While the greater part of this work has been devoted to the contriving of meals usual in the average household and under ordinary circumstances, yet we must know how to supply the needs of the weak or suffering. A few recipes will be given under this head, for a few liquid foods may often be used where the more solid foods can not be retained or assimilated.
Food for the sick should be such as will furnish the most nourishment with the least tax upon the digestive organs. While it should generally be of a simple nature, it should be cooked with the greatest care, and served in the most inviting manner.
The temperature of the food will also have a marked influence on digestion, therefore it should be a rule to have hot foods served hot, and cold foods served cold.
The tray should be covered with spotless linen, should be carefully laid, and should not have the appearance of being overcrowded.
The breakfast tray especially should be made as attractive as possible. A few bright flowers will make it look cheery and inviting. While many of the foregoing recipes may be used for the sick,—as toasts, fruits, breads, soups, etc., the following will come under a special head, as liquid foods.
2 tablespoons barley, 1 quart cold water.
Wash the barley and let it soak for an hour in a quart of cold water. Set on the stove and let boil until it is reduced to one cup of liquid; serve plain or season with a little cream, if desired.
Wash the rice and put into the cold water, heat gradually to the boiling point, and let it continue to cook until the rice is soft. Strain, reheat the rice water, add a little milk or cream, if desired.
3 tablespoons oatmeal, 2 cups boiling water, a few grains of salt.
Stir the oatmeal into the boiling water, and let it boil until it begins to thicken slightly, then set into a double boiler and let it cook two hours or more. Strain through a fine strainer and dilute it with a little hot water if it is too thick. Reheat and season with cream, if desirable. A gruel should be so thin that it will pour easily from a spoon.
3 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 cups water, a few grains of salt.
Prepare the same as oatmeal gruel.
4 tablespoons gluten meal, 1 cup of boiling water, a few grains of salt.
Sift the gluten slowly into the boiling water, stirring constantly to avoid having it form into lumps. Let it boil until the desired thickness is obtained. A little cream may be added before serving, if practicable.
2 tablespoons flax seed, 2 cups boiling water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Wash the flax seed in cold water, drain well, add the boiling water and let boil slowly for one hour. Strain, add the lemon and a very little sugar, if desired, and serve.
1 lemon, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3/4 cup water.
Cut the lemon into halves, cut off a thin slice to be served in the glass, press out the juice, add sugar and water, mix well, serve in glass with half slice of lemon floating on top.
1 orange, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 cup water. Make same as for lemonade, except omit the garniture of the sliced orange in the glass nutrition for individuals, yet one should have a practical knowledge of the requirements of the human body, and should supply food that is relishable and strengthening. By lowering the vitality, whether through one extreme or the other, the way is open for disease to enter the body. We should therefore aim to supply good, simple, wholesome, nourishing food, that will fortify the body against the attacks of disease.