Saturday, February 12, 2011


I have this great old cookbook put out by the Rumford Baking Powder Company. My edition is from 1932, but the first edition came out in 1908. The author is one Lily Haxworth Wallace, graduate of National Training School of Cookery, London, England.  Also, it calls her a "Lecturer and Writer on Home Economics, Consultant, and Food Specialist."  She wrote over a dozen cookbooks and also wrote about etiquette.
I find it fascinating to look at recipes and prefaces to chapters of old cookbooks, since they offer a glimpse into what life was like back at the time they were written. I also use this and other old books to learn how to do some of the basic things, or for recipes I remember hearing about but which now are not very familiar.

This book has a chapter devoted to "recipes for the sick". I will duplicate here what Ms. Wallace wrote, as her words contain wisdom for us today:
"The food eaten by a sick person has in many cases as much to do with rapid recovery as have drugs.  It must be remembered that the palate is more sensitive in sickness than in health, both to seasonings and temperatures, so that less seasoning and more moderate degrees of heat and cold must be observed.

Daintiness in serving greatly influences the appetite of the patient, and therefore, for this reason it is preferable to serve small portions and present the meal by courses rather than place all on the tray at one time.  Have all hot beverages brought to the door of the sick room in a covered pitcher, then poured into the cup, thus avoiding the danger of spilling liquids into the saucer while carrying them to the patient.

Food should not be kept in the sick room between meals.  It will be fresher and more appetizing if brought direct from storeroom or refrigerator when wanted.

When liquid foods are given, other receptacles than those for medicine should be used, as the association of the two is oftentimes unpleasant.  When the dietary is limited, srve the foods that are permitted, in as many forms as possible to avoid sameness.  For instance, beef tea may be given hot in the form of beef essence - as savory jelly, frozen, and as feef tea cusard; practically the same food but more palatable because served in different forms.

Be very careful to keep such foods as milk, beef tea, etc., covered while in the refrigerator, to avoid contact with other or more odorous foods.  If the refrigerator has more than one compartment reserve once exclusively for the use of the sick room."

The recipes that follow are:

Barley Water 
Toast Water
Junket Eggnog
Albumenized Milk
To Sterilize Milk
Wine Whey 
Acid Phospate Whey
Beef and Tapioca Btoth
Invalid's Tea
Clam Broth
Beef Juice
Beef Tea
Oatmeal Gruel
Cornmeal Gruel
Arrowroot Gruel
Irish Moss
Savory Custar
Puffed Egg
Custard Souffle
Egg Cream
Dainty Pudding
Tapioca Jelly
Chicken Chartreuse
Sweetbreads a la Newburg
Beef Cakes
Scraped Beef Sandwiches

Here is the Recipe for Dainty Pudding:

Thin slices of stale bread without crust
Fresh, hot stewed fruit sweetened to taste.
Custard or cream.

Cut the bread into pieces about three inches long and an inch wide.  Line a cup with the pieces fitted closely together; fill with hot, deep-colored fruit, and place more bread over the top.  Place a plate over the pudding, put a weight on the plate, and set aside till cold.  Turn out, and serve with cream or custard.

As you can see, a lot is done with eggs and beef tea, the latter being about the same thing as beef bouillon.
More recipes to follow when I post again.

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