My East Frisian grandmother, Anna, was proud of what she called “witchcraft.” Others went to the doctor – made soup or tea. It happened very quietly, almost without a word. Sometimes she hummed to him. To me, their sounds were unintelligible spells or curses.
She talked to herbs and vegetables. “You are a good carrot. Get well soon Klaus-Peter.”
In most cases it helped.
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As a child, I learned to believe in the healing power of chicken soup. Later, a friend who was quite scientifically minded told me, “Chicken soup helps because there are so many antibiotics in chicken that they kill all the bacteria.”
I did not like this idea very much. Meanwhile, I ate my first meatless chicken soup. So it tasted a bit like chicken soup, but it was a designer vegan product.
My grandmother Anna would never use packet soups. It was difficult for her to buy herbs instead of picking them. I also knew each chicken personally.
When my wife and I contracted the virus that had been bothering us all for so long, we immediately went into quarantine.
I had to think a lot about my grandmother Anna, because friends and neighbors immediately cooked us chicken soup. There was a pot in front of the door almost every day. Most of the noble donors had already fled before I could open the door, but the still-hot soup gave off their scents.
There are many ways to make chicken soup. Not only with chicken and without. It always had a lot of vegetables. Sometimes pasta or rice. With coconut milk, lemongrass, coriander and chili pepper. Or with lots of ginger. Thick eyes should float on a “true East Frisian”. Bay leaf contains nutmeg and pepper.
I usually felt better after enjoying it, as did Bettina.
Yes, soups helped everyone. But now I don’t think it’s the chicken, and it’s definitely not the antibiotics, because a lot of the chickens come from organic farms.
I think something else helped us: the feeling that someone was thinking about us with love, was worried and wanted to do us good.
Today I wonder how many times I’ve recovered just to do Grandma Anna a favor and not disappoint her.
I wanted her spell to work. My healing pleased her and, of course, me too.
When the doctor prescribed me terrible-tasting medicine, I absolutely did not want to get better. I was in the first class and did not regret his triumph. On the other hand, I was happy to serve my grandmother.