I'm half-conscious and alone in an Atlanta hotel room, and I've been banned from coming into the CNN.com office and passing this crud onto anyone else. It's the flu, I think - headache, dry cough, aches and a throbbing headache. I've been holed up here for a couple of days, swilling the orange juice and TheraFlu I stumbled out into the street to buy, biding time until my flight back to New York tonight.
It's utterly miserable being sick away from home – not just because loved ones and comfy clothes are far away, but also because it's just so hard to get the right food to eat. At home, there's chicken soup and toast and tea, edible in bed or on the couch with a friendly dog and hot and cold running episodes of Law & Order. In the center of a strange city, such comforts seem as rarefied and precious as a truffle-studded tasting menu at a multi-Michelin-starred restaurant. And frankly, I don't even think I could choke that down right now.
After the “office funk” attacked for the third time this fall, I decided to take action. I needed to find an antioxidant powerhouse with the strength to fight off any and all germs and allergies. The usual suspects just weren’t cutting it and I needed a new weapon.
Pray that I never serve you my chicken soup.
It's not that I make bad chicken soup – on the contrary. I craft mine with love, care, a whole roasted chicken, homemade stock, fresh herbs and meticulously prepared, in-season vegetables. It is, by all accounts, pretty spectacular and soothing stuff.
It's good for what ails you - and that's the problem. If I'm making this soup for you, things are not going well in your world, and it's the only way I can think to help. I'm not a physician, therapist, social worker, lawyer or member of the clergy. I can, however, feed you right now and leave a batch of it the freezer so later, when I'm not around you can serve yourself a good, solid, home-cooked meal without having to think too much about it.