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Special Delivery: From Soup to Nuts!

February 4, 2013 - Phyllis Sigal
I remember when I was little, my mom loved a particular comedy routine on one of her albums. It went something like this:

A mother calls her daughter, who is sick with a cold or the flu. The mom feels sorry for her daughter, and tells her — "Never fear, mother's here!" — she'll be right over and help clean up the house, take care of the kids and bring her some chicken soup.

However, after further conversation, they realize that the mom has called the wrong number, and it's not her daughter she's talking to.

"Does that mean you're not coming?" the younger of the two whines.

There are days when you just need a bowl of chicken soup. There are days when you want to feed someone chicken soup. In fact, my mom had a bad cough a couple of weeks ago and my husband made her a batch of his delicious chicken soup. We've always referred to it as the "Jewish penicillin."

But what if that loved one is far away?

Never fear! Spoonful of Comfort is here!

In fact, Spoonful of Comfort was born out of a daughter's love for her ill mom. Marty Wymer had just returned from a visit — her mom lived in Canada, and she lived in Florida — when her mom was diagnosed with cancer. The first thing she thought of was chicken soup.

It is in her mother's honor that she wants to help others with sick loved ones. "It is my promise to make and deliver a Spoonful of Comfort to your loved ones with as much care as if I were sending it to my own mother. They'll feel better and so will you," she writes on her website. In fact, a portion of the proceeds goes to cancer research in the memory of her mom, Mona Bowes.

There are packages for assorted occasions: thinking of you, get well, sympathy, college care, new baby and corporate gifts.

Chicken soup, a note card (handwritten, with your personalized message), made-from-scratch rolls, fresh-from-the-oven cookies, hot tea, an apron or a blanket or socks — you can choose what you'd like to send. Prices range from $24.99 to $79.99, depending what you select in your care package.

Or you can just send a jar of soup, for $34. The rolls, cookies, soup ladle, tea, comfort pocket stone, socks and blanket also are available a la carte.

The soup is packaged in a giant (64-ounce) Ball jar with a cheery yellow polka dot ribbon around its lid. It's tucked inside an insulated liner with a gel pack to keep it chilled.

I was quite impressed with the packaging ... but mostly, I was impressed with the soup. It tasted homemade. Delicious. The noodles were thick and held up well for being in the jar of soup for a couple of days. The carrots and celery tasted fresh and weren't mushy. The chicken was generous — both in size of the chunks and amount in the jar.

And the oatmeal raisin cookies? Yummy! Had they been warm, I would've thought they'd just come out of the oven.

HERE'S ANOTHER, fun mail-order item: SurprisesByMail.com.

It is owned and operated by Nina Meranus, who founded the business, and by technical co-founder Andy Sheeks. Nina believes that "the world is a better place when people do nice things for each other," according to the website.

It's not very expensive (prices range from $9.95 to $20.95) to send a little box of sweets — candy (chocolates, Gummy Bears, jelly beans, licorice and even some sugar-free varieties), cookies and brownies, pretzels, teas, nuts and dried fruits — with a special message.

Your surprise can be customized with a label that says whatever you'd like, and you can even upload a photograph or graphic image that goes on the label. If you don't want to upload an image, you can choose from a host of provided stock images. If you want, you can add a Starbucks, iTunes or Visa gift card to the package.

It's all tucked inside the white shipping box that been stuffed with brightly colored crinkle paper strips, and tied up with a little raffia ribbon.

It's that easy to send someone special a little surprise in the mail. And just imagine how it will make their day when the package arrives!

I'll bet you can almost feel their smiles as they open the treat box.

 
 

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