If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are you have been sweltering through a delicious summer. And fair play to you, we had a glorious summer in the Southern Hemisphere this year so we’re certainly not expecting any sympathy for the ills and chills we are now all suffering in the grip of Winter and the start of our ‘flu season. Old fashioned home remedies for illness may be remembered as ill tasting terrors some of us endured as children. I thankfully suffered nothing worse than a daily spoonful of Maltexo with added cod liver oil, it was quite a treat.
In days gone by we also expected to spend some time in bed recuperating from illness. These days, we all just want to pop a pill and head back to work asap, no time to waste! As if to prove that point, here I am blogging with a case of strep throat, revisiting some of the home carers’ repertoire of tonics for the ill from one of my grandmother’s old recipe books. Some of these actually look quite delicious, while some will be barely palatable, but I am sure they all have some nutritional and soul soothing value.
Please read on and excuse me, I’m off to find someone to make me some Egg Jelly for me while I head to bed!
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1. Wine Whey – will nearly always stop an infant’s vomiting attacks
1 cup milk, ½ glass sherry, a little sugar.
Place milk in saucepan and bring to the boil, add sugar and wine and beat until it curdles. Strain through hair sieve or muslin. Serve either hot or cold. This drink will comfort the most irritable of stomach. 1 teaspoon in about 2 oz warm water will nearly always stop an infant’s vomiting attacks.
2. Apple Water – This drink satisfies a stomach which may ‘return’ anything else
4 lumps sugar, 1 pint boiling water, 2 large firm apples, rind and juice of ½ a lemon.
Wash and pare apples into thin slices, place in a jug with sugar and rind and juice of lemon, pour over freshly boiled pint of water. Stand and cover until cold. This drink satisfies a stomach which may return everything else.
3. Rice Water – A good drink for diarrhoea patients
1 oz rice, 1 pint water, flavour with lemon or cinnamon.
Wash rice in cold water then boil in water 1 hour. Strain and add flavour if preferred, or add a pinch of salt. A good drink for diarrhoea patients.
4. Lemon Drink – The most popular drink for influenza and feverish patients
1 quart of boiling water, juice of 1 lemon, ½ oz cream of tartar, 2 oz sugar.
Put all ingredients into a jug, adding water last. Cover closely until cold then strain. The most popular drink for influenza or feverish patients
5. Raw Beef Tea – For patients in low condition following fevers or other disorders
¼lb best steak, 2 oz cold water, pinch of salt.
Wash and wipe meat, shred very finely, pour on water and let stand 1 hour. Strain and serve in a red glass. For patients in low condition following fevers or other disorders.
6. Caudle – A very good meal for a feverish cold
1 pint thick gruel (porridge – think rolled oats), 1 wineglass sherry, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sugar, grated nutmeg, lemon rind.
Add flavouring and sherry to hot gruel. When nearly cold stir in beaten egg and serve very hot. A very good meal for a feverish cold.
7. Milk Lemonade – A popular drink for feverish patients
Rind and juice of 1 lemon, 3 oz sugar, 1 pint boiling water, ½ pint cold milk.
Put lemon rind and sugar in a jog, pour in boiling water. Into another jug put milk and lemon juice. Pour contents of one jug into the other several times. When cold, strain and sieve. A popular drink for feverish patients.
8. Egg Nog – a natural remedy for common colds
1 large cup new milk*, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablspoon brandy.
Scald milk and cool a little, beat egg and sugar together till frothy, add brandy. Pour the hot milk into this. Can be served hot or cold.
9. Albumen Water – Good for diarrhoea and any inflammation in the digestive tract
1 cup water, 1 egg white, pinch salt.
Break white into water and beat with a fork. The white must be well dispersed. Good for diarrhoea and any inflammation in the digestive tract. Very good for babies who persist in returning their food.**
10. Egg Jelly – soft food for the invalid
½ oz gelatine, ½ pint water, rind and juice of ½ lemon, 2 eggs, 2 oz sugar.
Soak gelatine in water until soft, add rind and juice of lemon, add sugar and bring to boil for 3 minutes, cool a little then add beaten yolks. Cook until yolks thicken. Strain into a basin. When nearly set, add whipped whites and serve in a glass dish.
* ‘new’ refers to milk in it’s unpasteurised, fresh state, which is unavailable in many places – substitute for fresh, full cream pasteurised milk.
** Bear in mind, these are old fashioned recipes reproduced (almost) as printed. These days we would likely caution against feeding an ill baby raw egg!
Recipes Found in Hansells Cloudy Essences Cookbook – publication approx, 1942.