Part 10 out of 17
just within its folds. The monotonous regimen of a poor dyspeptic which
poached eggs, beaten biscuit, wheat gluten, eggnog, with, perhaps,
stewed peaches or an orange, are served on gilt-band china with a spray
of goldenrod, a bunch of marigolds, or a water-lily to give an
Foods which are ordered to be served hot, should be _hot,_ not merely
warm, when they reach the patient. To facilitate this, let the dish in
which the food is to be served, stand in hot water for a few moments;
take out, wipe dry, turn in the hot food, place on the tray, and serve.
An oil stove, alcohol lamp, or a pocket stove is very convenient for
warming gruels, broths and other similar foods, as either can be made
ready for use in a moment, and will heat the small quantity of food
necessary for an invalid in one fourth the time in which it could be
accomplished over the range, if necessary to reduce the fire.
In the preparation of food for the sick, a scrupulously clean dish for
cooking is of the first importance. It is a good plan in every household
to reserve one or two cooking utensils for this purpose, and not be
obliged to depend upon those in daily use. Utensils used for the cooking
of fruits, vegetables, meat, etc., unless cleaned with the utmost call
will sometimes impart a sufficiently unpleasant flavor to the food to
render it wholly unpalatable to an invalid whose senses are
These simple foods, the base of which is usually some one of the grains,
play an important part in the dietary for the sick, if properly
prepared; but the sloppy messes sometimes termed gruel, the chief merit
of which appears to be that they "are prepared in ten minutes," are
scarcely better than nothing at all. Like other dishes prepared from the
grains, gruel needs a long, continuous cooking. When done, it should be
the very essence of the grain, possessing all its nutritive qualities,
but in such form as to be readily assimilated. For the making of gruels,
as for the cooking of grains for any other purpose, the double boiler is
the best utensil.
[Illustration: Gruel Strainer.]
If it is desirable to strain the gruel before serving, have a fine wire
strainer of a size to stand conveniently within a large bowl or basin,
turn the gruel into this, and rub it through with a wooden or silver
spoon, using a second spoon, if necessary, to remove that which hangs
beneath the sieve. On no account use the first spoon for the latter
operation, as by so doing one is apt to get some of the hulls into the
gruel and destroy its smoothness. When as much of the gruel as possible
has been rubbed through the sieve, pour the strained liquid into a clean
dish, reheat to boiling, and season as desired before serving. An
extension strainer which can be fitted over any sized dish is also
serviceable for straining gruels.
[Illustration: Extension Strainer.]
Gruels, like all other foods, should be retained in the mouth for proper
insalivation, and it is well to eat them with wafers or some hard food,
when solid food is allowed.
ARROWROOT GRUEL.--Rub a dessertspoonful of _pure_ arrowroot to a
thin paste in two tablespoonfuls of cold water, and stir it into a half
pint of boiling water, or, if preferred, a cup and a third of boiling
milk, and stir rapidly until thickened and clear. If desired, a little
lemon peel for flavoring may be infused in the water or milk, before
adding the arrowroot. Sweeten, if allowed, and serve.
BARLEY GRUEL.--Wash three heaping tablespoonfuls of pearl barley,
drop it into a pint of boiling water, and parboil five minutes. Pour
this water off and add a quart of fresh boiling water. Let it simmer
gently for three hours. Strain, season, and serve. A small piece of
lemon rind added to the gruel a half hour before it is done, gives it a
very agreeable flavor. Equal quantities of milk and barley gruel make a
very nourishing drink; the milk, however, should not be added to the
gruel until needed, as in a warm atmosphere it undergoes quite rapid
change, and is likely to ferment. A little lemon juice, with sugar to
sweeten to taste, is sometimes preferred as seasoning for barley gruel.
EGG GRUEL.--Heat a cup of milk to boiling, and stir into it one
well-beaten egg mixed with one fourth cup of cold milk. Stir constantly
for a few minutes till thickened, but do not allow it to boil again.
Season with a little salt, or if preferred and allowed, a little loaf
EGG GRUEL NO. 2.--Boil the yolks of three eggs until dry and mealy,
mash perfectly smooth, then add a cup of boiling milk. Season with salt,
FARINA GRUEL.--Moisten two table spoonfuls of farina with a very
little cold milk, and stir it into a cupful of boiling water. Boil until
it thickens, add a cupful of new milk, turn into a double boiler, and
cook again for twenty or thirty minutes. Strain if necessary, season
with salt or sugar, and serve.
FLOUR GRUEL.--Rub one heaping tablespoonful of whole-wheat flour to
a thin paste with three tablespoonfuls of cold milk, and stir it into a
pint of boiling milk. Cook for ten or twelve minutes. Season with salt,
strain if necessary, and while hot, stir in the beaten white of one egg.
The egg may be omitted if preferred; or the yolk of the egg and a little
sugar may be used instead, if the patient's condition will allow it.
GLUTEN GRUEL.--Stir two and one half tablespoonfuls of the wheat
gluten prepared by the Sanitarium Food Co., Battle Creek, Mich., into a
pint of boiling milk; boil until thickened, when it is ready to serve.
GLUTEN GRUEL NO. 2.--Into a pint of boiling water stir three
heaping tablespoonfuls of the prepared gluten. Boil until thickened, and
add a half cup of thin cream.
GLUTEN CREAM.--Heat a pint of thin cream to boiling, and stir into
it three tablespoonfuls of wheat gluten. When thickened, it is ready to
GLUTEN MEAL GRUEL.--Into a cup and a half of boiling water stir
four tablespoonfuls of gluten meal (prepared by the Sanitarium Food
Co.), let it boil for a moment, add six tablespoonfuls of rather thin,
sweet cream, and serve.
GRAHAM GRUEL.--Heat three cups of water in the inner dish of a
double boiler, and when vigorously boiling stir into it carefully, a
little at a time, so as not to check the boiling, one scant cup of
Graham flour which has been rubbed perfectly smooth in a cup of warm,
not hot, water. Stir until thickened, then place in the outer boiler and
cook for an hour or longer. When done, strain if necessary, season with
salt if desired, and a half cup of sweet cream.
GRAHAM GRITS GRUEL.--Cook three heaping tablespoonfuls of Graham
grits in a quart of boiling water, as directed in the chapter on Grains,
for three hours. Turn through a soup strainer to remove any lumps,
season with half a cup of cream, and salt if desired. Well cooked Graham
grits may be made into gruel by thinning with water or milk, straining
and seasoning as above.
GRUEL OF PREPARED FLOUR.--Knead a pint of flour with water into a
ball, and tie firmly in a linen cloth; put it into a granite-ware basin
or kettle, cover with boiling water, and boil slowly, replenishing with
boiling water as needed, for twelve hours. Put it before the fire to
dry. Afterward remove the cloth, and also a thick skin which will have
formed over the ball. Dry the interior again. When needed for use, rub a
tablespoonful of the prepared flour smooth with three spoonfuls of cold
milk, and stir it into a pint of boiling milk. Cook from three to five
minutes. Season with salt if desired.
INDIAN MEAL GRUEL.--Make a thin paste of one teaspoonful of flour,
two tablespoonfuls of best cornmeal, and a little water. Stir this into
a quart of boiling water, or milk and water in equal proportions, as
preferred. Boil until the meal has set, stirring constantly; then turn
into a double boiler and cook for an hour and half or two hours. Season
with salt, and strain. If too thick, thin with milk or cream.
LEMON OATMEAL GRUEL.--The United States Dispensary recommends the
following method of preparing oatmeal gruel for fever patients; "Rub one
heaping tablespoonful of fine oatmeal smooth in a little cold water;
stir this into three pints of boiling water. Cook until the quantity is
reduced to two pints; then strain, and let it cool and settle. When it
is quite cold, pour the clear gruel from the sediment, add the juice of
a lemon, and sugar to sweeten slightly. If desirable to serve it warm,
reheat before adding the lemon juice." Freshly cooked oatmeal may be
thinned with boiling water, strained and seasoned in the same manner.
MILK OATMEAL GRUEL.--Take a pint of milk and one of water, and heat
to boiling. Stir in three heaping table spoonfuls of oatmeal, and cook
in a double boiler for two or three hours.
MILK PORRIDGE.--Take one pint of milk and the same quantity of
water, and heat to boiling. Stir in two heaping tablespoonfuls of
cornmeal or Graham grits, boil, stirring continuously, until the meal
has set, then turn into a double boiler and cook for two hours or
longer. Season with salt, and a tablespoonful of sweet cream if allowed.
OATMEAL GRUEL.--Into one quart of boiling water stir two heaping
tablespoonfuls of fine oatmeal; let it boil until it thickens, stirring
all the time; then turn into a double boiler and cook for three and a
half or four hours. Strain before serving. A little cream may also be
added, unless contra-indicated by the patient's condition.
OATMEAL GRUEL NO. 2.--Pound one half cup of coarse oatmeal until it
is mealy. The easiest way to do this is to tie the oatmeal in a coarse
cloth and pound it with a wooden mallet. Put it in a pint bowl, and fill
the bowl with cold water. Stir briskly for a few moments until the water
is white, then allow the meal to settle. Pour off the water, being
careful to get none of the sediment. Fill the bowl a second time with
cold water, stir thoroughly, let settle, and pour off the water as
before. Do this the third time. Boil the liquid one half hour, strain,
and serve hot. If very thick, a little cream or milk may be added.
OATMEAL GRUEL NO, 3.--Add to one cup of well-cooked oatmeal while
hot two cups of hot milk, or one cup of hot milk and one of hot water.
Beat all thoroughly together, add a little salt if desired, strain, and
PEPTONIZED GLUTEN GRUEL.--Prepare the gruel as directed for Gluten
Gruel No. 1. Strain if needed, cook to lukewarm, and turn it into a
pitcher, which place in a dish containing hot water even in depth with
the gruel in the pitcher; add the peptonizing fluid or powder, stir
well, and let it stand in the hot water bath for ten minutes. The
temperature must not be allowed to rise over 130 deg. Put into a clean
dish and serve at once, or place on ice till needed. Other well-cooked
gruels maybe peptonized in the same way.
RAISIN GRUEL.--Stone and quarter two dozen raisins and boil them
twenty minutes in a small quantity of water. When the water has nearly
boiled away, add two cups of new milk. When the milk is boiling, add one
heaping tablespoonful of Graham or whole-wheat flour which has been
rubbed to a thin paste with a little cold milk. Boil until thickened,
stirring all the time; then turn into a double boiler and cook for
twenty minutes or half an hour. Season with salt and serve.
RICE WATER.--Wash half a cup of rice very thoroughly in several
waters. Put it into a saucepan with three cups of cold water and boil
for half an hour. Strain off the rice water, season with salt if
desired, and serve.
PREPARATIONS OF MILK.
MILK DIET.--An almost exclusive milk diet is sometimes a great
advantage in cases of sickness. It is usually necessary to begin the use
of the milk in moderate quantities, gradually withdrawing the more solid
food and increasing the quantity of milk. In the course of a week, all
other food should be withdrawn, and the quantity of milk increased to
three or four quarts a day. Milk is easily digested, and hence may be
taken at more frequent intervals than other food.
ALBUMINIZED MILK.--Shake together in a well-corked bottle or glass
fruit can, a pint of fresh milk and the well-beaten whites of two eggs,
until thoroughly mixed. Serve at once.
HOT MILK.--Hot milk is an excellent food for many classes of
invalids. The milk should be fresh, and should be heated in a double
boiler until the top is wrinkled over the entire surface.
JUNKET, OR MILK CURD.--Heat a cup of fresh milk to 85 deg., add one
teaspoonful of the essence of pepsin, and stir just enough to mix
thoroughly. Let it stand until firmly curded, and serve.
KOUMISS.--Dissolve one fourth of a two-cent cake of compressed
yeast, and two teaspoonfuls of white sugar, in three tablespoonfuls of
lukewarm water. Pour this into a quart bottle and add sufficient fresh,
sweet milk to nearly fill. Shake well, and place in a room of the
temperature of 70 deg. to 80 deg. F., and allow it to ferment about six
hours. Cork tightly and tie the cork in. Put in a cool place, act above
60 deg. and let it remain a week, when it will be ready for use. In
making koumiss be sure that the milk is pure, the bottle sound, and the
yeast fresh. Open the bottle with a champagne tap. If there is any curd
or thickening resembling cheese, the fermentation has been prolonged
beyond the proper point, and the koumiss should not be used.
MILK AND LIME WATER.--In cases where milk forms large curds, or
sours in the stomach, lime water prepared in the following manner may be
added to the milk before using:--
Into a gallon jar of water, put a piece of lime the size of one's fist.
Cover the jar and let the lime settle over night. In the morning, draw
the water off the top with a syphon, being careful not to move the jar
so as to mix again the particles of lime with the water.
Two tablespoonfuls of the lime water is usually sufficient for a pint
PEPTONIZED MILK FOR INFANTS.--One gill of cows' milk, fresh and
unskimmed; one gill of pure water; two tablespoonfuls of rich, sweet
cream; two hundred grains of milk sugar, one and one fourth grains of
_extractum pancreatis_; four grains of sodium bicarbonate. Put the above
in a clean nursing bottle, and place the bottle in water so warm that
the whole hand cannot be held in it longer for one minute without pain.
Keep the milk at this temperature for exactly twenty minutes. Prepare
fresh just before using.
BEEF-TEA, BROTHS, ETC.
Beef tea and meat broths are by no means so useful as foods for the sick
as is generally supposed. The late Dr. Austin Flint used to say of these
foods, that "the valuation by most persons outside of the medical
profession, and by many within it, of beef tea or its analogues, the
various solutions, most of the extracts, and the expressed juice of
meat, is a delusion and a snare which has led to the loss of many lives
"The quantity of nutritive material in these preparations is
insignificant or nil, and it is vastly important that they should be
reckoned as of little or no value, except as indirectly conducive to
nutrition by acting as stimulants for the secretion of the digestive
fluids, or as vehicles for the introduction of the nutritive substances.
Furthermore, it is to be considered that water and pressure not only
fail to extract the alimentary principles of meat, but that the
excrementitious principles, or the products of destructive assimilation,
_are_ thereby extracted."
Vegetable broths prepared from grains and legumes possess a much higher
nutritive value, while they lack the objectionable features of meat
BEEF EXTRACT.--Take a pound of lean beef, cut it up into small
dice, and put into a glass fruit jar. Screw on the cover tightly, put
the jar into a vessel filled with cold water to a depth sufficient to
come to the top of contents of the jar, and set over a slow fire. As
soon as the water boils, set where it will keep just boiling, but no
more; and cook for an hour or an hour and a quarter. Then strain,
season, and serve. If preferred, a double boiler may be used for the
preparation of the extract.
BEEF JUICE.--Cut a thick slice of round steak, trim off every
particle of fat, and broil it over a clear fire just long enough to heat
it throughout. Next gash it in many places with a sharp knife, and with
the aid of a beef-juice press or lemon squeezer, press out all the juice
into a bowl set in hot water, salt but very slightly, remove all
globules of fat, and serve. This may also be frozen and given the
patient in small lumps, if so ordered.
BEEF TEA.--Take a pound of fresh, lean, juicy beef of good
flavor,--the top of the round and the back and middle of the rump are
the best portions for the purpose,--from which all fat, bones, and
sinews have been carefully removed; cut into pieces a quarter of an inch
square, or grind in a sausage-cutter. Add a quart of cold water, and put
into a clean double boiler. Place over the fire, and heat very slowly,
carefully removing all scum as it rises. Allow it to cook gently for two
or three hours, or until the water has been reduced one half. Strain,
and put away to cool. Before using, remove all fat from the surface, and
season. In reheating, a good way is to place a quantity in a cup, and
set the cup into hot water until the tea is sufficiently hot. This
prevents waste, and if the patient is not ready for the tea, it can be
easily kept hot.
BEEF TEA AND EGGS.--Beat the yolk of an egg thoroughly in a teacup
and fill the cup with boiling beef tea, stirring all the while. Season
with a little salt if desired.
BEEF BROTH AND OATMEAL.--Rub two tablespoonfuls of oatmeal smooth
in an equal quantity of cold water, and stir into a quart of boiling
beef broth. Cook in a double broiler for two hours, strain, and season
with salt and a little cream if allowed. Or, thin well-cooked oatmeal
mush with beef-tea; strain, reheat, season, and serve.
BOTTLED BEEF TEA.--Cut two pounds of round steak into small dice,
rejecting all skin and fat. Put it into a glass fruit jar with one cup
of cold water. Cover the can sufficiently tight to prevent any water
from boiling in, and place it on a wisp of straw or a muffin ring in a
kettle of cold water. Heat very gradually, and keep it just below the
boiling point for two or more hours; or, place the can in a deep dish of
hot water, and cook in a moderate oven for three hours. Allow the meat
to cook thus four or five hours, or until it appears white, by which
time it will have discharged all its juice. Turn the liquor off, strain
through a piece of muslin or cheese cloth laid in a colander, and cool;
then if any fat has been left, it will harden on the top, and can be
removed. When needed for use, reheat, season, and serve.
CHICKEN BROTH.--Take a well dressed, plump spring chicken, cut it
into half-inch pieces, cracking well all the bones; add cold water,--a
quart to the pound of meat and bones,--and cook the same as beef-tea.
Allow the broth to cool before using, and carefully skim off all
particles of fat before reheating. If allowed, a tablespoonful of
steamed rice may be added to the broth, or a well-beaten egg may be
stirred in while hot just before serving. Heat until the whole becomes
thickened, but do not boil.
If preferred, the broth may be prepared by using only the white portion
of the chicken in connection with lean beef. This is liked better by
some to whom the strong flavor of the chicken is not pleasant. Or,
prepare equal quantity of rich milk, season with salt, reheat, and
serve. The broth may be flavored with celery if allowed.
MUTTON BROTH.--Cut a pound of perfectly fresh, lean mutton or
lamb--the scrags of neck are best--into small dice. Add a quart of cold
water, and simmer gently for two or three hours. Strain, and when cold
skim off all fat. Reheat when needed for use.
If preferred, a tablespoonful of rice which has been soaked for an hour
in a little warm water, or a tablespoonful of cooked barley, may be
simmered in the broth for a half hour before serving. Season with salt
VEGETABLE BROTH.--Put a cupful of well washed white beans into a
quart of cold water in a double boiler, and cook slowly until but a
cupful of the liquor remains. Strain off the broth, add salt, and serve
hot. If preferred, a few grains of powdered thyme may be added as
VEGETABLE BROTH NO. 2.--Pick over and wash a cup of dried Scotch
peas, and put to cook in a quart of cold water, cook slowly in a double
boiler or in a kettle placed on the range where they will just simmer,
until but a cupful of liquid remains. Strain off the broth, add salt and
one third of a cupful of the liquor, without pulp, from well-stewed
tomatoes. Serve hot.
MIXED VEGETABLE BROTHS.--Broths may be prepared as directed from
both black and white beaus, and combined in the proportion of one third
of the former to two thirds of the latter; or a broth of lentils may be
used instead of the black bean.
_RECIPES FOR PANADA._
BROTH PANADA.--Use beef or chicken broth in place of water, and
proceed the same as in Egg Panada, omitting the egg.
CHICKEN PANADA.--Take a cupful of the white meat of chicken,
pounded to a paste in a mortar, and half a cup of whole-wheat crust or
zwieback crumbs. Add sufficient chicken broth to make a thick gruel.
Season with salt, boil up for a few minutes, and serve hot.
EGG PANADA.--Put two ounces of light, whole-wheat crusts into a
pint of cold water in a granite-ware stewpan; simmer gently for three
quarters of an hour, stirring occasionally. Season with a spoonful of
sweet cream and a little salt, then stir in the well-beaten yolk of an
egg, and serve.
MILK PANADA.--Heat a pint of milk to boiling, then allow it to
cool. Add two ounces of nice, light, whole-wheat crusts, and simmer for
half an hour, stirring frequently. Season with a little sugar, if
allowed. Granola may be used in place of the crusts, if preferred.
RAISIN PANADA.--Boil a half cup of raisins in a half pint of water.
Break a slice of zwieback into fragments in a bowl. Add a well-beaten
egg and a teaspoonful of sugar. Pour in the raisins, water and all, and
beat very thoroughly.
GRAINS FOR THE SICK.
For invalids able to digest solid food, rice, cracked wheat, Graham
grits, oatmeal, barley, farina and other grains may be prepared and
cooked as previously directed in the chapter on Grains.
The various cooked preparations of grains--granola, wheatena, avenola,
wheat gluten and gluten meal--manufactured by the Sanitarium Food Co.,
Battle Creek, Mich., form excellent articles of diet for many invalids,
when served with hot milk or cream, or prepared in the form of mush.
Several recipes for their use have already been given in preceding
chapters; the following are a few additional ones:--
GLUTEN MUSH.--Heat together a cup of thin cream and three cups of
water; when boiling, sift in lightly with the fingers, stirring
continuously meanwhile, enough wheat gluten to make a mush of the
desired consistency. Boil up once and serve. A few blanched or roasted
almonds may be stirred in just before serving, if desired.
TOMATO GLUTEN.--Heat a pint of stewed tomato, which has been rubbed
through a fine colander to remove the seeds, to boiling, add salt to
season, and three tablespoonfuls of gluten meal. Boil together for a
moment until thickened, and serve hot.
TOMATO GLUTEN NO. 2.--Prepare the same as the preceding, using five
tablespoonfuls of the gluten meal, and seasoning with two tablespoonfuls
of rather thick, sweet cream.
MEATS FOR THE SICK.
All meats for the sick should be prepared in the very simplest way,
served with the plainest possible dressing, and without the use of
condiments other than salt.
BROILED STEAK.--Take a half pound of round steak and a slice of
tenderloin; wipe well with a clean, wet cloth. Have a clear fire; place
the meat in an open wire broiler or on a gridiron over the coals, and
cook, turning as often as you can count ten, for four or five minutes,
if the slices are about one inch thick; then with a lemon squeezer
squeeze the juice from the round steak over the tenderloin, season with
a little salt, and serve at once on a hot plate.
CHICKEN.--For an invalid, the breast of a tender chicken broiled
quickly over hot coals is best. For directions for broiling chicken see
CHICKEN JELLY.--Dress a small chicken. Disjoint, break or pound the
bones, and cut the meat into half-inch pieces. Remove every particle of
fat possible. Cover with cold water, heat very slowly, and simmer gently
until the meat is in rags, and the liquid reduced about one half. Strain
off the liquor, cool, and remove all the fat. To make the broth more
clear, add the shell and white of an egg, then reheat slowly, stirring
all the time until hot. Strain through a fine cloth laid inside of a
colander. Salt and a little lemon may be added as seasoning. Pour into
small cups, and cool.
MINCED CHICKEN.--Stew the breast of a young chicken until tender;
mince fine with a sharp knife. Thicken the liquor in which it was stewed
with a little flour, add salt and a little cream if allowed, then the
minced chicken, and serve hot on zwieback, softened with cream as
directed in the chapter on Breakfast Dishes.
MUTTON CHOP.--Select a chop containing a large tenderloin: cut
thick, and broil for eight or ten minutes as directed for beef steak.
Season lightly with salt, and serve hot.
MINCED STEAK.--Mince some nice, juicy steak with a chopping knife,
or in a sausage-cutter, rejecting as much of the fiber as possible; make
into small cakes and broil the same as steak. Salt lightly when done,
and for dressing use a little beef juice prepared as directed on page
427. It may be thickened with a little flour as for gravy, if preferred.
SCRAPED STEAK.--Take a small piece of nice, juicy steak, and with a
blunt case-knife or tablespoon, scrape off all the pulp, being careful
to get none of the fibers. Press the pulp together in the form of
patties, and broil quickly over glowing coals. Salt lightly, and serve
hot. It is better to be as rare as the patient can take it. Instead of
butter, turn a spoonful or two of thick, hot beef juice over the steak,
if any dressing other than salt is required.
EGGS FOR THE SICK.
FLOATED EGG.--Separate the white from the yolk, and drop the yolk,
taking great care not to break it, into boiling, salted water. Cook
until hard and mealy. In the meantime, beat the white of the egg until
stiff and firm. When the yolk is cooked, remove it from the water with a
skimmer. Let the water cease to boil, then dip the beaten white in
spoonfuls on the top of the scalding water, allowing it to remain for a
second or two until coagulated, but not hardened. Arrange the white in a
hot egg saucer, and place the cooked yolk in the center, or serve on
toast. This makes a very pretty, as well as appetising dish, if care is
taken to keep the yolk intact.
GLUTEN MEAL CUSTARD.--Beat together thoroughly, one pint of rich
milk, one egg, and four tablespoonfuls of gluten meal. Add a little salt
if desired, and cook with the dish set in another containing boiling
water, until the custard has set. Or, turn the custard into cups, which
place in a dripping pan partly filled with hot water, and cook in a
moderate oven until the custard is set.
GLUTEN CUSTARD.--Into a quart of boiling milk stir four
tablespoonfuls of wheat gluten moistened with a little of the milk,
which may be reserved for the purpose. Allow it to cook until thickened.
Cool to lukewarm temperature, and add three well-beaten eggs, and a
trifle of salt, if desired. Turn into cups, and steam over a kettle of
boiling water until the custard is set.
STEAMED EGGS.--Break an egg into an egg saucer, sauce-dish, or
patty pan, salt very slightly, and steam until the white has just set.
In this way, it will retain its shape perfectly, and not be mixed with
the few drops of water so annoying to invalids, and so hard to avoid in
dishing a poached egg from water.
SOFT CUSTARD.--Boil some milk, then cool it to 180 deg., add three
whipped eggs to each quart of milk, and keep at the temperature of 180 deg.
for fifteen or twenty minutes. The object is to coagulate the eggs
without producing the bad effect of exposure to a high temperature.
RAW EGGS.--Break a fresh egg into a glass, add a tablespoonful of
sugar, and heat to a stiff froth; a little cold water may be added if
WHITE OF EGG.--Stir the white of an egg into a glass of cold
water, or water as warm as it can be without coagulating the egg, and
WHITE OF EGG AND MILK.--The white of an egg beaten to a stiff froth
and stirred into a glass of milk, forms a nourishing food for persons of
REFRESHING DRINKS AND DELICACIES FOR THE SICK.
In many fevers and acute diseases, but little food is required, and that
of a character which merely appeases hunger and quenches thirst, without
stimulation and without affording much nourishment.
Preparations from sago, tapioca, and other farinaceous substances are
sometimes serviceable for this purpose. Oranges, grapes, and other
perfectly ripened and juicy fruits are also most excellent. They are
nature's own delicacies, and serve both for food and drink. They should
not, however, be kept in the sick room, but preserved in some cool
place, and served when needed, as fresh and in as dainty a manner as
possible. Like all food provided for the sick, they should be arranged
to please the eye as well as the palate. The capricious appetite of an
invalid will often refuse luscious fruit from the hand of a nurse, which
would have been gladly accepted had it been served on dainty china, with
a clean napkin and silver.
The juice of the various small fruits and berries forms a basis from
which may be made many refreshing drinks especially acceptable to the
dry, parched mouth of a sick person.
Fruit juices can be prepared with but little trouble. For directions see
Beverages from fruit juices are prepared by using a small quantity of
the juice, and sufficient cold water to dilute it to the taste. If it is
desirable to use such a drink for a sick person in some household where
fruit juices have not been put up for the purpose, the juice may be
obtained from a can of strawberries, raspberries, or other small fruit,
by turning the whole into a coarse cloth and straining off the juice; or
a tablespoonful of currant or other jelly may be dissolved in a tumbler
of warm water, and allowed to cool. Either will make a good substitute
for the prepared fruit juice, though the flavor will be less delicate.
The hot beverages and many of the cold ones given in the chapter on
Beverages will be found serviceable for the sick, as will also the
following additional ones:--
ACORN COFFEE.--Select plump, round, sweet acorns. Shell, and brown
in an oven; then grind in a coffee-mill, and use as ordinary coffee.
ALMOND MILK.--Blanch a quarter of a pound of shelled almonds by
pouring over them a quart of boiling water, and when the skins soften,
rubbing them off with a coarse towel. Pound the almonds in a mortar, a
few at a time, adding four or five drops of milk occasionally, to
prevent their oiling. About one tablespoonful of milk in all will be
sufficient. When finely pounded, mix the almonds with a pint of milk,
two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a little piece of lemon rind. Place the
whole over the fire to simmer for a little time. Strain, if preferred,
and serve cold.
APPLE BEVERAGE.--Pare and slice very thin a juicy tart apple into a
china bowl. Cover with boiling water, put a saucer over the bowl, and
allow the water to get cold. Strain and drink. Crab apples may be used
in the same way.
APPLE BEVERAGE NO. 2.--Bake two large, sour apples, and when
tender, sprinkle a tablespoonful of sugar over them, and return to the
oven until the sugar is slightly browned. Break and mash the apples with
a silver spoon, pour over them a pint of boiling water; cover and let
stand until cold; then strain and serve.
APPLE TOAST WATER.--Break a slice of zwieback into small pieces,
and mix with them two or three well-baked tart apples. Pour over all a
quart of boiling water, cover, and let stand until cold, stirring
occasionally. When cold, strain, add sugar to sweeten if desired, and
BAKED MILK.--Put a quart of new milk in a stone jar, tie a white
paper over it, and let it stand in a moderately heated oven eight or ten
hours. It becomes of a creamy consistency.
BARLEY LEMONADE.--Put a half cup of pearl barley into a quart of
cold water, and simmer gently until the water has become mucilaginous
and quite thick. This will take from an hour to an hour and a half. The
barley will absorb most of the water, but the quantity given should make
a teacupful of good, thick barley water. Add to this two teaspoonfuls of
lemon juice and a tablespoonful of sugar. Let it get cold before
serving. By returning the barley to the stewpan with another quart of
cold water, and simmering for an hour or an hour and a half longer, a
second cap of barley water may be obtained, almost as good as the first.
BARLEY AND FRUIT DRINK.--Prepare a barley water as above, and add
to each cupful a tablespoonful or two of cranberry, grape, raspberry, or
any tart fruit syrup. The pure juice sweetened will answer just as well;
or a little fruit jelly may be dissolved and added.
BARLEY MILK.--Wash two tablespoonfuls of pearl barley in cold water
until the water is clear. Put it to cook in a double boiler, with a
quart of milk, and boil till the milk is reduced to a pint. Strain off
the milk, and sweeten if desired.
CRANBERRY DRINK.--Mash carefully selected, ripe cranberries
thoroughly in an earthen dish, and pour boiling water over them. Let the
mixture stand until cold, strain off the water, and sweeten to taste.
Barberries prepared in the same manner make a nice drink.
CURRANTADE.--Mash thoroughly a pint of ripe, red currants, and one
half the quantity of red raspberries; add sugar to sweeten and two
quarts of cold water. Stir, strain, cool on ice, and serve.
CRUST COFFEE.--Brown slices of Graham bread in a slow oven until
very ark in color. Break in pieces and roll fine with a rolling pin. A
quantity of this material may be prepared at one time and stored in
glass fruit cans for use. When needed, pour a cupful of actively boiling
water over a dessertspoonful of the prepared crumbs, let it steep for a
few moments, then strain and serve.
EGG CREAM.--Beat the white of an egg to a stiff froth, add one
tablespoonful of white sugar, then beat again. Next add the yolk, and
beat; then a tablespoonful of milk, one of cold water, and one of any
fruit juice desired.
EGG CREAM NO. 2.--Prepare as above, using two tablespoonfuls of
water instead of one of water and one of milk, and a teaspoonful of
lemon juice in place of other fruit juice.
EGG CREAM NO. 3.--Beat the yolk of a freshly laid egg with a
tablespoonful of sugar until it is light and creamy; add to this, one
half cup of hot milk and stir in lightly the stiffly beaten white of the
egg. Serve at once.
EGG LEMONADE.--Beat the white of an egg to a stiff froth, then mix
with it the juice of a small lemon, and one tablespoonful of sugar. Add
a half pint of cold water. Or, beat together with an egg beater a
tablespoonful of lemon juice, a teaspoonful of sugar, the white of an
egg and a cup of cold water, until thoroughly mingled, then serve at
FLAXSEED TEA.--Take an ounce of whole flaxseed, half an ounce of
crushed licorice root, an ounce of refined sugar, and four
tablespoonfuls of lemon juice. Pour a quart of boiling water over them;
keep near the fire for four hours, and then strain off the liquid. The
flaxseed should not be crushed, as the mucilage is in the outer part of
the kernel, and if braised, the boiling water will extract the oil of
the seed, and render the decoction nauseous. Make fresh daily.
GUM ARABIC WATER.--Pour a pint of boiling water over an ounce of
clean gum arabic. When dissolved, add the juice of one lemon and a
teaspoonful of sugar, and strain.
HOT WATER.--Put good, fresh water into a perfectly clean
granite-ware kettle, already warmed; let it come to a boil very quickly,
and use at once. Do not leave it to simmer until it has become insipid
through the loss of the air which it contains.
HOT LEMONADE.--Put in a glass a thin slice of lemon and the juice
of half a small lemon, being careful to remove all seeds; mix with it
one dessertspoonful of white sugar, and fill the glass with boiling
water. Or, remove the peel of a lemon in very thin parings, turn one
pint of boiling water over them, letting it stand for a few moments
covered. Remove the peel, add the juice of a lemon and one tablespoonful
of sugar, and serve.
IRISH MOSS LEMONADE.--Soak one fourth of a cup of Irish moss in
cold water until it begins to soften; then work it free from sand and
tiny shells likely to be on it, and thoroughly wash. Put it in a
granite-ware basin, and pour over it two cups of boiling water. Leave on
the back of the range where it will keep hot, but not boil, for half an
hour; strain, add the juice of one lemon, and sugar to taste. Drink hot
or cold, as preferred.
ORANGEADE.--Rub lightly two ounces of lump sugar on the rind of two
nice, fresh oranges, to extract the flavor; put this sugar into a
pitcher, to which add the juice expressed from the oranges, and that
from one lemon. Pour over all one pint of cold water, stir thoroughly,
PLAIN LEMONADE.--For one glass of lemonade squeeze the juice of
half a small lemon into the glass; carefully remove all seeds and
particles. Add a dessertspoonful of sugar, and fill the glass with cold
SLIPPERY ELM TEA.--Pour boiling water over bits of slippery elm
bark or slippery elm powder, cool, and strain, if desired, a little
lemon juice and sugar may be added to flavor.
TOAST WATER.--Toast a pint of whole-wheat or Graham bread crusts
very brown, but do not burn. Cover with a pint of cold water. Let it
stand an hour, strain, and use. Sugar and a little cream may be added if
TAMARIND WATER.--Boil four ounces of tamarinds and the same of
raisins slowly, in three quarts of water, for fifteen or twenty minutes,
or until the water is reduced nearly one fourth; strain while hot into a
bowl with a small slice of lemon peel in it. Set away until cold before
For invalids who are able to partake of solid foods, the Breakfast
Rolls, Whole-wheat Puffs, Beaten Biscuit, Crisps, and other unfermented
breads, directions for the preparation of which are given in the chapter
on Bread, will be found excellent.
The various crackers, wafers, and invalid foods manufactured by the
Sanitarium Food Co., Battle Creek, Mich., are also to be recommended.
Zwieback, prepared as directed on page 289, will be found serviceable
and wholesome to be used with broths and gruels. It may be prepared so
as to look especially tempting by cutting off the crust of the bread,
and cutting the slice into fancy shapes with a cookie-cutter before
toasting. In cases where their use is allowable, many of the various
toasts given under the head of Breakfast Dishes will be relished.
DIABETIC BISCUIT.--Make a stiff dough of Graham or entire-wheat
flour and water. Knead thoroughly, and let it stand three hours; then
place on a sieve under a faucet, turn a stream of water over the dough,
and wash out the starch, kneading and working with the hands so that all
portions of the dough will be equally washed. When the starch has been
all washed out, as will be indicated by the water running off clear, the
dough will be a rubber-like, glutinous mass. It may then be cut into
long strips, and these divided into equal-sized pieces or cubes. Place
the pieces on shallow baking pans in a rather hot oven, which, after a
short time, should be allowed to cool to moderate heat, and bake for two
hours, when they should be of a dark, rich brown color and light and
crisp throughout. If tough, they need rebaking. If the oven is too hot,
the pieces will puff up, becoming mere hollow shells; if not
sufficiently hot, they will not rise properly.
DIABETIC BISCUIT NO. 2.--Prepare a dough and wash out the starch as
in the preceding. Add coarse middlings so that the dough can be rolled
into thin cakes, and bake.
GLUTEN MEAL GEMS.--Beat together one half cup of ice water, one
half cup of thick, sweet cream, and one egg; then add one cup and a
tablespoonful of the gluten meal prepared by the Sanitarium Food Co.
Turn into slightly heated gem irons, and bake in a moderately hot oven
from one half to three fourths of an hour.
JELLIES AND OTHER SIMPLE DESSERTS FOR THE SICK.
Invalids whose digestion will allow of other than the plainest foods
will find most of the desserts made with fruits and those with fruits
and grains given in the chapter on Desserts, excellent for their use.
The following are a few additional recipes of a similar character:--
ARROWROOT JELLY.--Rub two heaping teaspoonfuls of arrowroot smooth
in a very little cold water, and stir it into a cupful of boiling water,
in which should be dissolved two teaspoonfuls of sugar. Stir until
clear, allowing it to boil all the time; lastly, add a teaspoonful of
lemon juice. Serve cold, with cream and sugar if allowed.
ARROWROOT BLANCMANGE.--Rub two and a half tablespoonfuls of best
arrowroot smooth in half a cup of cold milk, and stir slowly into two
and one half cups of boiling new milk. When it begins to thicken, add
three fourths of a cup of sugar, and cook, stirring constantly for
several minutes. Turn into molds and cool. Serve with fruit juice or
CURRANT JELLY.--Soak an ounce of Cox's gelatine in half a pint of
cold water for fifteen minutes, then pour over it a teacupful of boiling
water; strain, and add one pint at currant juice, one tablespoonful of
sugar, and set on ice to cool.
ICELAND MOSS JELLY.--Wash about four ounces of moss very clean in
lukewarm water. Boil slowly in a quart of cold water. When quite
dissolved, strain it onto a tablespoonful of currant or raspberry jelly,
stirring so as to blend the jelly perfectly with the moss. Turn into a
mold, and cool.
ICELAND MOSS BLANCMANGE.--Substitute milk for the water, and
proceed as in the foregoing. Flavor with lemon or vanilla. Strain
through a muslin cloth, turn into a mold, and let stand till firm and
ORANGE WHEY.--Add the juice of one sour orange to a pint of sweet
milk. Heat very slowly until the milk is curded, then strain and cool.
WHITE CUSTARD.--Beat the whites of three eggs to a stiff froth, add
a little salt if desired, and two tablespoonfuls of sugar. A bit of
grated lemon rind may also be used for flavoring. Add lastly a pint of
new milk, little by little, beating thoroughly all the while. Bake in
cups set in a pan of hot water. When firm in the center, take out and
set in a cool place.
Regimen is better than physic.--_Voltaire._
Many dishes have induced many diseases.--_Seneca._
Dr. Lyman Beecher tells the following story of his aunt, which well
illustrates a popular notion that sick people should be fed with all
sorts of dainties, no matter what the nature of the disease. When a
boy eight or nine years of age, he was one day suffering in the
throes of indigestion, as the result of having swallowed a large
amount of indigestible mince pie. His kind-hearted aunt noticed the
pale and distressed look on his face, and said to him, with genuine
sympathy in her voice, "Lyman, you look sick. You may go into the
pantry and help yourself to a nice piece of fruit cake just warm
from the oven."
Fix on that course of life which is the most excellent, and custom
will render it the most delightful.--_Pythagoras._
A MERE indigestion can temporarily metamorphose the character. The
eel stews of Mohammed II. kept the whole empire in a state of
nervous excitement, and one of the meat-pies which King Philip
failed to digest caused the revolt of the Netherlands.--_Oswald._
Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.
Man's habitual words and acts imply that they are at liberty to
treat their bodies as they please. The fact is, that all breaches of
the laws of health are physical sins.--_Herbert Spencer._
Practical right and good conduct are much more dependent on health
of body than on health of mind.--_Prof. Schneider._
Dr. Abernathy's reply to the Duke of York when consulted about his
health was, "Cut off the supplies and the enemy will soon leave the
FOOD FOR THE AGED AND THE VERY YOUNG.
FOOD FOR THE AGED
One of the first requisites of food for the aged is that it shall be
easy of digestion, since with advancing age and decreasing physical
energy, digestion and assimilation may be taken with impunity at an
earlier period of life, overtax the enfeebled organs and prove highly
injurious. The fact that the vital machinery is worn and weakened with
age has led to the popular notion that old people require a stimulating
diet as a "support" for their declining forces. That this is an error is
apparent from the fact that stimulation either by drink or food lessens
instead of reinforces vital strength, thus defeating the very purpose
desired. Flesh food in quantities is a peculiarly unsuitable diet for
the aged, not alone because it is stimulating, but because it produces a
tendency to plethora, a condition which is especially inimical to the
health of old persons. Eminent authorities on diet also reason that the
loss of the teeth at this period, whereby thorough mastication of flesh
food is done with difficulty, even with the best artificial aids, should
be considered a sign that nature intends such foods to be discarded by
A milk, grain, and fruit diet is undoubtedly the one best suited to the
average person in old age. Vegetables and legumes in well-prepared soups
may also be used to advantage. Directions for such soups, as also for
cooking grains and grain products, will be found in the preceding pages.
The following bills of fare, one for each season of the year, will
perhaps serve to illustrate how a varied and appetizing regimen may be
provided without the use of flesh foods:--
Graham Grits and Cream
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Vegetable Broth with Toasted Rolls
Baked Potato with Pease Gravy
Cracked Wheat and Cream
Manioca with Fruit
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Rolled Oats and Cream
Baked Sweet Apples
Macaroni with Cream Sauce
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Baked Potato with Cream Sauce
Green Corn Pulp
Browned Rice and Cream
Lemon Apple Sauce
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Blackberry Mush and Cream
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Green Pea Soup
Macaroni with Tomato Sauce
Pearl Barley and Cream
Stewed Fruit Pudding
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Rolled Wheat and Cream
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
Vegetable Oyster Soup
Baked Sweet Potato
Steamed Rice with Fig Sauce
Stewed Dried Fruit
Caramel Coffee or Hot Milk
In the selection of a dietary for elderly persons, much must depend
upon their physical condition, the daily amount of exercise to which
they are accustomed, their habits in earlier life, and a variety of
The quantity as well as quality of food for the aged should receive
consideration. Diminished bodily activity and the fact that growth has
ceased, render a smaller amount of food necessary to supply needs; and a
decrease in the amount taken, in proportion to the age and the activity
of the subject, must be made or health will suffer. The system will
become clogged, the blood filled with imperfectly elaborated material,
and gout, rheumatism, apoplexy, or other diseased conditions will be the
inevitable result. The digestion of heavy meals is a tax upon vital
powers at any time of life, but particularly so as age advances; and for
him who has passed his first half-century, over-feeding is fraught with
great danger. Cornaro, an Italian of noble family, contemporary with
Titian in the sixteenth century, after reaching his eighty-third year
wrote several essays upon diet and regimen for the aged, in one of which
he says: "There are old lovers of feeding who say that it is necessary
that they should eat and drink a great deal to keep up their natural
heat, which is constantly diminishing as they advance in years; and that
it is therefore their duty to eat heartily and of such things as please
their palate, be they hot, cold, or temperate, and that if they were to
lead a sober life, it would be a short one. To this I answer; Our kind
Mother Nature, in order that old men may live to still greater age, has
contrived matters so that they may be able to subsist on little, as I
do; for large quantities of food cannot be digested by old and feeble
Cornaro lived to be one hundred years old, doubtless owing largely to
his simple, frugal habits.
DIET FOR THE YOUNG.
A very large share of the mortality among young children results from
dietetic errors which proper knowledge and care on the part of those who
have them in charge might commonly avoid. From infancy to the age of
twelve or eighteen months, milk is the natural and proper food. Milk
contains all the food elements except starch, which cannot be digested
by very young children, owing to the insufficient formation of digestive
elements of the salivary secretion during the first few months. If the
child is deprived of the milk provided by nature, the best artificial
food is cow's milk; it, however, requires very careful selection and
intelligent preparation. The animal from which the milk comes, should be
perfectly healthy and well cared for. The quality of her food should
also receive attention, as there is little doubt that disease is often
communicated to infants by milk from cows improperly fed and cared for.
An eminent medical authority offers the following important points on
"The cow selected for providing the food for an infant should be between
the ages of four and ten years, of mild disposition, and one which has
been giving milk from four to eight weeks. She should be fed on good,
clean grain, and hay free from must. Roots, if any are fed, should be of
good quality, and she should have plenty of good clean water from a
living spring or well. Her pasture should be timothy grass or native
grass free from weeds; clover alone is bad. She should be cleaned and
cared for like a carriage horse, and milked twice a day by the same
person and at the same time. Some cows are unfit by nature for feeding
Milk from the same animal should be used if possible. Changing from one
cow's milk to another, or the use of such milk as is usually supplied by
city milkmen, often occasions serious results. The extraction of the
heat from the milk immediately after milking and before it is used or
carried far, especially in hot weather, is essential. While the milk
itself should be clean and pure, it should also be perfectly fresh and
without any trace of decomposition. To insure all these requisites,
besides great care in its selection, it must be sterilized, and if not
intended for immediate use, bottled and kept in a cool place until
needed. It is not safe to feed young children upon unsterilized milk
that has stood a few hours. Even fresh milk from the cleanest cows,
unless drawn into bottles and sealed at once, contains many germs. These
little organisms, the cause of fermentation and decomposition, multiply
very rapidly in milk, and as they increase, dangers from the use of the
There is no doubt that cholera infantum and other digestive disturbances
common among young children would be greatly lessened by the use of
properly sterilized milk. Directions for sterilizing milk, and
additional suggestions respecting points to be considered in its
selection, are to be found in the chapter on Milk, etc.
Cow's milk differs from human milk in that it contains nearly three
times as much casein, but only two thirds as much fat and three fourths
as much sugar. Cow's milk is usually slightly acid, while human milk is
alkaline. The casein of cow's milk forms large, hard curds, while that
of breast milk forms fine, soft curds. These facts make it important
that some modification be made in cow's milk to render it acceptable to
the feeble stomach of an infant. Cases are rare where it is safe to feed
a child under nine months of age on pure, undiluted cow's milk. A common
method of preparing cow's milk so as to make it suitable for infant
feeding, is to dilute it with pure water, using at first only one third
or one fourth milk, the proportion of milk being gradually increased as
the child's stomach becomes accustomed to the food and able to bear it,
until at the age of four months the child should be taking equal parts
of milk and water. When sterilized milk is to be thus diluted, the water
should be first boiled or added before sterilizing. A small amount of
fine white sugar, or what is better, milk sugar, should be added to the
diluted milk. Barley water, and thin, well-boiled, and carefully
strained oatmeal gruel thoroughly blended with the milk are also used
for this purpose. A food which approximates more nearly the constituents
of mother's milk may be prepared as follows:--
ARTIFICIAL HUMAN MILK NO. 1.--Blend one fourth pint of fresh, sweet
cream and three fourths of a pint of warm water. Add one half ounce of
milk sugar and from two to ten ounces of milk, according to the age of
the infant and its digestive capacity.
ARTIFICIAL HUMAN MILK NO. 2.--Meigs's formula: Take two
tablespoonfuls of cream of medium quality, one tablespoonful of milk,
two of lime water, and three of water to which sugar of milk has been
added in the proportion of seventeen and three fourths drams to the
pint. This saccharine solution must be prepared fresh every day or two
and kept in a cool place. A child may be allowed from half a pint to
three pints of this mixture, according to age.
ARTIFICIAL HUMAN MILK NO. 3.--Prepare a barley water by adding one
pint boiling water to a pint of best pearl barley. Allow it to cool, and
strain. Mix together one third of a pint of this barley water, two
thirds of a pint of fresh, pure milk, and a teaspoonful of milk
Peptonized milk, a formula for the preparation of which may be found on
page 426, is also valuable as food for infants, especially for those of
MUCILAGINOUS FOOD EXCELLENT IN GASTRO-ENTERITIS.--Wheat, one
tablespoonful; oatmeal, one half tablespoonful; barley, one half
tablespoonful; water, one quart. Boil to one pint, strain, and
PREPARED FOODS FOR INFANTS.--Of prepared infant foods we can
recommend that manufactured by the Sanitarium Food Co., Battle Creek,
Mich., as thoroughly reliable. There are hundreds of prepared infant
foods in the market, but most of them are practically worthless in point
of food value, being often largely composed of starch, a substance which
the immature digestive organs of a young child are incapable of
digesting. Hundreds of infants are yearly starved to death upon such
All artificial foods require longer time for digestion than the food
supplied by nature; and when making use of such, great care should be
taken to avoid too frequent feeding. It is absolutely essential for the
perfect health of an infant as well as of grown people, that the
digestive organs shall enjoy a due interval of rest between the
digestion of one meal and the taking of another. As a rule, a new-born
infant may be safely fed, when using human milk, not oftener than once
in every three or four hours. When fed upon artificial food, once in
five or six hours is often enough for feeding. The intervals between
meals in either case should be gradually prolonged as the child grows
QUANTITY OF FOOD FOR INFANTS.--Dr. J.H. Kellogg gives the following
rules and suggestions for the feeding of infants:--
"During the first week of a child's life, the weight of the food given
should be 1/100 of the weight of the infant at birth. The daily
additional amount of food required for a child amounts to about one
fourth of a dram, or about one ounce at the end of each month. A child
gains in weight from two thirds of an ounce to one ounce per day during
the first five months of its life, and an average of one half as much
daily during the balance of the first year.
"From a series of tables which have been prepared, as the result of
experiments carefully conducted in large lying-in establishments, we
have devised this rule:--
"To find the amount of food required by a child at each feeding during
the first year of life, divide the weight of the child at birth by 100
and add to this amount 3/100 of the gain which the child has made since
birth. Take, for example, a child which weighs 7-1/2 lbs--at birth, or
120 ounces. Dividing by 100 we have 1.2 oz. Estimating the weight
according to the rule above given, the child at the end of nine months
will have gained 210 oz. Dividing this by 100 and multiplying by 3, we
have 6.3 oz. Adding to this our previous result, 1.3, we have 7.5 oz, as
the amount of food required at each feeding at the end of nine months by
a child which weighed 7-1/2 lbs. at birth. To save mothers the trouble
of making these calculations, we have prepared the following table,
which will be found to hold good for the average child weighing 7-1/2
lbs. at birth. This is rather more than the ordinary child weighs, but
we have purposely chosen a large child for illustration, as it is better
that the child should have a slight excess of food than too little.
AGE OF CHILD.
|1w.| 1m. |2m.|3m.|4m.|6m.|9m.|12m
Amount of each feeding in ounces...| 1| 11/2-2| 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |71/2 | 9
Number of feedings.................| 10| 8 | 6 | 6 | 6 | 6 | 5 | 5
Amount of food daily, in ounces....| 10|12-16|18 |24 |30 |36 |371/2|45
Interval between feedings, in hours| 2| 21/2 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 |31/2 |31/2
"In the above table the first column represents quantities for the first
week, the second for the end of the second month, the third for the end
of the third month, etc. It need not be mentioned that the change in
quantity should be even more gradual than represented in the table.
"Attention should also be called to the fact that the time mentioned as
the interval for feeding at different ages, does not apply to the whole
twenty-four hours. Even during the first week, the child is expected to
skip two feedings during the night, making the interval four hours
instead of two. By the end of the second month, the interval between the
feedings at night becomes six hours, and at the end of the ninth month,
six and one half hours.
"From personal observation we judge that in many cases children will do
equally well if allowed a longer interval between feedings at night. The
plan of feeding five times daily instead of six, may be begun at as
early an age as six months in many instances."
MANNER OF FEEDING ARTIFICIAL FOODS.--All artificial foods are best
fed with a teaspoon, as by this method liability to over-feeding and
danger from unclean utensils are likely to be avoided. If a
nursing-bottle is used, it should be of clear flint glass so that the
slightest foulness may be easily detected, and one simple in
construction, which can be completely taken apart for cleaning. Those
furnished with conical black rubber caps are the best. Each time after
using, such a bottle should have the cap removed, and both bottle and
cap should be thoroughly cleansed, first with cold water, and then with
warm water in which soda has been dissolved in the proportion of a
teaspoonful to a pint of water. They should then be kept immersed in
weak soda solution until again needed, when both bottle and cap should
be thoroughly rinsed in clean boiled water before they are used. Neglect
to observe these precautions is one of the frequent causes of stomach
disturbances in young children. It is well to keep two bottles for
feeding, using them alternately.
DIET FOR OLDER CHILDREN.--No solid food or table-feeding of any
kind should be given to a child until it has the larger share of its
first, or milk teeth. Even then it must not be supposed that because a
child has acquired its teeth, it may partake of all kinds of food with
impunity. It is quite customary for mothers to permit their little ones
to sit at the family table and be treated to bits of everything upon the
bill of fare, apparently looking upon them as miniature grown people,
with digestive ability equal to persons of mature growth, but simply
lacking in, stomach capacity to dispose of as much as older members of
the family. The digestive apparatus of a child differs so greatly from
that of an adult in its anatomical structure and in the character and
amount of the digestive fluids, that it is by no means proper to allow a
child to eat all kinds of wholesome foods which a healthy adult stomach
can consume with impunity, to say nothing of the rich, highly seasoned
viands, sweetmeats, and epicurean dishes which seldom fail to form some
part of the bill of fare. It is true that many children are endowed with
so much constitutional vigor that they do live and seemingly thrive,
notwithstanding dietetic errors; but the integrity of the digestive
organs is liable to be so greatly impaired by continued ill-treatment
that sooner or later in life disease results. Till the age of three
years, sterilized milk, whole-wheat bread in its various forms, such of
the grains as contain a large share of gluten, prepared in a variety of
palatable ways, milk and fruit toasts, and the easily digested fruits,
both raw and cooked, form the best dietary. Strained vegetable soups may
be occasionally added for variety. For from three to six years the same
simple regimen, with easily digested and simply prepared vegetables,
macaroni, and legumes prepared without skins, will be all-sufficient. If
desserts are desirable, let them be simple in character and easily
digestible. Tea, coffee, hot bread and biscuit, fried foods of all
kinds, salted meats, preserves, rich puddings, cake, and pastries should
be wholly discarded from the children's bill of fare.
It is especially important that a dietary for children should contain an
abundance of nitrogenous material. It is needed not only for repairs,
but must be on deposit for the purpose of food. Milk, whole-wheat bread,
oatmeal, barley, and preparations of wheat, contain this element in
abundance, and should for this reason be given great prominence in the
Flesh foods are in no way necessary for children, since the food
elements of which they are composed can be supplied from other and
better sources, and many prominent medical authorities unite in the
opinion that such foods are decidedly deleterious, and should not be
used at all by children under eight or ten years of age. Experiments
made by Dr. Camman, of New York, upon the dietary of nearly two hundred
young children in an orphan's home, offer conclusive evidence that the
death rate among children from gastro-intestinal troubles is greatly
lessened by the exclusion of meat from their dietary. Dr. Clouston, of
Edinburgh, an eminent medical authority, states that in his experience,
those children who show the greatest tendencies to instability of the
brain, insanity, and immoral habits are, as a rule, those who use animal
food in excess; and that he has seen a change of diet to milk and
farinaceous food produce a marked change in their nervous irritability.
Scores of other authorities corroborate. Dr. Clouston's observation, and
assert that children fed largely on flesh foods have capricious
appetites, suffer more commonly from indigestion in its various forms,
possess an unstable nervous system, and have less resisting power in
Candy and similar sweets generally given to children as a matter of
course, may be excluded from their dietary with positive benefit in
every way. It is true, as is often stated in favor of the use of these
articles, that sugar is a food element needed by children; but the
amount required for the purpose of growth and repair is comparatively
small, and is supplied in great abundance in bread, grains, fruits, and
other common articles of food. If an additional quantity is taken, it is
not utilized by the system, and serves only to derange digestion, impair
appetite, and indirectly undermine the health.
Children are not likely to crave candy and other sweets unless a taste
for such articles has been developed by indulgence in them; and their
use, since they are seldom taken at mealtime, helps greatly to foster
that most pernicious habit of childhood--eating between meals. No food,
except at their regular mealtimes, should be the universal rule for
children from babyhood up; and although during their earliest years they
require food at somewhat shorter intervals than adults, their meal hours
should be arranged for the same time each day, and no piecing permitted.
Parents who follow the too common practice of giving their little ones a
cracker or fruit between meals are simply placing them under training
for dyspepsia, sooner or later. Uninterrupted digestion proceeds
smoothly and harmoniously in a healthy stomach; but interruptions in the
shape of food sent down at all times and when the stomach is already at
work, are justly resented, and such disturbances, if long continued, are
punished by suffering.
The appetite of a child is quite as susceptible of education, in both a
right and wrong direction, as are its mental or moral faculties; and
parents in whose hands this education mainly rests should give the
subject careful consideration, since upon it the future health and
usefulness of their children not a little devolve. We should all be
rulers of our appetites instead of subject to them; but whether this be
so or not, depends greatly upon early dietetic training. Many a loving
mother, by thoughtless indulgence of her child, in season and out of
season, in dainties and tidbits that simply serve to gratify the palate,
is fostering a "love of appetite" which may ruin her child in years to
come. There are inherited appetites and tendencies, it is true; but even
these may be largely overcome by careful early training in right ways of
eating and drinking. It is possible to teach very young children to use
such food as is best for them, and to refrain from the eating of things
harmful; and it should be one of the first concerns of every mother to
start her children on the road to manhood and womanhood, well trained in
correct dietetic habits.
"The wanton taste no flesh nor fowl can choose,
For which the grape or melon it would lose,
Though all th' inhabitants of earth and air
Be listed in the glutton's bill of fare."
Jean Jacques Rousseau holds that intemperate habits are mostly
acquired in early boyhood, when blind deference to social precedents
is apt to overcome our natural antipathies, and that those who have
passed that period in safety, have generally escaped the danger of
temptation. The same holds good of other dietetic abuses. If a
child's natural aversion to vice has never been wilfully perverted,
the time will come when his welfare may be intrusted to the
safe-keeping of his protective instincts. You need not fear that he
will swerve from the path of health when his simple habits,
sanctioned by nature and inclination, have acquired the additional
strength of long practice. When the age of blind deference is past,
vice is generally too unattractive to be very dangerous.--_Oswald._
That a child inherits certain likes and dislikes in the matter of
food cannot be questioned, and does not in the least forbid the
training of the child's taste toward that which is healthful and
upbuilding; it merely adds an element to be considered in the
Prevention is better than cure. It is worth a life effort to lift a
man from degradation. To prevent his fall is better.--_Gough._
A cynical French writer of the last century intending a satire upon
the principles of vegetarianism adopted by Phillippe Hecquet, puts
into the mouth of one of the characters in his book what, in the
grossly voluptuous life of that country and time, the author no
doubt imagined to be the greatest absurdities conceivable in
reference to diet, but which, in the light of present civilization
are but the merest hygienic truths. A doctor had been called to a
gouty and fever-stricken patient. "Pray what is your ordinary diet?"
asked the physician.
"My usual food," replied the patient, "is broth and juicy meat."
"Broth and juicy meat!" cried the doctor, alarmed. "I do not wonder
to find you sick; such dishes are poisoned pleasures and snares that
luxury spreads for mankind, so as to ruin them the more
effectually.... How old are you, pray?"
"I am in my sixty-ninth year," replied the patient.
"Exactly," ... said the physician; "if you had drunk nothing else
than pure water all your life, and had been satisfied with simple
nourishment,--such as boiled apples for example,--you would not now
be tormented with the gout, and all your limbs would perform their
functions with ease."
Dr. Horace Bushnell says: "The child is taken when his training
begins in a state of naturalness as respects all the bodily tastes
and tempers, and the endeavour should be to keep him in that key, to
let no stimulation of excess or delicacy disturb the simplicity of
nature, and no sensual pleasure in the name of food become a want or
expectation of his appetite. Any artificial appetite begun is the
beginning of distemper, disease, and a general disturbance of
natural proportion. Nine tenths of the intemperate drinking begins,
not in grief and destitution, as we so often hear, but in vicious
Always let the food be simply for nourishment--never more, never
less. Never should food be taken for its own sake, but for the sake
of promoting bodily and mental activity. Still less should the
peculiarities of food, its taste or delicacy ever become an object
in themselves, but only a means to make it good, pure, wholesome
nourishment; else in both cases the food destroys
Since what need mortals, save twain things alone,
Crushed grain (heaven's gift), and steaming water-draught?
Food nigh at hand, and Nature's aliment--
Of which no glut contents us.
Pampered taste hunts out device of other eatables.
FRAGMENTS & LEFT-OVER FOODS
Economy, one of the cardinal principles of success in the details of
housekeeping, as in all other occupations in life, consists not alone in
making advantageous use of fresh material, but in carefully preserving
and utilizing the "left-over" fragments and bits of food which accrue in
every household. Few cooks can make such perfect calculation respecting
the desires and needs of their families as to provide just enough and no
more, and the improvident waste of the surplus thus prepared, is in many
homes fully equal to one half the first cost of the meal. Scarcely
anything need ever be wasted--certainly nothing which was at first well
cooked. There are ways of utilizing almost every kind of cooked food so
that it will be quite as appetizing and nutritious as when first
All left-over foods, as grains, vegetables, or others of a moist
character, should be removed to clean dishes before putting away. Unless
this precaution is observed, the thin smears and tiny bits about the
edges of the dish, which become sour or moldy much sooner than the
larger mass, are apt to spoil the whole. They should also be set on ice
or be kept in a cool, dry place until needed. Left-over foods of any
kind, to be suitable again for use, must be well preserved. Sour or
moldy fragments are not fit for food.
USES OF STALE BREAD.--If properly made from wholesome and
nutritious material and well preserved, there are few other foods that
can be combined into more varied and palatable dishes than left-over
bread. To insure the perfect preservation of the fragments, the loaf
itself should receive good care. Perfectly sweet, light, well-baked
bread has not the same propensity to mold as a poorer loaf; but the best
of bread is likely to become musty if its surroundings are not entirely
wholesome. The receptacle used for keeping the loaves should be
frequently washed, scalded, and well dried. Crumbs and fragments should
be kept in a separate receptacle and as thoroughly cared for. It is well
in cutting bread not to slice more than will be needed, and to use one
loaf before beginning on another. Bread grows stale much faster after
Whole or half slices of bread which have become too dry to be palatable
may be utilized for making zwieback, directions for the use and
preparation of which are given on page 289.
Broken pieces of bread not suitable for zwieback, crusts, and trimmings
of the loaf make excellent _croutons_, a most palatable accompaniment
for soups, gruels, hot milk, etc. To prepare the _croutons_ cut the
fragments as nearly uniform in size as possible,--half-inch cubes are
convenient,--and place them on tins in a warming oven to dry. Let them
become crisply dry, and lightly browned, but not scorched. They are
preferable to crackers for use in soups, and require so little work to
prepare, and are so economical withal, that one who has once tried them
will be likely to keep a supply on hand. The crumbs and still smaller
fragments may be utilized for thickening soups and for various dressings
and puddings, recipes for many of which are given in preceding chapters.
If crumbs and small bits of bread accumulate more rapidly than they can
be used, they may be carefully dried, not browned, in a warming oven,
after which put them in a mortar and pound them, or spread them upon an
old bread board, fold in a clean cloth and roll them with a rolling pin
until fine. Prepared thus, stored in glass fruit cans and put away in a
dry place, they will keep almost indefinitely, and can be used when
needed. For preparing escalloped vegetables of all kinds, these prepared
crumbs are excellent; they give a fine, nutty flavor to the dish, which
fresh crumbs do not possess.
LEFT-OVER GRAINS.--Left-over grains, if well kept, may be reheated
in a double boiler without the addition of water, so as to be quite as
palatable as when freshly cooked. Small quantities of left-over grains
can be utilized for preparing various kinds of desserts, where the
ingredients require previous cooking. Rice, barley, pearl wheat, and
other whole grains can be satisfactorily used in soups in which a whole
grain is required; oatmeal, rolled oats, corn meal, grits, etc., with
the addition of a little milk and cream, may be made into delicious
gruels; they may also be used advantageously in the preparation of
vegetable soups, many of which are even improved by the addition of a
few spoonfuls of well-kept cooked oatmeal or rolled oats. The left-over
grains may also be utilized in a variety of breads, directions for the
preparation of which are given in the chapter on Bread.
LEFT-OVER VEGETABLES.--Left-over portions of most varieties of
vegetables can be best utilized for soups as stated on page 275. Cold
mashed potato may be made into potato cakes as directed on page 237 of
the chapter on Vegetables, where will also be found many other recipes,
suited to the use of these left-over foods.
LEFT-OVER MEATS.--Most cook books offer numerous recipes for
croquettes, hashes, and fried dishes prepared from remnants of meat and
fish, which, although they serve the purpose of using up the fragments,
are not truly economical, because they are generally far from wholesome.
Most fragments of this character are more digestible served cold as a
relish, or utilized for soups and stews, than compounded into fancy
dishes requiring to be fried and highly seasoned or served with rich
LEFT-OVER MILK.--Small quantities of unsterilized milk or cream
left over should always be carefully scalded, then cooled at once to a
temperature of 60, deg. and put in a cool place, in order to keep it sweet
and fresh until the next meal.
"Care preserves what Industry gains. He who attends to his business
diligently, but _not_ carefully, throws away with one hand what he
gathers with the other."--_Colton._
"What does cookery mean?"
It means the knowledge of all fruits and herbs and balms and
spices--it means carefulness, and inventiveness, and watchfulness,
and willingness, and readiness of appliance. It means the economy of
your great grandmothers and the science of modern chemists,--it
means much tasting and no wasting.--_Ruskin._
A penny saved is two pence clear
A pin a day's a groat a year.
Bad cooking is waste--waste of money and loss of comfort. Whom God
has joined in matrimony, ill-cooked joints and ill-boiled potatoes
have very often put asunder.--_Smiles._
Never sacrifice the more precious things--time, health, temper,
strength--in attempting to save the less precious--money.
Learn by how little life may be sustained and how much nature
requires. The gifts of Cerea and water are sufficient nourishment
for all peoples.--_Pharsalia._
THE ART OF DINING
Human nature is so susceptible to externals, while good digestion is so
dependent upon interior conditions, that all the accessories of pleasant
surroundings--neatness, cheeriness, and good breeding--should be brought
into requisition for the daily gathering of the family at mealtime. The
dining room should be one of the airiest, choicest rooms in the house,
with a pleasant outlook, and, if possible, with east windows, that the
morning sun may gladden the breakfast hour with its cheering rays. Let
plants, flowers, birds, and pictures have a place in its appointments,
that the association with things bright and beautiful may help to set
the keynote of our own lives in cheerful accord. A dark, gloomy,
ill-ventilated room brings depression of spirits, and will make the most
elaborate meal unsatisfactory; while the plainest meal may seem almost a
feast when served amid attractive surroundings. Neatness is an important
essential; any home, however humble, may possess cleanliness and order,
and without these, all charms of wealth and art are of little account.
A thorough airing each morning and opening of the windows a few minutes
after each meal to remove the odor of food, are important items in the
care of the dining room. The furnishing may be simple and
inexpensive,--beauty in a home is not dependent upon expense,--but let
it be substantial, tasteful, harmonious in color and soft in tone,
nothing gaudy or showy. Use no heavy draperies, and have no excess of
ornament and bric-a-brac to catch dust and germs. A hard-finished wood
floor is far superior to a carpet in point of healthfulness, and quite
as economical and easy to keep clean. The general furnishing of the
room, besides the dining table and chairs, should include a sideboard,
upon which may be arranged the plate and glassware, with drawers for
cutlery and table linen; also a side-table for extra dishes needed
during the service of a meal.
An open fireplace, when it can be afforded, aids in ventilation as well
as increases the cheerful aspect of the room.
A moveable china closet with glass encasements for keeping the daintier
china, glass, or silver ware not in common use is often a desirable
article of furniture in small homes; or a shallow closet may be built in
the wall of the dining-room for this purpose. A good size for such a
closet is twelve inches deep and three feet wide. Four shelves, with one
or more drawers below, in which may be kept the best table napery,
afford ample space in general. The appearance of the whole may be made
very pleasing by using doors of glass, and filling in the back and sides
of the shelves with velvet paper in dark-brown, dull-red, or any shade
suitable for background, harmonizing with the general furnishing of the
room. The shelves should be of the same material and have the same
finish as the woodwork of the room. The upper side may be covered with
felt if desired; and such artistic taste may be displayed in the
arrangement of the china as to make the closet ornamental as well as
TABLE-TALK.--A sullen, silent meal is a direct promoter of
dyspepsia. "Laugh and grow fat" is an ancient adage embodying good
hygienic doctrine. It has long been well understood that food digests
better when seasoned with agreeable conversation, and it is important
that unpleasant topics should be avoided. Mealtime should not be made
the occasion to discuss troubles, trials, and misfortunes, which rouse
only gloomy thoughts, impair digestion, and leave one at the close of
the meal worried and wearied rather than refreshed and strengthened. Let
vexatious questions be banished from the family board. Fill the time
with bright, sparkling conversation, but do not talk business or discuss
neighborhood gossip. Do not let the food upon the table furnish the
theme of conversation; neither praise nor apology are in good taste.
Parents who make their food thus an especial topic of conversation are
instilling into their children's minds a notion that eating is the best
part of life, whereas it is only a means to a higher end, and should be
so considered. Of all family gatherings the meals should be the most
genial and pleasant, and with a little effort they may be made most
profitable to all. It is said of Dr. Franklin that he derived his
peculiarly practical turn of mind from his father's table talk.
Let themes of conversation be of general interest, in which all may take
a part. If there are children, a pleasant custom for the breakfast hour
is to have each in turn relate something new and instructive, that he or
she has read or learned in the interval since the breakfast hour of the
previous day. This stimulates thought and conversational power, while
music, history, adventure, politics, and all the arts and sciences offer
ample scope for securing interesting items.
Another excellent plan is the selection of a special topic for
conversation for each meal or for the meals of a day or a week, a
previous announcement of the topic being made, that all, even the
youngest, may have time to prepare something to say of it. The benefits
from such social intercourse around the board can hardly be
over-estimated; and if thus the mealtime is prolonged, and too much
appears to be taken out of the busy day, be sure it will add to their
years in the end, by increasing health and happiness.
TABLE MANNERS.--Good breeding and true refinement are nowhere more
apparent than in manners at table. These do not relate alone to the
proper use of knife and fork, napkin and spoon, but to habits of
punctuality, neatness, quietness, order, and that kind thoughtfulness
and courteous attention which spring from the heart--"in honor
preferring one another." The purpose of eating should not be merely the
appeasement of hunger or the gratification of the palate, but the
acquiring of strength for labor or study, that we may be better fitted
for usefulness in the world. Consequently, we should eat like
responsible beings, and not like the lower orders of animals.
Good table manners cannot be put on for special occasions and laid aside
like a garment. Persons not wont to observe the rules of politeness in
the every-day life of their own households can never deceive others into
thinking them well bred on "company" occasions. Ease and refinement of
manners are only acquired by habitual practice, and parents should early
accustom their children by both precept and example to observe the
requirements of good behavior and politeness at table. Elaborate details
are not necessary. We subjoin a few of the more simple rules governing
1. Eat slowly, never filling the mouth very full and avoiding all
appearance of greediness.
2. Masticate thoroughly, keeping the lips closed. Eating and drinking
should be noiseless.
3. Never speak with the mouth full, nor interrupt another when talking.
Any remark worthy of utterance will keep.
4. Do not express a choice for any particular portion or dish, unless
requested to do so; and do not find fault with the food. If by chance
anything unpleasant is found in it, do not call the attention of others
to the fact by either remark or manner.
5. Sit conveniently near the table, but not crowded up close against it;
and keep the hands, when not in use to convey food to the mouth, in the
lap, beneath the table, never resting upon the table, toying with knife,
fork, or spoon.
6. Do not tilt back your chair, or lean upon the table with the elbow,
or drum with the fingers.
7. It is contrary to good breeding to shovel one's food into the mouth
with a knife. Everything which can be eaten with a fork should be taken
with that utensil alone. If necessary, use the knife for dividing the
food, and afterward the fork to convey it to the mouth. Use a spoon for
soups and juicy foods.
8. Bread should be broken, not cut. In eating large fruits, like apples
or pears, divide with a knife, and take in small portions, holding the
knife by the handle rather than the blade.
9. Soup is eaten from the side of the spoon, which is filled without
noisily touching the plate.
10. Seeds or stones to be rejected should be taken from the lips with a
spoon, never with the fingers. The mouth should not go to the food, but
the food to the mouth.
11. Do not crumble food about your plate, nor in any avoidable way soil
the table linen.
12. Do not hang the napkin about the neck like a bib, but unfold and lay
across the lap in such a manner that it will not slide to the floor.
Carefully wipe the mouth before speaking, and as often at other times as
may keep the lips perfectly clean of food and drink. At the close of a
meal, if at home, fold the napkin neatly and place it in the ring. If at
a hotel or away from home, leave the napkin unfolded by your plate.
13. Do not appear impatient to be served, and ordinarily at the home
meals wait until all are served before commencing to eat. At a public
table where waiters are provided, it is proper to begin eating as soon
as the food is served. This is admissible because the wants of other
guests are supposed to be similarly looked after.
14. Never reach across a neighbor's plate for anything. If something
beyond him is needed, ask to have it passed to you.
15. Do not tilt your plate or scrape it for the last atom of food.
16. Drink very sparingly, if at all, while eating, and then do not pour
the liquid down the throat like water turned from a pitcher.
17. Children should not be allowed to use their fingers to aid
themselves in eating. If their hands are too small or too awkward to
use a fork, a piece of bread or cracker may be held in the left hand to
aid in pushing the food upon the fork or spoon.
18. To help one's self to butter or any other food from a common dish
with one's own knife or spoon is a gross breach of table etiquette.
19. Never use the handkerchief unnecessarily at the table, and do not
cough or sneeze if avoidable.
20. It is not considered proper to pick the teeth at table. If this
becomes absolutely necessary, a napkin should be held before the mouth.
21. When a meal or course is finished, lay the knife and fork side by
side upon the plate.
22. Except at a hotel or boarding house, it is not proper to leave the
table before the rest of the family or guests, without asking the
hostess to excuse you.
23. If a guest declines a dish, he need give no reason. "No, I thank
you," is quite sufficient. The host or hostess should not insist upon
guests' partaking of particular dishes, nor put anything upon their
plates which they have declined.
THE TABLE.--None will deny that the appearance of the table affects
one's enjoyment of the food upon it. A well-appointed table with its
cloth, though coarse in texture, perfectly clean and neatly laid, its
glass and china bright and shining, and the silver showing by its
glistening surface evidence of frequent polishings, gives far more
comfort and enjoyment than one where little attention is given to
neatness, order, or taste. In many families, effort is made to secure
all these important accessories when guests have been invited; but for
common use, anything is considered "good enough for just one's own
folks." This ought not to be, and mothers who permit such a course, need
not be surprised if their children exhibit a lack of self-respect and
genuineness as well as awkwardness and neglect of manners.
The table around which the family meals are taken, ought to be at all
times the model of what it should be when surrounded by guests. As a
writer has well said, "There is no silent educator in the household
that has higher rank than the table. Surrounded each day by the family
who are eager for refreshment of body and spirit, its impressions sink
deep; and its influences for good or ill form no mean part of the warp
and woof of our lives. Its fresh damask, bright silver, glass, and
china, give beautiful lessons in neatness, order, and taste; its damask
soiled, rumpled, and torn, its silver dingy, its glass cloudy, and china
nicked, annoy and vex us at first, and then instill their lessons of
carelessness and disorder. An attractive, well-ordered table is an
incentive to good manners, and being a place where one is incited to
linger, it tends to control the bad habits of fast eating; while, on the
contrary, an uninviting, disorderly table gives license to bad manners,
and encourages the haste which is proverbial among Americans. The woman,
then, who looks after her table in these particulars, is not doing
trivial work, for it rests with her to give silently these good or bad
lessons in manners and morals to her household as they surround the
A well-appointed table requires very little time and labor. No pretense
or ostentation is necessary; neatness and simplicity are far more
SETTING THE TABLE.--Lay a piece of double-faced canton flannel
underneath the tablecloth. Even coarse napery will present a much better
appearance with a sub-cover than if spread directly upon the table. It
will likewise lessen noise in changing courses and the likelihood of
injury to the table from hot dishes. Spread the tablecloth evenly,
without wrinkles, and so that the center fold shall be exactly in the
middle, parallel with the sides of the table. Mats, if used, should be
placed exactly straight and with regularity. If meat is served, spread a
large napkin with points toward the center of the table at the carver's
place, to protect the tablecloth. Place the plates upon the table, right
side up, at even distances from each other and straight with the cloth
and the edge of the table. Lay the napkins directly in front or at the
right of each plate. Place the fork at the left, the knife on the right
with the edge toward the plate, beyond this the soup spoon and two
teaspoons, and at the front of these set the glass, cream glass, and
individual butter plate if these are used.
A center piece consisting of a vase of freshly cut flowers, a pot of
ferns, a jar of small plants in bloom, a dish of well-polished red
apples, peaches, or other seasonable fruit, will add a touch of beauty
and attractiveness. If the serving is to be done from the table by
members of the family, place large spoons near dishes to be served, also
the proper number and kind of separate dishes for the purpose. If fruit
is to be served, a finger bowl should be placed for each person. If the
service is by course, the extra dishes, knives, forks, and spoons
needed, also the finger bowls, water service, and cold foods in reserve
for a renewed supply or for other courses, should be made ready and
arranged upon the sideboard.
The soup ladle should be placed in front of the lady of the house, who
always serves the soup; and if meat is served, the carving knife and
fork must, of course, be placed before the carver's place. The necessary
dishes for each course should be brought on with the food, those for the
first course being placed upon the table just a moment before dinner is
The arrangement of all dishes and foods upon the table should be
uniform, regular, and tasteful, so as to give an orderly appearance to
the whole. The "dishing up" and arranging of the food are matters of no
small importance, as a dull appetite will often be sharpened at the
sight of a daintily arranged dish, while the keenest one may have its
edge dulled by the appearance of a shapeless mass piled up with no
regard to looks. Even the simplest food is capable of looking its best,
and the greatest care should be taken to have all dishes served neatly
The table should not be set for breakfast the night before nor kept so
from one meal to another, unless carefully covered with a cloth thick
enough to prevent the dust from accumulating upon the dishes. The plates
and glasses should then be placed bottom-side up and turned just before
mealtime. No food of any kind should ever be allowed to remain uncovered
upon the table from one meal to another. The cloth for covering the
table should be carefully shaken each time before using, and always used
the same side up until washed.
Plates and individual meat dishes should be warmed, especially in
winter; but the greatest care should be taken that no dish becomes hot,
as that not only makes it troublesome to handle, but is ruinous to the
THE SERVICE OF MEALS.--There are few invariable rules for either
table-setting or service. We will offer a few suggestions upon this
point, though doubtless other ways are equally good. A capital idea for
the ordinary home meal, when no servant is kept, especially if in the
family there are older children, is to make different members of the
family responsible for the proper service of some dish or course. The
fruit, which should be the first course at breakfast, may be prepared
and placed upon fruit plates with the proper utensils for
eating--napkins and finger bowls at each place before the meal is
announced. If apples or bananas are served, a cracker should be placed
upon each plate to be eaten in connection with the fruit. Oranges and
grapes are, however, to be preferred when obtainable; the former may be
prepared as directed on page 180. The hot foods may be dished, and the
dishes placed on a side table in a _bain marie_, the hot water in which
should be as deep as the food within the dishes. The foods will thus be
in readiness, and will keep much better than if placed upon the table at
the beginning of the meal. When the fruit is eaten, some member of the
family may remove the fruit plates, and bring the hot grains, toasts,
and other foods, placing them, together with the necessary individual
dishes, before those who have their serving in charge. One member may be
selected to pass the bread, another to dish the sauce, etc.; and thus
each child, whether boy or girl--even those quite young--may contribute
to the service, and none be overburdened, while at the same time it will
be a means of teaching a due regard for the comfort and enjoyment of
If the meal is dinner, usually consisting of three courses, after the
soup has been eaten, it may be the duty of some member of the family to
remove the soup plates and place the vegetables, grains, and meats if
any are to served, before those chosen to serve them. At the close of
this course, another may remove the dishes and food, crumb the cloth,
and place the dessert, with the proper dishes for serving, before the
lady of the house or her oldest daughter, one of whom usually serves it.
If a servant is employed, the following is an excellent plan of service:
The soup plates or bowls should be placed hot upon the table, with the
tureen of soup before the lady of the house, and the glasses filled
before the dinner is announced.
Grace having been said, the servant removes the cover of the soup
tureen, and standing at the left of the lady, takes up with her left
hand a soup plate, which she changes to the palm of her right hand and
holds at the edge of the soup tureen until the lady has filled it, then
carries it, still holding it upon the palm of the hand, and places it
before the head of the table. In the same manner all are served to soup.
If bowls instead of plates are used, a small silver or lacquered tray
may be used on which to carry the bowl. While the soup is being eaten,
the servant goes to the kitchen and brings in the hot dishes and foods
for the next course, and places them upon the side table. When the soup
has been finished, beginning with the one who sits at the head of the
table, the servant places before each person in turn a hot dinner plate,
at the same time removing his soup plate to the sideboard or pantry.
After changing all the plates, she removes the soup tureen, and if meat
is to be served, places that before the carver with the individual
plates, which, when he has placed a portion thereon, she serves to each
in turn; then she takes the potato and other vegetables upon her tray,
and serves them, going to the left of each person when passing them a
dish, but placing individual dishes at the right; next she passes the
bread, refills the glasses, taking each one separately to the sideboard,
and then serves the grains.
When every one has finished the course, she begins the clearing of the
table by first removing all large dishes of food; after that the plates
and all soiled dishes, mats, and all table furniture except the glasses,
napkin rings, and center-pieces. Lastly she removes all crumbs with a
brush or napkin. When done, she places in front of each person a plate
with a doily and finger bowl upon it, and then brings the dessert and
dessert dishes, placing them before the lady of the house, and passes
these for her as in the other courses. If the dessert is pudding, a
spoon or fork should be placed on the plate at one side of the finger
bowl. If the dessert is fruit, a fruit napkin may be used in place of
the doily, the real purpose of which is to prevent the bowl from sliding
about the plate in moving it. A fork and silver knife, or knife and
spoon as the fruit may require, should be served with it.
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR WAITERS.--In serving a dish from which
people are expected to help themselves, always go to the left side.
Soup, food in individual dishes, clean plates, and finger bowls should
be set down before people at their right hand.
When removing soiled dishes after a course, always exchange them for
clean ones, remembering that the only time when it is allowable to leave
the table without plates is when it is being cleared for the dessert.
In serving grains either dish them in small dishes before serving or
pass clean saucers at the same time for each to help himself, and in all
cases see that each person is served to cream, sugar, and a teaspoon,
Pass the bread two or three times during each meal, and keep careful
watch that all are well supplied.
Pour hot milk and all beverages on the side table; fill only three
fourths full, and serve the same as anything else in individual dishes,
placing the glass at each person's right hand.
Waiters should be noiseless and prompt, and neatly attired in dress
suitable to their occupation.
SUGGESTIONS CONCERNING DINNER PARTIES.--Much of the success of a
dinner party depends upon the guests selected; and the first point for
consideration by the lady who decides upon entertaining her friends
thus, should be the congeniality of those whom she desires to invite,
remembering that after the first greetings the guests see very little of
their hostess, and consequently their enjoyment must largely depend upon
each other. It is customary to issue invitations in the name of the host
and hostess, from five to ten days in advance of the occasion. Printed
or written invitations may be used. The following is a proper form:--
_Mr. and Mrs. George Brown_
_request the pleasure_
_Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clark's company_
_December 5th, at four o'clock._
_24 Maple Avenue._
If the dinner is given in especial honor to some stranger, a second card
is inclosed on which is written:--
_Mrs. Harold Brooks of Philadelphia._
Invitations to a dinner should be promptly accepted or declined, and if
accepted, the engagement should on no account be lightly broken.
Unless one has a large establishment, and is very sure of good service,
the bill of fare selected should not be an elaborate one, and the choice
of dishes should be confined to those which one is used to preparing,
and which in cost will not exceed one's means. It is the quality of the
dinner which pleases, and not the multiplicity of dishes. Small dinners
for not less than six or more than ten guests are always the most