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Cookery For Invalids

( Originally Published 1904 )


Food for invalids should be in such a form that it can be easily digested. All food is changed into a liquid, before it can be carried about by the blood, to build up the worn-out tissues. Food that is in a liquid form is, there-fore, quickly digested with the least possible work to the body.

Drinks made from fruit-juices ,contain some mineral matter and acids which are wholesome for the blood. Used cold, they refresh the body and sometimes help to create an appetite for more nourishing food; used hot, they help to induce perspiration, which often assists in breaking up an attack of illness.

Jellies are other preparations of fruit-juices, and are classed as liquid food, since they melt in the mouth. Some jellies are hardened by the gummy pectine in the fruit-juice, and others by gelatine, which is prepared from bones and animal tissues.


Gruels are semi-liquid preparations of grains. They contain the nourishing properties of the grains without the bran or solid parts. Their advantages are that they are rapidly and easily digested.

They should be well stirred and boiled to cook every starch-grain and to soften the gluten.


Tea consists of the leaves and small stems of a plant growing in China,-Japan, and other countries. Green tea is dried quickly, therefore it keeps its color. Tea, being stimulating in its effects, is not a wholesome drink for young people.

The leaves contain tannin, which, if taken into the stomach in any quantity, will, in time, harden the lining membrane. Boiling the leaves in water draws out the tannin, therefore tea should never be boiled, but steeped about five minutes.

The tannin or tannic acid acts on tin, producing a poison.


Coffee is a native of warm countries. It is prepared from the seed of a fruit which resembles a cherry. It is a stimulant and contains tannin. Coffee is sometimes boiled, but is more wholesome if filtered.


Broth or beef-tea is a way of cooking meat by which all the juice is drawn out. It is cooked in a double boiler, that it may not boil and harden the albumen, making it indigestible. It is strained through a coarse strainer so that the brown sediment, which is the albumen, may be used with the juice. It should have no fat. If any rises on the top of the, tea, wipe it off by passing soft, clean paper over the-surface of the liquid.


Milk is a wholesome liquid food for invalids. It is varied by serving in many ways. It contains all the substances which are necessary for the body in the proper proportions.

Ice cream is a pleasant form of milk food. It is frozen by using ice or snow and. rock-salt. Salt gathers moisture. When it is mixed with ice it gathers moisture from the ice, thus causing it to melt. The ice in melting absorbs- heat from the cream, thus causing the cream to freeze. The ice will not melt with sufficient rapidity to freeze the cream without the assistance of the salt.


Toasted bread is wholesome if it is thoroughly dried over the fire and browned.

If starch is mixed with water and heated to a high degree, it changes to a gummy substance called dextrin, which is digestible. In a slice of bread, part of the starch is changed to dextrin, and in toasting, if it is well dried and browned, the starch is largely changed. When the bread is browned, the dextrin changes to a starch-sugar, called dextrose, which is readily absorbed by the body. If toast is dry, and is masticated thoroughly, the saliva helps to digest the dextrin.


I/4 box gelatine; 1/4 cupful cold water; 1 cupful boiling water; 1 cupful sugar; 1˝ lemon, rind and juice.

Soak the gelatine in the cold water twenty minutes. Pour on the boiling water, and stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Add the sugar, the juice of the lemon, and the, thin, yellow-rind. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and strain through a piece of clean cheesecloth, into a cold, wet mould. Set in a cold place to harden. If put in a very cold place, it will harden in one hour. If it can be allowed to harden four or five hours, or overnight, the recipe may be doubled, with the exception of the gelatine and cold water, so that twice as much jelly, of a softer consistency, may be made from the same amount of gelatine.

By substituting for the lemon, 1 orange, 1/4 cup currant juice, or 1/4 cup juice of apricots, different jellies may be made from this recipe. If the jelly does not stiffen, soak two tablespoonfuls more of gelatine in 2 tablespoonfuls cold water, heat the jelly until it begins to boil, stir it into the soaked gelatine, and cool. Try the experiment again if it does not succeed the first time.


1/4 cup Irish Moss; 2 figs; 1 cup boiling water; 1 lemon and orange; '/3 cup sugar.

Soak, pick over, and wash the moss. Cut the figs in small pieces, pare a thin rind from the lemon or orange. Place the moss, figs, and rind in a saucepan, pour on the boiling water, and boil, stirring constantly for ten or fifteen minutes, until the, liquid thickens. Add the sugar and fruit-juice, stir until the sugar is dissolved, and press the mixture through a fine wire strainer into a cold, wet mould. Set in cold water. As soon as it becomes cold it will harden.


1 lemon; 2 tablespoonfuls sugar; 1 cup boiling water.

Pour the -boiling water into a bowl and cover it. Squeeze the lemon and add the juice and the sugar to the water. Cover and set away to cool. When desired for use strain, add sugar if wished, dilute with cold water or small pieces of ice. This may be served as a hot drink when first prepared. If sugar is added to suit the taste, and the mixture is frozen, it makes a good sherbet or water-ice. Cold water may be used instead - of the boiling water.


1 apple; 1 tablespoonful sugar; 1 strip lemon-peel; 1 cup boiling water.

Wipe a large, sour apple—a red one is best—and, without paring, cut it into thin slices. Put them into a bowl, add the lemon-peel, sugar, and boiling water. Cover, and set away to cool. Strain, and serve with small pieces of ice floating in it.


1 small stalk rhubarb; 1 strip lemon-peel; 1 tablespoonful. sugar; 1 cupful boiling water.

Wash the rhubarb, cut in half-inch lengths. Put into a bowl, add the peel, sugar, and boiling water. Cover and set away to cool. Strain, and serve cold. The peel may be omitted.


1 tablespoonful rolled oats; 1 cup boiling water; 1/.4 teaspoonful salt. -

Pick over the oatmeal. Put it into a sauce-pan, pour on the boiling water, add the salt, and boil, stirring often, fifteen or twenty minutes or longer. If it becomes very thick, add a little boiling water, boil it up again, and when de-sired to, serve, strain it quickly into a warm bowl, cover, and serve with sugar and milk on the tray.


1 cupful boiling water; 2 tablespoonfuls wheatena; 1/4 teaspoonful salt.

Put the water and salt in a saucepan, and when boiling stir in the wheatena. Boil, and stir well ten or twenty minutes or longer. Then, if necessary, as directed in the recipe above, strain into, a hot bowl or cup, and serve in the same way as oatmeal gruel.


1 tablespoonful boiling water; 1 cupful milk; 1/8 teaspoonful salt; 1/2 tablespoonful flour.

Put the boiling water in an uncovered pan. Add the milk and salt. Mix the flour to a smooth paste with a little cold milk, and when the milk boils stir in the flour paste and boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Strain into a cup and- serve. The porridge may be varied by adding I/2 teaspoonful butter when the porridge is ready to strain.


1 even teaspoonful tea; 1 cupful freshly boiling water.

Heat a china teapot by pouring boiling water into it. Let it stand a moment, pour out the water, put in the tea, add the freshly boiling water, and let the tea stand on the table, covered, to steep five minutes. Never boil tea. Cover it, while steeping, with a towel or teacosey, to keep it hot.


Take a firm, juicy orange, and, with a sharp knife, take off a thick paring, cutting' through to the pulp. Cut out each section o pulp,. being careful not to take any of the membranes, re-move the seeds, and lay the sections on a pretty saucer. Sprinkle fine sugar over them, and small pieces of ice.


Cut stale bread in slices quarter-inch thick, or in strips one inch wide. Lay the pieces in a wire toaster, and hold them at a little distance from the fire, turning them often so as to dry them well. When dry, hold them nearer the fire, and toast both sides until golden-brown.


Place a pan, containing 1 pint boiling water and teaspoonful salt, on the stove. Prepare slices of toast as above, dip them quickly in the boiling water, lay them on a hot dish, spread with butter, and serve hot.


1/2 tablespoonful butter; 1/2 tablespoonful corn starch, or % tablespoonful flour; 1 cup milk, scalded; 1/2 teaspoonful salt.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the dry corn starch or flour, stir well, and cook three minutes. Add part of the milk, boil, and stir to make the mixture smooth, add more milk and stir constantly. When all the milk is added, boil once, and. put in the salt. Pour this sauce between each slice of toast and over the whole. Serve in a hot dish. If the toast is preferred soft, dip the slices in boiling salted water, be-fore adding the sauce.


1 cupful cream or milk; 4 teaspoonfuls sugar; 1 even tablespoonful melted chocolate, or 1 tablespoonful strawberries, or 1/4 teaspoonful lemon extract.

Mix the sugar and cream. Melt the chocolate, and add a little of the cream to it, so that it will be thin enough to pour into the remainder of the cream. Put the mixture into a pail with -a tight cover, and set this inside a larger pail or pan. Beat the cream, with an egg-beater, until foamy. Fill -the, space between with pounded ice and rock-salt, using 3 cupfuls ice to 1 cupful salt. Turn the small pail back and forth. Open it occasionally, being careful that no salt falls in, and scrape the cream from the sides. Cover and turn again, and repeat this process until the cream is hard. It will freeze, usually, in twenty minutes.

If strawberries are used, instead of chocolate, crush them, before adding them to the cream. If the cream is not intended for a sick person, it may be flavored with 1/4} teaspoon vanilla. Water-ices and soft custard may be frozen in a pail in the same manner.


1 egg; 1 tablespoonful sugar; 1/3 cupful milk; sprinkle salt; sprinkle nutmeg.

Beat the yolk of the egg, add the sugar and mix. Scald the milk with the salt and nutmeg. Beat the white until slightly foamy, but, not stiff. Stir the milk into the yolks, and beat in the. white lightly. Serve- in a pretty cup. If the eggnogg is preferred-cold, the milk need not be scalded.


1 egg; 1 tablespoonful sugar; -1 cupful milk; sprinkle salt; sprinkle nutmeg.

Beat the egg slightly, add the other ingredients. Fill cups three-quarters full of the mixture, stand them in a steamer over boiling water, and steam from ten to, twenty minutes, until firm. Watch the custard closely to see that it does not cook too long, so that it looks like curds and whey.


Scrape 1/2 pound lean, juicy beef to a fine pulp. Put into a double boiler, with cold water in the lower. part, and heat gradually, keeping it simmering one hour, or until the meat is white. Strain and press out the juice, season with salt to taste, and serve hot. -


Shred 1/2 pound lean, juicy beef, and place in a double boiler with 1 cup cold water and 1/2 teaspoonful salt. Let it stand from one-half to 1 hour, then put boiling water in the lower part of the boiler, and cook five or ten minutes, until the juice looks brown. Strain, and serve the juice hot, in a pretty cup.


14 cup Irish moss; 1 pint milk; I/8 teaspoonful salt; 1 tablespoonful sugar; sprinkle nutmeg, or 1 inch lemon-rind.

Soak, pick over, and wash the moss. Put it, with the milk, salt, and nutmeg, into the top of the double boiler. Cook from fifteen to thirty minutes, until it thickens, and will harden, if a little is dropped on a cold plate. Strain- into a cold, wet mould, and set away to cool and harden. Serve with sugar, and milk, or cream.


2 cups milk; 3 tablespoonfuls sugar; 4 even tablespoonfuls corn starch, 2 sprinkles salt; 2 tablespoonfuls chocolate melted, or 2 table-spoonfuls strawberries.

Scald the milk in a double boiler. Add the sugar and salt, the chocolate, or the fresh, mashed strawberries, or preserved berries. Mix the corn starch with a little cold milk, stir it into the hot milk, and boil and stir it five or ten minutes, until it is smooth and thick. Pour the mixture into cold, wet cups or moulds. Serve cold, with sugar and milk, or cream.


1 quart new sweet milk; 1 tablespoonful sugar; 1 tablespoonful liquid rennet.

Warm the milk a little, then stir in the sugar and rennet, and pour the mixture into a glass or china dish and set it where it will keep a little warm. If, at the end of an hour, it has not begun to harden, stir in 1 teaspoonful rennet; it should be firm in one or two hours. Set on ice to become cold. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and serve with cream. It should be eaten within an hour after it has hardened, or it will separate into curds and whey.

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