Many people are ignorant of what constitutes good, nourishing, refreshing food and drink for sick people. The following dishes are all palatable and nourishing, and are very refreshing to an invalid. Every one should have these recipes for “Things for the sick room”.
Rice, two ounces; water, two quarts. Boil one hour and a half, and add sugar and nutmeg to suit the taste. When milk is added to this it makes a very excellent diet for children. Should the bowels be too loose, boil the milk before adding.
Dried leaves of sage, half an ounce; boiling water, one quart. Infuse for half an hour, and strain. May add sugar if desired. Balm, peppermint, spearmint, and other teas are made in the same way.
A REFRESHING DRINK IN FEVERS
Boil one ounce and a half of tamarind, two ounces of stoned raisins, and three ounces of cranberries in three pints of water until two pints remain. Strain, and add a small piece of fresh lemon peel, which must be removed in half an hour.
Stir a tablespoonful of arrowroot powders into half a cupful of cold water, pour in a pint of boiling water, let it stand five or ten minutes and then sweeten and flavor it to suit the taste.
IRISH MOSS JELLY
Irish moss, half an ounce; fresh milk, one and a half pints. Boil down to one pint. Strain, and add sugar and lemon juice sufficient to give it an agreeable flavor.
Isinglass, two ounces; water, two pints. Boil to one pint; strain, and add one pint milk and one ounce of white sugar. This is excellent for persons recovering from sickness, and for children who have bowel complaints.
Tapioca, two large spoonfuls; water, one pint. Boil gently for an hour, or until it appears like a jelly. Add sugar, wine, and nutmeg, with lemon juice to flavor.
Mix a quarter of a pound of rice, picked and washed, with half a pound of loaf sugar and just sufficient water to cover it. Boil until it assumes a jellylike appearance; strain, and season to suit the taste and condition of the patient.
In all cases of fever, very ripe grapes of any kind are a beneficial article of diet, acting as both food and drink and possessing soothing and cooling qualities. They are also extremely grateful to every palate.
To make a most excellent toast for a reduced or convalescent patient, take bread twenty-four or thirty-six hours old, which has been made of a mixture of fine wheat flour and Indian meal and a pure yeast batter mixed with eggs. Toast it until of a delicate brown, and then (if the patient be not inclined to fever) immerse it in boiled milk and butter. If the patient be feverish, spread it lightly with cranberry jam or calves’ foot jelly.
In all cases where a light and nice diet for patients who have been or are afflicted with diarreha or dysentery is required, rice, in almost any cooked form, is most agreeable and advantageous. It may be given with benefit to dyspeptics, unless costiveness accompanies the dyspepsia. To make rice pudding, take a teacupful of rice, and as much sugar, two quarts of milk, and a teaspoonful of salt. Bake, with a moderate heat, for two hours. Rice flour made in a batter and baked upon a griddle makes a superb cake; and rice-flour gruel, seasoned to the taste, is most excellent for the sick room.
Boil a quart of water and let it cool. Take one-third of a common loaf of wheat bread, slice it, pare off the crust, and toast it to a light brown. Put it in water in a covered vessel and boil gently till you find, on putting some in a spoon to cool, the liquid has become a jelly. Strain and cool. When used, warm a cupful, sweeten with sugar, and add a little grated lemon peel.
Ground rice, one heaping tablespoonful; water, one quart. Boil gently for twenty minutes, adding, a few minutes before it is done, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon. Strain and sweeten. Wine may be added when the case demands it.
Oat or corn meal, two tablespoonfuls; water, one quart. Boil for ten minutes and strain, adding salt and sugar if desired by the patient.
Sago, two tablespoonfuls; water, one pint. Boil gently until it thickens; stir frequently. May add wine, sugar, and nutmeg, according to taste.
Arrowroot, one tablespoonful; sweet milk and boiling water, each one half pint. Sweeten with loaf sugar. This is very good for children whose bowels are irritable.
Tapioca is a very delightful food for invalids. Make an ordinary pudding of it, and improve the flavor agreeably to the desire of the patient or convalescent by adding raisins, sugar, prunes, lemon juice, wine, spices, etc.
When the stomach is very weak, take fresh lean beef, cut it into strips and place the strips into a bottle with a little salt; place in a kettle of boiling water and let it remain one hour; pour off the liquid and add some water. Begin with a small quantity, and use in the same manner and under similar circumstances as beef tea. This is even more nourishing than beef tea.
Cut one pound of lean beef into shreds, and boil for twenty minutes in one quart of water, being particular to remove the scum as often as any rises. When it is cool, strain. This is very nourishing and palatable, and is of great value in all cases of extreme debility where no inflammatory action exists, or after the inflammation is subdued. In very low cases a small teaspoonful may be administered every fifteen or twenty minutes, gradually increasing the amount given as the powers of life return. In cases of complete prostration, after the cessation of long exhausting fever it may be used as directed above, either alone or in conjunction with a little wine.
Put a little water on the fire, with a glass of wine, some sugar, and a little grated nutmeg; boil all together a few seconds, and add pounded cracker or crumbs of bread, and boil again for a few minutes.
FRENCH MILK PORRIDGE
Stir some oatmeal and water together; let the mixture stand to clear, and pour off the water. Then put more water to the meal; stir it well, and let it stand till the next day. Strain through a fine sieve, and boil the water, adding milk while so doing. The proportion of water must be small. With toast this is admirable.
Put a dessertspoonful of ground coffee into a pint of milk; boil a quarter of an hour, with a shaving or two of isinglass; let it stand ten minutes, and then pour off.
Take a leg of well-fed pork just as cut up, beat it and break the bone; set it over a gentle fire, with three gallons of water and simmer to one. Let half an ounce of mace and the same of nutmeg stew in it. Strain through a fine sieve. When cold, take off the fat. Give a coffee cup of this three times a day, adding salt to the taste. This is very valuable in all cases of debility where animal food is admissible.
DRINK IN DYSENTERY
Sheep’s suet, two ounces; milk, one pint; starch, half an ounce. Boil gently for thirty minutes. Use as a common drink. This is excellent for sustaining the strength in bad cases of dysentery.
Toast slowly a thick piece of bread cut from the outside of a loaf until it is well browned, but not blackened; then turn upon it boiling water of a sufficient quantity, and keep it from half an hour to an hour before using. Be sure that the liquid is of a rich brown color before you use it. It is a most excellent drink in all cases of sickness.
Put a teaspoonful of cranberries into a cup of water and mash them. In the meantime boil two quarts of water with one large spoonful of corn or oat meal and a bit of lemon peel; then add the cranberries and as much fine sugar as will leave a smart flavor of the fruit; also a wineglassful of sherry. Boil the whole gently for a quarter of an hour, then strain.
Heat a pint of new milk until it boils, at which moment pour in as much good wine as will curdle and clarify it. Boil and set it aside until the curd subsides. Do not stir it, but pour the whey off carefully, and add two pints of boiling water with loaf sugar.
Milk, one pint; the juice of an orange with a portion of the peel. Boil the milk, then put the orange into it and let it stand till it coagulates. Strain.
Bruised mustard seed, two tablespoonfuls; milk, one quart. Boil together for a few minutes until it coagulates, and strain to separate the curd. This is a very useful drink in dropsy. A teacupful may be taken at a dose, three times a day.
Boil two calf’s feet in one gallon of water until reduced to one quart. Strain, and when cool skim carefully. Add the white of six or eight eggs, well beaten; a pint of wine, half a pound of loaf sugar, and the juice of four lemons. Mix them well, boil for a few minutes, stirring constantly, and pass through a flannel strainer. In some cases the wine should be omitted.
SLIPPERY ELM JELLY
Take of the flour of slippery elm, one or two tablespoonfuls; cold water, one pint. Stir until a jelly is formed. Sweeten with loaf sugar or honey. This is excellent for all diseases of the throat, chest, and lungs; coughs, colds, bronchitis, inflammation of the lungs, etc. It is very nutritious and soothing.
GUM ACACIA RESTORATIVE
Take two ounces of pure white gum arabic (procure the lump, the powdered is very apt to be adulterated), pulverize it well, and dissolve by the aid of a gentle heat in a gill of water, stirring constantly. When it is entirely dissolved, add three tablespoonfuls of pure strained honey. Let it remain over the fire until it becomes of the consistency of a jelly. The heat must be very gentle, it must not boil. If desirable, flavor with lemon or vanilla. This will be found a very pleasant article of diet for a weak stomach. When the articles used are pure it will be transparent and of a light golden color. This will be borne by the weakest stomach when everything else is rejected. It is highly nutritious.
Infuse one pint of ground malt for two hours in three pints of scalding water. The water should not be brought quite to the boiling point. Strain; add sugar, if desired; flavor with lemon juice. This is an excellent drink in inflammatory fevers, acute rheumatism, etc.
Take young and fresh shelled green peas, wash them clean, put them into fresh water, just enough to cover them, and boil them till they take up nearly all the water. This dish, if prepared according to directions, and eaten warm, will not harm any invalid, not even one suffering from diarrhea.
In some cases where a milk diet is advisable, owing to the peculiar condition of the patient’s stomach it will cause distress. This is frequently the case where there is undue acidity. In such cases, let it be prepared in the following manner and it will be found to set well: Take a teacupful of fresh milk, heat nearly to boiling; dissolve in it a teaspoonful of loaf sugar; pour into a large sized tumbler, and add sufficient plain soda water to fill it. Prepared in the above directed manner it will be free from all unpleasant effects.
In cases of extreme debility, eggs are most excellent. They should never be boiled hard. The best way to prepare them is to beat them well with milk and sugar. When it will be appropriate to the case, add some fine pale sherry wine.
MILK FOR INFANTS
Fresh cow’s milk, one part; water, two parts; sweeten with a very little loaf sugar. When children are raised by hand it is always necessary to dilute the milk. As the child advances in age the proportion of water stated above may be gradually lessened.
Corn or oat meal, two tablespoonfuls; water, one quart. Boil ten or fifteen minutes, and strain. Add salt and sugar to suit the taste of the patient. This should be used freely during and after the operation of cathartic medicines.
Pearl barley, two ounces; boiling water, two quarts. Boil to one quart, and strain. If desirable, a little lemon juice and sugar may be added. This may be taken freely in all inflammatory and eruptive diseases: measles, scarlet fever, small-pox, etc.