Egg-nogg.—This can be served in greater variation than almost any other milk-and-egg food for invalids. A good rule is to.use an egg to half a pint of milk and a tablespoonful of sugar, with two tablespoonfuls of wine or one of brandy. Fruit juices may be substituted for the wine, and the egg-nogg may be made either hot or cold.
Treacle Posset.—To a pint of boiled milk add two tablespoonfuls of treacle. Let the mixture come to a boil, strain, and serve.
Pap.—Thicken the milk slightly with a little flour, corn-starch, or arrowroot, and boil for ten minutes. The white of an egg may be beaten in if wished.
Plum Porridge.—Chop line a dozen raisins, put them in a pint of milk, and let it come to a boil. Stir in a teaspoonful of corn-starch which has been stirred up in a little cold water, let it boil five minutes more, strain and serve. This will be found useful in diarrhiea.
Gruels.—Gruels may be made either with water or with milk, the latter, of course, being more nutritious. They must always be thoroughly cooked, as only by so doing is the starch which they contain rendered digestible ; and in conditions of inflammation they should be used only with the greatest caution.
Oatmeal Gruel.—This is made by boiling two tablespoonfuls of oatmeal in a quart of water for forty-five minutes, and then straining it. If too thick, more hot water may be added. It is a good idea to soak the oatmeal overnight in about twice as much water as there is oatmeal, then boil it in this same water, add boiling milk, mix thoroughly, and boil a few minutes longer. Other cereals are used in the same way ; and arrowroot, for instance, makes an excellent gruel for an irritable stomach. All that has been said as to the necessity of thorough cooking of gruels applies equally well to the thicker porridge prepared from cereals. The various cream soups belong, with the porridges, to the list of semi-solid foods, and, if properly prepared, are a valuable addition to invalid diet. It is better that the milk should be heated without actually boiling, as that renders it constipating ; and the flour used for thickening must not be cooked with the butter, as this addition of fat makes the starch much more indigestible.
Beef is of all meats the main dependence, in one form or another, for invalids, and often it is advisable to give it raw. To disguise the unpleasant appearance many devices have been used. Among these, scraped-beef
sandwiches are the simplest. The meat is cut into strips and scraped with a dull knife, leaving the connective tissue. The scrapings are well salted, and spread betweeri thin slices of bread and butter. They may also be formed into small balls, lightly broiled, and served on toast.
Beef Tea.—This is valuable if it is understood that it is stimulating instead of nourishing, and only to he used when its legitimate effects are desired. It is made by cutting fine a pound of lean beef, and soaking it, closely covered, for an hour or more in cold water, whereupon it is to be slowly heated to the boiling point, and allowed to simmer for at least two hours more. The " tea " may then be strained and seasoned. Any trace of fat must be scrupulously removed ; and, if desired, the white of an egg may be beaten and stirred in, re-straining afterward.
Beef Essence.—The meat, finely minced, is put into a stone jar, which is closed securely, and set in a kettle of cold water. This is slowly brought to a boil, and kept boiling for three hours. The essence is then strained, seasoned, and flavoured with celery, bay, or clove to suit the invalid. If desired, a pint of cold water may be put in the jar with the meat, and the same process carried out, stirring the mixture frequently.
Peptonised Beef Tea.—This should be made in a small quantity only, as it must not be kept from one day to the next. Half a pound of finely minced lean beef is put in a glass dish with ten grains of pepsin and three drops of dilute hydrochloric acid. Cover, and keep in a warm place, at a temperature of about 90° F., for two hours, with repeated stirrings.
Beef Juice.—Unlike beef tea, this is highly nutritive. It is prepared by lightly broiling lean beef over a very hot fire, just enough to heat it through, and turning often. The beef is then cut fine, and the juice pressed out in some way. An ordinary lemon-squeezer may be utilised for this purpose. The juice may be heated for serving by setting the dish containing it. in a basin of hot water, but it should never be made hot enough to coagulate the juice. It may also be diluted with hot water. Any of these " teas " and juices may be served cold if desired, or even frozen, by packing in ice and salt and stirring them frequently.