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DISHES for invalids should be served in the daintiest and most attractive way; never send more than a supply for one meal; the same dish too frequently set before an invalid often causes a distaste, when perhaps a change would tempt the appetite.
When preparing dishes where milk is used, the condition of the patient should be considered. Long cooking hardens the albumen and makes the milk very constipating; then, if the patient should be already constipated, care should be taken not to heat the milk above the boiling point.
The seasoning of food for the sick should be varied according to the condition of the patient; one recovering from illness can partake of a little piece of roast mutton, chicken, rabbit, game, fish, simply dressed, and simple puddings are all light food and easily digested. A mutton chop, nicely cut, trimmed and broiled, is a dish that is often inviting to an invalid. As a rule, an invalid will be more likely to enjoy any preparation sent to him if it is served in small delicate pieces. As there are so many small, dainty dishes that can be made for this purpose, it seems useless to try to give more than a small variety of them. Pudding can be made of prepared barley, or tapioca, well soaked before boiling, with an egg added, and a change can be made of light puddings by mixing up some stewed fruit with the puddings before baking; a bread pudding from stale bread crumbs, and a tiny cup-custard, boiled in a small basin or cup; also various drinks, such as milk punch, wine, whey, apple-toddy, and various other nourishing drinks.
AND MUTTON CHOPS.
SELECT the tenderest cuts and broil over a clear, hot fire. Let the steak be rare, the chops well done. Salt and pepper, lay between two hot plates three minutes and serve to your patient. If he is very weak do not let him swallow anything except the juice, when he has chewed the meat well. The essence of rare beef, roasted or broiled, thus expressed, is considered by some physicians to be more strengthening than beef tea prepared in the usual manner.
ONE pound of lean beef, cut into small pieces. Put into a glass canning jar, without a drop of water, cover tightly and set in a pot of cold water. Heat gradually to a boil and continue this steadily for three or four hours, until the meat is like white rags and the juice all drawn out. Season with salt to taste and, when cold, skim.
OR MUTTON BROTH.
TAKE a scrag-end of mutton (two pounds), put it in a saucepan with two quarts of cold water and an ounce of pearl barley or rice. When it is coming to a boil, skim it well, then add half a teaspoonful of salt; let it boil until half reduced, then strain it and take off all the fat and it is ready for use. This is excellent for an invalid. If vegetables are liked in this broth, take one turnip, one carrot and one onion, cut them in shreds and boil them in the broth half an hour. In that case, the barley may be served with the vegetables in broth.
MAKE the same as mutton or beef broth. Boil the chicken slowly, putting on just enough water to cover it well, watching it closely that it does not boil down too much. When the chicken is tender, season with salt and a very little pepper. The yolk of an egg beaten light and added, is very nourishing.
PUT four tablespoonfuls of the best grits (oatmeal coarsely ground) into a pint of boiling water. Let it boil gently, and stir it often, till it becomes as thick as you wish it. Then strain it, and add to it while warm, butter, wine, nutmeg, or whatever is thought proper to flavor it. Salt to taste.
If you make a gruel of fine oatmeal, sift it, mix it first to a thick batter with a little cold water, and then put it into the saucepan of boiling water. Stir it all the time it is boiling, lifting the spoon gently up and down, and letting the gruel fall slowly back again into the pan.
TWO TABLESPOONFULS of fine Indian meal, mixed smooth with cold water, and a salt-spoonful of salt; add one quart of boiling water and cook twenty minutes. Stir it frequently, and if it becomes too thick use boiling water to thin it. If the stomach is not too weak, a tablespoonful of cream may be used to cool it. Some like it sweetened and others like it plain. For very sick persons, let it settle, pour off the top, and give without other seasoning. For convalescents, toast a piece of bread as nicely as possible, and put it in the gruel with a tablespoonful of nice sweet cream and a little ginger and sugar. This should be used only when a laxative is allowed.
BEAT the yolk of an egg with one tablespoonful of sugar; pour one teacupful of boiling water on it, add the white of an egg, beaten to a froth, with any seasoning or spice desired. Take warm.
THE same as arrowroot, excepting it should be all milk, and thickened with a scant tablespoonful of sifted flour; let it boil five minutes, stirring it constantly, add a little cold milk, give it one boil up, and it is ready for use.
ONE large cupful of fresh milk, new if you can get it, one cupful of boiling water, one teaspoonful of arrowroot, wet to a paste with cold water, twp teaspoonfuls of white sugar, a pinch of salt. Put the sugar into the milk, the salt into the boiling water, which should be poured into a farina kettle. Add the wet arrowroot and boil, stirring constantly until it is clear; put in the milk and cook ten minutes, stirring often. Give while warm, adding hot milk should it be thicker than gruel.
ONE large cupful of boiling milk, one even tablespoonful of arrowroot rubbed to a paste with cold water, two teaspoonfuls of white sugar, a pinch of salt, flavor with rose-water. Proceed as in the foregoing recipes, boiling and stirring eight minutes. Turn into a wet mold, and, when firm, serve with cream and powdered sugar.
SOAK a cupful of tapioca in a quart of cold water after washing it thoroughly two or three times; after soaking three or four hours, simmer it in a stewpan until it becomes quite clear, stirring often; add the juice of a lemon, and a little of the grated peel, also a pinch of salt, Sweeten to taste. Wine can be substituted for lemon, if liked.
BREAK the bark into bits, pour boiling water over it, cover and let it infuse until cold. Sweeten, ice, and take for summer disorders, or add lemon juice and drink for a bad cold.
UPON" an ounce of unbruised flax-seed and a little pulverized liquorice-root pour a pint of boiling (soft or rain) water, and place the vessel containing these ingredients near, but not on, the fire for four hours. Strain through a linen cloth. Make it fresh every day. An excellent drink in fever accompanied by a cough.
TO A large tablespoonful of flax-seed, allow a tumbler and a half of cold water. Boil them together till the liquid becomes very sticky. Then strain it hot over a quarter of a pound of pulverized sugar, and an ounce of pulverized gum arabic. Stir it till quite dissolved, and squeeze into it the juice of a lemon.
This mixture has frequently been found an efficacious remedy for a cold, taking a wine-glass of it as often as the cough is troublesome.
PUT tamarinds into a pitcher or tumbler till it is one-third full, then fill up with cold water, cover it, and let it infuse for a quarter of an hour or more.
Currant jelly or cranberry juice mixed with water makes a pleasant drink for an invalid.
.MADE the same as tapioca If seasoning is not advisable the sago may be boiled in milk, instead of water, and eaten plain.
Rice jelly made the same, using only half as much rice as sago.
ONE cupful of boiling water, one scant tablespoonful of arrowroot, mixed with a little cold water, one tablespoonful of sugar, a pinch of salt, one tablespoonful of brandy, or three tablespoonfuls of wine. Excellent for a sick person without fever.
PUT to soak one pint of hominy in two and one-half pints of boiling water over night, in a tin vessel with a tight cover; in the morning add one-half pint of sweet milk and a little salt. Place on a brisk fire, in a kettle of boiling water, the tin vessel containing the hominy; let boil one-half hour.
Cracked wheat, oatmeal, mush, are all good food for the sick.
COOK a chicken in enough water to little more than cover it; let it stew gently until the meat drops from the bones, and the broth is reduced to about a pint; season it to taste, with a little salt and pepper. Strain and press, first through a. colander, then through a coarse cloth. Set it over the fire again and cook a few minutes longer. Turn it into an earthen vegetable dish to harden; set it on the ice in the refrigerator. Eat cold in slices. Nice made into sandwiches, with thin slices of bread, lightly spread with butter.
BOIL half a cupful of rice in just enough water to cover it, with half a teaspoonful of salt; when the water has boiled nearly out and the rice begins to look soft and dry, turn over it a cupful of milk and let it simmer until the rice is done and nearly dry; take from the fire and beat in a well-beaten egg. Eat it warm with cream and sugar. Flavor to taste.
TAKE one tablespoonful of flour, one egg, mix with cold milk and a pinch of salt to a batter. Boil fifteen minutes in a buttered cup. Eat with sauce, fruit or plain sugar.
THIS is very light and delicate for invalids. An even tablespoonful of tapioca, soaked for two hours in nearly a cup of new milk; stir into this the yolk of a fresh egg; a little sugar, a grain of salt, and bake it in a cup for fifteen minutes. A little jelly may be eaten with it.
GET nice fruit, a little tart and juicy, but not sour; clean them nicely, and bake in a moderate oven — regulated so as to have them done in about an hour; when the skin cracks and the pulp breaks through in every direction they are done and ready to take out. Serve with white sugar sprinkled over them.
TOAST well, but not too brown, two thin slices of stale bread; put them on a warm plate, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and pour upon them some boiling water; quickly cover with another dish of the same size, and drain off the water. Put a very small bit of butter on the toast and serve at once while hot.
MOSS BLANC MANGE.
A SMALL handful of moss (to be purchased at any drug store) , wash it very carefully, and put it in one quart of milk on the fire. Let the milk simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the moss begins to dissolve. Then remove from the fire and strain through a fine sieve. Add two tablespoonfuls of sugar and half a teaspoonful of vanilla flavoring. Put away to harden in cups or molds, and serve with sugar and cream.
A delicate dish for an invalid.
BROWN a slice of bread nicely over the coals, dip it in hot water slightly salted, butter it, and lay on the top an egg that has been broken into boiling water, and cooked until the white has hardened; season the egg with a bit of butter and a crumb of salt.
The best way to cook eggs for an invalid is to drop them, or else pour boiling water over the egg in the shell and let it stand for a few minutes on the back of the stove.
MAKE a nice slice of dry toast, butter it and lay it on a hot dish. Put six oysters, half a teacupful of their own liquor, and half a cupful of milk, into a tin cup or basin, and boil one minute. Season with a little butter, pepper and salt, then pour over the toast and serve.
TAKE one tablespoonful of currant or grape jelly, beat with it the white of one egg and a tea spoonful of sugar; pour on it a teacupful of boiling water, and break in a slice of dry toast of two crackers.
BREAK into a coffeecup an egg, put in two teaspoonfuls of sugar, beat it up thoroughly, a pinch of salt and a pinch of grated nutmeg; fill up the cup with good sweet milk, turn it into another cup, well buttered, and set it in a pan of boiling water, reaching nearly to the top of the cup. Set in the oven, and when the custard is set, it is done. Eat cold.
SELECT twelve small, hard-shell clams, drain them and chop them fine; add half a pint of clam juice or hot water, a pinch of cayenne, and a walnut of butter; simmer thirty minutes, add a gill of boiled milk, strain, and serve. This is an excellent broth for weak stomachs.
OR CREAM CODFISH.
THIS dish will often relish when a person is recovering from sickness, when nothing else would. Pick up a large tablespoonful of salt codfish very fine, freshen it considerably by placing it over the fire in a basin, covering it with cold water as it comes to a boil; turn off the water and freshen again if very salt, then turn off the water until dry, and pour over half a cupful of milk or thin cream, add a bit of butter, a sprinkle of pepper, and a thickening made of one teaspoonful of flour or cornstarch, wet up with a little milk; when this boils up, turn over a slice of dipped toast.
BREAK in pieces three or four hard crackers that are baked quite brown, and let them boil fifteen minutes in one quart of water; then remove from the fire, let them stand three or four minutes, strain off the liquor through a fine wire sieve, and season it with sugar.
This is a nourishing beverage for infants that are teething, and with the addition of a little wine and nutmeg, is often prescribed for invalids recovering from a fever.
PUT three gills of water and one tablespoonful of white sugar on the fire, and just before it boils add two tablespoonfuls of the crumbs of stale white bread, stir it well, and let it boil three or four minutes, then add one glass of white wine, a grated lemon and a little nutmeg; let it boil up once, then remove it from the fire, and keep it closely covered until it is wanted for use.
PUT a teaspoonful of powdered slippery-elm into a tumbler, pour cold water upon it, and season with lemon and sugar.
WATER, OR CRUST COFFEE.
TAKE stale pieces of crusts of bread, the end pieces of the loaf, toast them a nice, dark brown, care to be taken that they do not burn in the least, as that affects the flavor. Put the browned crusts into a large milk pitcher, and pour enough boiling water over to cover them; cover the pitcher closely, and let steep until cold. Strain, and sweeten to taste; put a piece of ice in each glass.
This is also good, drank warm with cream and sugar, similar to coffee.
CUT a thin slice from a loaf of stale bread, toast it very quickly, sprinkle a little salt over it, and pour upon it three tablespoonfuls of boiling milk or cream. Crackers split and toasted in this manner, are often very grateful to an invalid.
PUT one tablespoonful of linseed into a stewpan with half a pint of cold water; place the stewpan over a moderate fire, and when the water is quite warm, pour it off, and add to the linseed half a pint of fresh cold water, then let the whole boil three or four minutes; season it with lemon and sugar.
A VERY excellent carminative powder for flatulent infants may be kept in the house, and employed with advantage whenever the child is in pain or griped, dropping five grains of oil of anise-seed and two of peppermint on half an ounce of lump sugar, and rubbing it in a mortar, with a drachm of magnesia, into a fine powder. A small quantity of this may be given in a little water at any time, and always with benefit.
TIE a quarter of a pound of wheat flour in a thick cloth and boil it in one quart of water for three hours; then remove the cloth and expose the flour to the air or heat until it is hard and dry; grate from it, when wanted, one tablespoonful, which put into half a pint of new milk, and stir over the fire until it comes to a boil, when add a pinch of salt and a tablespoonful of cold water and serve. This gruel is excellent for children afflicted with summer complaint.
Or brown a tablespoonful of flour in the oven or on top of the stove on a baking tin; feed a few pinches at a time to a child and it will often check a diarrhoea. The tincture of "kino" — of which from ten to thirty drops, mixed with a little sugar and water in a spoon, and given every two or three hours, is very efficacious and harmless — can be procured at almost any druggist's. Tablespoon doses of pure cider vinegar and a pinch of salt, has cured when all else failed.
THIS recipe may be found under the head of COFFEE, TEA, BEVERAGES. It will be found an excellent medicine for children teething, and summer diseases.
1. PEEL thirty large Malaga grapes, and pour half a pint of boiling water upon them; cover them closely and let them steep until the water is cold.
2. Pour half a pint of boiling water upon one tablespoonful of currant jelly, and stir until the jelly is dissolved.
3. Cranberries and barberries may be used in the same water to make very refreshing acid drinks for persons recovering from fevers.
FOR THE FEET.
TAKE a large leaf from the horse-radish plant, and cut out the hard fibres that run through the leaf; place it on a hot shovel for a moment to soften it, fold it, and fasten it closely in the hollow of the foot by a cloth bandage.
Burdock leaves, cabbage leaves, and mullein leaves, are used in the same manner, to alleviate pain and promote perspiration.
Garlics are also made for draughts by pounding them, placing them on a hot tin plate for a moment to sweat them, and binding them closely to the hollow of the foot by a cloth bandage.
Draughts of onions, for infants, are made by roasting onions in hot ashes, and, when they are quite soft, peeling off the outside, mashing them, and applying them on a cloth as usual.
A Bread and Milk Poultice. — Put a tablespoonful of the crumbs of stale bread into a gill of milk, and give the whole one boil up. Or, take stale bread crumbs, pour over them boiling water and boil till soft, stirring well; take from the fire and gradually stir in a little glycerine or sweet oil, so as to render the poultice pliable when applied.
A Hop Poultice. — Boil one handful of dried hops in half a pint of water, until the half pint is reduced to a gill, then stir into it enough Indian meal to thicken it.
A Mustard Poultice. — Into one gill of boiling water stir one tablespoonful of Indian meal; spread the paste thus made upon a cloth and spread over the paste one teaspoonful of mustard flour. If you wish a mild poultice, use a teaspoonful of mustard as it is prepared for the table, instead of the mustard flour.
Equal parts of ground mustard and flour made into a paste with warm water, and spread between two pieces of muslin, form the indispensable mustard plaster.
A Ginger Poultice. — This is made like a mustard poultice, using ground ginger instead of mustard. A little vinegar is sometimes added to each of these poultices.
A Stramonium Poultice. — Stir one tablespoonful of Indian meal into a gill of boiling water and add one tablespoonful of bruised stramonium seeds.
Wormwood and Arnica are sometimes applied in poultices. Steep the herbs in half a pint of cold water and when all their virtue is extracted stir in a little bran or rye meal to thicken the liquid; the herbs must not be removed from the liquid.
This is a useful application for sprains and bruises.
Linseed Poultice. — Take four ounces of powdered linseed and gradually sprinkle it into a half pint of hot water.
REMEDY FOR BOILS.
AN excellent remedy for boils is water of a temperature agreeable to the feelings of the patient. Apply wet linen to the part affected and frequently renew or moisten it. It is said to be the most effectual remedy known. Take inwardly some good blood purifier.
YELLOW DOCK, root or leaves, steeped in vinegar, will cure the worst case of ringworm.