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About Myra Chanin

Myra Chanin Chicken Soup For Control

"Worries go down better with soup than without."
-Old Yiddish proverb

Myra Chanin, known professionally as Mother Wonderful, has been called "a cross between Julia Child and Woody Allen." "Actually," she notes, "I'm funnier than Julia Child and I cook better than Woody Allen." To date, she has written five books, "which are adored by everyone who receives a free copy." Her most recent, MOTHER WONDERFUL'S Profusely Illustrated Guide to the Proper Preparation of CHICKEN SOUP (Dell Trade Paperback; May 1997; $9.95/hardcover), is a hilarious pictorial guide to making perfect chicken soup laced with a soupçon of filial guilt and is bound to become an instant laugh-out-loud culinary classic.

As with many people who stumble into food careers, Myra never expected to become a culinary wizard. Her mother was a wonderful cook, but taught her daughter nothing -- when Myra was a child and they baked together, Mom's cookies went into the oven and Myra's went into the trash. Much later, after years of running the household and raising a wonderful son ("He's everything my husband would have been if he'd only had me for a mother."), Myra became a professional baker -- undaunted by her early failures, propelled by her mother's high standards and the fear of divorce.

Knowing that she'd have to find a way to support herself and, even more important, hire the meanest divorce lawyer in town, Myra began baking cheesecakes for Philadelphia restaurants. They won awards, and Myra won back Alvin when he realized that losing his attitude was cheaper than losing half his assets. With her marriage secure again, Myra was free to turn her attention to her other true loves: food, humor, and writing. The results: The Secret Life of Mother Wonderful, a selection of humorous essays and Mother Wonderful's Cheesecakes and Other Goodies, which earned her rave reviews and a steady stream of television appearances. Mother Wonderful's Chicken Soup

Her latest book merges humor with flavor. MOTHER WONDERFUL'S CHICKEN SOUP is an excruciatingly funny step-by-step photo essay of her own wonderful mother, Tsuni -- the quintessential guilt maven -- making perfect chicken soup while driving her daughter up the wall. The book's shopping and cooking tips are an exercise in motherly manipulation and world domination. The first directive shows Myra's mother's mastery of the telephone -- her primary cooking utensil:

"Early one morning ... when you know your daughter is having a busy day, call her and say you're catching cold. Remind her how quickly a cold can turn into double pneumonia, which as everybody knows is the number one killer of senior citizens. Ask if she can spare a few minutes to drive you to a kosher butcher on the other side of town so you can buy a chicken with feet for soup. Because everybody knows chicken soup is the best defense against germs ..."

Thus begins this charmingly torturous volume, which by the end, teaches us as much about mothers and daughters, and guilt, love and compassion, as it does about making soup. Garnished with thirteen thrifty recipes using every last piece of the chicken but the beak and spleen, MOTHER WONDERFUL'S CHICKEN SOUP is the perfect holiday gift for every mother-loving soup lover.

Myra Chanin is a wise and funny lady with a ladle, who offers living proof of the triumph of chutzpah over everything. Anyone who hears her speak agrees that Mother Wonderful is Mah-velous! Chanin also reviews restaurants and writes about food and life for several Philadelphia publications; is the culinary commentator for Artbeat; a syndicated magazine of the arts broadcast on over 140 NPR stations; and supplies instant gourmet tips on WCAU-TV's Sunday Morning News. She is made to order for a High Holiday, Christmas or Hanukkah feature or interview.

Newsday said of Chanin that, "alongside Jean Kerr and Erma Bombeck, [Chanin] is in the small company of funny ladies who write."

All contents Copyright ©1997 Kosher Express.