issue, I talked to a bunch of my friends about what ingredients their cultures’ “Magic Chicken Soup” contained. I came up with this list of ingredients for a sure-to-cure chicken soup:

Indian & Persian: Tumeric and Saffron (both are anti-inflammatories and make the soup a pretty golden color with a delicate bouquet)

Irish: “The Trinity” celery, onions, carrots

Greek: Lemon juice

Vietnamese, Korean, and other Asian Cultures: Fresh Ground Ginger and Garlic

Jewish: Dill and Matzah balls or noodles (other cultures add rice)

Mexican: Cilantro and rice, sometimes corn, various peppers to taste

Almost everywhere: Garlic (4,000 years of folklore says it also keeps away vampires. And who wants to deal with a vampire when they have a cold?)

This international soup, adapted for my family, has all the spices but none of the carbs. Cooking it up keeps a worried mom from fussing and hovering. The smell alone is said to be comforting.

Some like it very spicy, others like it without any pepper at all. But everyone asserts they feel much better for having slurped it. Serve it in mugs to prevent spills by those confined to bed or sofa and to maximize the benefits achieved by inhaling the steam.

Whose to argue with generations of the world’s mamas and grandmamas, especially when science and medicine back them up:

With all that wisdom behind it, it only makes sense to whip up a big batch today and keep it on hand for friends, family, and yourself.


Professional organizer Maggie McDonald has a knack for cleaning up other people’s messes. So when the fiancée of her latest client turns up dead, it’s up to her to sort through the untidy list of suspects and identify the real killer.

Maggie McDonald is hoping to raise the profile of her new Orchard View organizing business via her first high-profile client. Professor Lincoln Sinclair may be up for a Nobel Prize, but he’s hopeless when it comes to organizing anything other than his thoughts. For an academic, he’s also amassed more than his share of enemies. When Sinclair’s fiancée is found dead on the floor of his home laboratory—electrocuted in a puddle of water—Maggie takes on the added task of finding the woman’s murderer. To do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list—Kill Maggie McDonald.