CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL COOKBOOK by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson and Diana von Welanetz Wentworth

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL COOKBOOK by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson and Diana von Welanetz Wentworth, (c) 1995.

This book is a collection of memories involving food. Usually they are happy memories of family favorites, or just a quirky true story involving food including a recipe or two. I enjoy reading the recipes at the end of each story. Perhaps I’ll copy some of them down to make myself!


FRIENDSHIP BREAD by Darien Gee, 2001/2010. This is a novel about the friendships of several women in the small town of Avalon. First there’s Leon, an elderly widower. I’m not quite sure he has to do with the other characters in the book. There’s Julia a depressed mother who’s only son died of some allergic reaction 6 years earlier, she’s living in a fog of sadness and neglecting her family it seems. Then there’s her sister Livvy who hasn’t talked to Julia since Julia’s son died. We also met Julia’s husband Mark and her daughter in an earlier scene. Why aren’t Julia and Livvy speaking to each other? I have yet to find out. Then there’s also Hannah Wang an American Asian wife and concert cellist, who’s perfectionist, violinist husband Phillipe de Brisnay is divorcing her. And last but not least 70 year old Madeline who owns the runs a Tea Salon, where two of the other characters have just walked into and seem to be settling into a fragrant Portobello mushroom and spinach quiche with a wonderful sounding salad on the side.

Have you ever made Friendship Bread and passed out the 4 bags of starter for your friends? Well there’s a recipe for the starter and bread in the back of the book if you care to start up another friendly bake off. I’m happy to see recipe variations for the starter which I would seriously enjoy better than the original I made a few decades ago. There’s also recipes for Brownies, Pancakes and Biscuits using the starter. I admit I already have a wonderful recipe for Yeast Pancakes which I make since I usually have no pancake mix in the house, so I imagine that recipe is one I’d like to try.

NOTE: So far I’m enjoying the book.

I actually went to a local short lived tea room once. I enjoyed the chicken salad sandwich on a nutty 12 grain type bread, and the cole slaw served in a 6 OZ tea cup. None of the fancy China dishes matched, and the mismatched chairs were so cute! I loved the place! I was so inspired I created the owners a Folk Art sign. It had the name of the tea room and had a tea pot and tea cups around the lettering. It was fun to make. Wish I had a photo to show you!

HALF BROKE HORSES by Jeannette Walls

HALF BROKE HORSES- A True Life Novel by Jeannette Walls (2010). This was a New York Times Bestseller! I was drawn to the photo of poor country kids on the cover, plus the first few sentences drew me in even more: “Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did. It was late on an August afternoon, the air was hot and heavy like it usually was in the rainy season.”
Why am I reading another true life story? Well this type suits me better I hope. This is the story of Lily Casey Smith the grandmother of Jeannette Walls. Lily was quite a character, who was helping her father break horses at age six! (Can you imagine?). At age fifteen she left home to become a teacher in a frontier town , riding 500 miles alone to get there! Now that sure does sound interesting. Lily survived all sorts of ordeals, such as tornadoes, floods, fires, droughts, the Great Depression, and a most heartbreaking tragedy. (I won’t tell you as I don’t know it yet anyway!). She also experienced prejudice as a woman even though she was a tough and strong and smart as any man. The book is “destined to become a classic.”, so it says on the back cover.. so maybe your own kids and grand-kids will read it for a book report someday!

I LOVED this book! And highly recommend it!


PROMISES TO KEEP by Jane Green, (2010). This book is about 3 women and their various progress through life’s ups and downs. Callie Perry is a successful family photographer living in Bedford, NY with children and a workaholic husband. Steffi who is Callie’s younger sister, is a free spirit living in Manhattan bouncing around between jobs and boyfriends. Lila Grossman is Callie’s best friend who has finally met the man of her dreams but he has a demanding, harridan ex-wife who wants all her ex husband’s attention.. Then there’s Callie’s parents, divorced for 30 years and barely speaking to each other.

Since the one main character is a vegan chef there’s a vegan recipe at the end of each short chapter, isn’t that nice? Since I love to cook and bake I love to see recipes in my novels. Here I am reading along and the word “salubrious” is inserted in a sentence: “It isn’t exactly salubrious, but their reputation is such that it has become a destination, and every night there is a long line of people patiently waiting with bottles of wine in hand,” The character Steffi was talking about her restaurant she’s chef-ing for. (See I made up a word). So what does salubrious mean? Why didn’t JANE GREEN use a simpler word? Every other word in her book is easy to understand? Was she trying to impress her readers? Believe you me, we the readers don’t need to use a dictionary to understand a sentence in your novel, it really isn’t necessary! I have this rule, speak in the simplest terms to make sure everyone, and I do mean everyone understands what you mean! Ugh!

So here’s the definition of the word Salubrious:
[suh-loo-bree-uhs] Show IPA
favorable to or promoting health; healthful: salubrious air.
1540–50; < Latin salūbr ( is ) promoting health (akin to salūs health) + -ious

Can be confused: salubrious, salutary (see synonym study at salutary). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source


NOTE: So why didn’t she just use the word “healthful”?
NOTE: I did read Jane Green’s THE BEACH HOUSE so I’m assuming ever so little that I’ll love this book too.

NOTE: This book is a real tear jerker, DO NOT READ if your heart is easily broken!