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Drinks for Invalids and Convalescents

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Doctors and nurses were in short supply in the 1800s, so most of the time the ill were treated at home.  If the patient didn’t feel like eating, it was important to offer a variety of nourishing drinks

INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS:

The preparation of food for the sick and convalescent person is even more important than the preparation for the strong and well. For invalids, never make a large quantity of one thing, as they seldom require much at a time, and it is desirable that variety be provided for them.

APPLE WATER
1 large juicy apple
2 cups water
sugar
Wash, pare, core, and cut the apple into pieces. Add water and simmer until tender, and strain. Add sugar to water, cook five minutes, chill, and serve. If apple is not tart, a small amount of lemon juice may be added to give a more agreeable flavor. Pears, peaches, plums, figs, prunes, raisins, and rhubarb may be used in the same way.

BARLEY WATER
2 cups boiling water
1⁄2 tablespoon prepared barley
salt
sugar
Mix barley with a small amount of cold water, add to boiling water and simmer twenty minutes. Season with salt and sugar. Lemon juice may be added if desired.

CINNAMON WATER
1⁄2 ounce stick cinnamon
2 cups boiling water
Break cinnamon in small pieces, add water and boil twenty minutes. Strain and serve hot or cold.

CURRANT WATER
2 tablespoons currant jelly
1 cup boiling water
Mix jelly and water, strain, chill, and serve.
Cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and plum water may be prepared in the same way.

DISTILLED WATER
This may be prepared at home by attaching one end of a curved tube to the spout of the teakettle, and having the other end placed in a jar. The jar should be placed in a kettle of cold water. This condensed steam is distilled water.

FLAXSEED TEA
1⁄2 cup flaxseed
salt
4 cups boiling water
sugar
lemon juice
Boil flaxseed and water one hour, strain, sweeten, and flavor. Serve hot or cold.

GRAPE WATER
2 cups grapes
1 1⁄2 cups boiling water
Wash grapes, mash, and add water. Simmer ten minutes, strain, chill, and serve.

SUGAR SIRUP [SYRUP]
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup boiling water
Boil two minutes. Keep in a preserve jar, and use when needed.

LEMONADE
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Sugar Sirup
1 cup cold water
Mix ingredients, add crushed ice, and serve ice-cold with straws.

OATMEAL WATER
4 tablespoons fine oatmeal
4 cups boiling water
salt
Boil all ingredients twenty minutes. Strain, cool, and add water to make of pleasant consistency.

TAMARIND WATER
1 tablespoon tamarinds
1 cup boiling water
Let tamarinds stand in water one half hour, strain, chill, and serve.

TOAST WATER
Dry and brown in the oven very thin slices of white or graham bread. Break into small pieces and cover with boiling water. When cold, strain and season with salt.

IRISH MOSS LEMONADE
4 tablespoons Irish Moss*
2 cups cold water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Sugar Sirup
Pick over and soak moss in cold water to cover for one-half hour. Drain, cover with two cups cold water, and cook ten minutes. Strain, add lemon juice and Sugar Sirup to taste.

* Irish Moss a type of seaweed that was used in soup broths to fortify the sick and malnourished.

MILK PUNCH
3⁄4 cup fresh milk
salt
2 tablespoons brandy or whiskey
nutmeg
sugar
Sweeten milk to taste, add salt and liquor, and pour from one tumbler to another until frothy.

EGG AND MILK PUNCH
1 egg
3⁄4 cup milk
1 tablespoon whiskey or brandy
2 teaspoons sugar
Beat yolk, add milk, liquor, and sugar. Pour into a glass, add well-beaten white of egg, stir lightly, and serve.

KOUMISS
Heat four cups milk and cool. When lukewarm, add one-fourth yeast cake dissolved in one-fourth cup lukewarm water, and two tablespoons sugar. Pour into bottles with patent stoppers, fill two-thirds full, and cork tightly. Shake, and let stand in the kitchen six hours, then on ice for twenty-four hours. Serve ice cold.

ALBUMINIZED MILK
1 egg white
1⁄2 cup milk
salt
Beat white until frothy. Add salt and milk, and continue beating. Strain and serve.

EGG AND LEMON
1 egg
salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Beat egg, add remaining ingredients, and serve cold.

WINE WHEY
2 cups milk
1⁄2 cup wine
Scald milk, then add the wine. Let stand until curds separate from the whey. Strain and serve hot or cold. Lemon or vinegar whey may be prepared in the same way. Allow one tablespoon vinegar or two tablespoons lemon juice.

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