It’s no wonder that every day, more and more people in each of my classes are reported as absent, what with midterms over and senior slump starting to kick in. Beyond that though, sickness and the ubiquitous cold are claiming countless new victims as the sun rises on each new but equally unforgiving morning. Whenever another one of my friends begins to speak up about feeling under the weather, my advice is always the same: Stay warm, get plenty of rest, and drink as much miso soup as you can take. Slowly processing my words through their spent, hazy minds, it seems perfectly agreeable until the ‘miso soup’ part starts to register. Miso soup? What about chicken noodle? Don’t even get me started on that foul fowl housed in a gelatinous broth of overcooked starch. It will hardly give you the energy to get out of bed on a good day, let alone help you overcome the odds when maladies are knocking at your door.
Having such a well stocked pantry as I do, it’s easy to forget that not everyone has such an abundance of more esoteric ingredients. Miso is hardly exotic in this day and age, but it is still not the first thing on most Americans’ grocery lists either. Hearing that those I care about don’t have access to my sure-fire method to restore health, of course I couldn’t just sit around and hope they felt well enough to show up at school tomorrow. Trudging home through muck and slush from the previous night’s sad attempt at snow, I immediately set upon my new task, and whipped up a nice hot batch of miso soup, tofu and all.
They say that laughter can be the best medicine, so I thought it would be best to serve up a bowl with my beloved Hello Kitty spoon included, as I’m not one to take chances. Who wouldn’t be cheered by the mere sight of Hello Kitty’s face on their eating utensil anyway? It’s my secret weapon to combat the worst moods and gloomiest days.
After slurping down just a small mouthful of the comforting brew, my friends are most likely to concede that the miso really must have made a difference, and that the additions of tofu and scallions really hit the spot, too. It hardly takes any time, skill, or complicated recipes, but I believe that a bowl of miso soup made by a caring companion can heal any aches and pains, whether it be of the body or of the heart. Best of all, after this chance encounter with someone who didn’t have the means to make their own miso, I was able to discover this new method to make it so that I can now ship it through the mail to those long distance acquaintances that could use some warmth of their own!