About the broth, which gives strength

Helia Delerins. “About the broth, which gives strength.” Magazine “Ogoniok”, 05/18/2015.

They say that the broth is penicillin and what exactly it is given for recovery. In Oliver Twist, the poor tramp was sealed with broth after typhoid fever, drop by drop pouring life into him. In France, there is a “health broth”, and it is also given to recover. All this is an emotional ingredient in our food. But it has recently been discovered that there are indeed remedies in the broth, and these are not just grandma’s stories.

American doctor, Stephen Rennard, a professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska, have regularly listened to the talk about “penicillin in broth” from his wife’s grandmother. By the way, she came from Lithuania and as soon as her granddaughter or great-grandsons had a runny nose, she immediately went to the market for chicken. Dr. Rennard first laughed, then wondered, and then began to do laboratory tests. He cooked the broth strictly following grandmother’s recipe, and fed it to the volunteers who suffered from runny nose and a bad cold. And, so it turned out, that Grandma was right about her family recipes. In 2000, Dr. Rennard published an article in a scientific journal, according to which chicken broth helps neutrophils – one of the most common species of white blood cells – to fight bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. And especially diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Even before that, scientists experimented with broth at a University in Miami. They asked 15 patients to drink cold water, another 15 to drink warm water and another 15 to drink chicken broth. Then, they’ve tested the air throughput of their nasopharynx. It turned out that any hot liquid forced the mucous membrane of the nose to be more active, but at the same time, the broth also drove thin cilia on the surface of the mucous membrane, and they also protected the body from the bacteria entering through the nose. These discoveries did not lead to any breakthroughs in medicine, however, they finally established faith in the broth of those who already believed in it.

Dr. Rennard couldn’t figure out which ingredient was so effective at fighting viruses and bacteria. His family broth contained chicken, onions, potatoes, parsnip, turnip, carrots, celery stalks, parsley, salt and pepper. The recipe is published on the University’s website, and even for the particularly inquisitive, there is a video showing a doctor’s mother-in-law preparing the broth.

I was one of those particularly inquisitive individuals. The five-minute film features an ordinary American house, walkers on the wall, a garden outside a window, a pot of chicken and a lot of vegetables. It looked almost identical to the broth I made myself. My daughter wasn’t supposed to eat for five days after a serious operation. And she had a very compassionate little brother, who was surprised: how can someone not feel the taste of food for five days and feed through a tube? He even began to fantasize: is it possible, for example, to arrange this meal through a tube in such a way that at the same time to receive through it tastes? “For example, doctors come to the ward before New Year’s and say, ‘Today we have a bullet with truffles!'” – he fantasised. And, as always, by the mouth of the baby, the truth was pronounced, and in it – the main secret of the broth, which no laboratory has not dug up.

Imagine a man who has not eaten or even felt the taste of water for five days. His senses are exacerbated to the limit, his taste buds want not entertainment, and talk about the main thing. “Bring her some broth,” the doctors finally said. “Yes, the broth!” – her daughter was happy. Although I could, for example, ask for caviar, and I would, of course, bring it, because she almost died, and we are all ready for their children for any expense. But no, she asked for broth. Because it’s the center of the main thing, the return to the main thing. Life, I guess.

The broth contains the vitality of many celestial creatures. Vegetables led by carrots will dissolve their minerals and vitamins in it. Chicken also gives all the juices, fattened on grass for her short life. Keep in mind that if you buy chicken grown on artificial food with antibiotics, they too are likely to be in the soup. But the natural chicken will turn out to be the same magical drink, which is called the “broth of health”.

I learned a few more lessons on making broth from the cooks I know. Someone puts some sheets of nori algae in the water. Others pour in a spoonful of cognac, and I immediately remembered how at the dawn of my adult life I was taught to add a tablespoon of vodka to the broth. The cooks explain that it concentrates the taste of the broth. And the taste after an illness is just as important as the medicine. It’s not for nothing that they say, “there’s a taste for life.”

You all know about further cooking. Chicken should be put in cold water with vegetables. This will allow you, among other things, to use part of the broth to make a grated vegetable soup. Fresh pepper peas and thyme are my own “secrets.” The more aromatic the broth, the closer it brings us to our bright, first memories. Gradually dumplings will be born in this primitive broth, and culinary Linnaeus will begin to describe all kinds and varieties of broths. And we’ll just take off the foam, make sure the fire is not too big and the broth is not boiling, strain it and get the precious gold liquid. Drop by drop, we’ll give it to the recovering man. Dr. Rennard was wrong about one thing though. There’s one ingredient in the broth that you can’t find in the tube and pass on to the body. You can call it placebo, you can call it energy, someone will call it the love for life.

Healthy Broth:

  • Chicken – 1.5 kg
  • Onions – 3 pcs.
  • Carrots – 5 pcs.
  • Turnips – 3 pcs.
  • Pasternak – 2 pcs.
  • Leg – 2 stems (with greenery).
  • Petrushka – 1 bundle
  • Salt, pepper peas, thyme.
  • Nori Algae – 3 leaves.
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