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€<J0KIN<5 BY TROOPS,
CAilfiP Al\l> IIOSPITAI.,
TAKING FOOD & WHAT FOOD,
i FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.
J. W. BANDOLPH, Bichmond, Va.
DR. AND MRS. ELMER BELT
COOKl'iNG BY TROOPS,
CAMP AND HOSPITAL,
PREPAKED FOR THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA, AND PUBLISHED
BY ORDER OF THE SURGEON GENERAL:
WITH ESSAYS ON
'TAKING FOOD," AND "WHAT FOOD/
BY FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.
J. W. RANDOLPH:
121 MAIN STREET, RICHMOND, VA,
Directions for Cooking in Camp.
COFFEE FOR ONE HUNDRED MEN, ONE PINT EACH.
Put 12 gallons water into a suitable vessel (or divide
if necessary), on the fire ; when boiling, add 3 lbs.
ground coffee . mix well with a spoon ; leave on the fivt
a few minutes longer; take it off, and pour in ^ a gal-
lon cold water ; let it stand till the dregs subside, say
from 5 to 10 minutes : then pour off, and add 6 lbs.
sugar. If milk is used, put in 12 pints, and diminish
the water by that amount.
FRESH BEEF SOUP FOR ONE HUNDRED MEN.
Take 75 lbs. beef; cut into pieces of about ^ lb.
each ; 15 gallons water ; 8 lbs. mixed vegetables ; 10
^mall tablespoonfuls salt ; 2 small tablespoonfuls gi-ound
pepper ; some cold bread, ci'ackers, or 3 lbs. rice, to
thicken ; place on the fire : let it come to aboil ; then
-immer for 3 hours. Skim off the fat and serve.
4 DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING.
soter's stew for owe hundred men.
Cut 50 lbs. fresh beef in piece.s of about ^ lb. each,
and with 18 quarts of water put into the boiler; add 10
tabiespoonfuls of salt, two of pepper, 7 lbs. onions, cut
in slices, and 20 lbs. potatoes peeled and sliced ; stir
well, and let it boil for 20 or 30 minutes ; then add 1|
lbs. flour previously mixed with water; mix well to-
gether, and with a moderate heat simmer for about two
hours. Mutton, veal or pork can be stewed in a similar
n-anner, but will take half an hour less cooking. A
pound of lice or plain dumplings may be added with
Take 10 lbs. flour, 15 teaspoonfuls of salt, 7 of ground
pepper, 7 lbs. chopped fat pork or suet, 5 pints water ;
mix v.ell together ; divide into about 150 pieces ; which
roll in flour, and boil with meat for 20 or 30 minutes. — •
Jf no fat or suet can be obtained, take the same ingre-
dients, adding a little more water, and boil about 10
iTiinute.?. Serve with the meat.
TO FRY MEAT.
pan on the fire for a minute or so: wipe it
clean ; when t!ie pan is hot, put in either fat or butter
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING. 5
(fat from salt meat is preferable) ; then add the meat
yoLi are going to cook; turn it several times, to have it
equally done ; season to each pound a small teaspoon-
ful of salt and a quarter of pepper. A few onions in
the remaining fat, with the addition of a little flour, a
quarter pint of water, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar, o;-
a few chopped pickles, will be very relishing.
TO COOK SALT BEEF OR PORK.
Put the meat, cut in pieces of from 3 to 4 lbs., to
soak the night before ; in the morning wash in fresh
water, and squeeze well with the hands to extract the
salt; after which, put in your kettle with a pint of v.a-
ter to each pound, and boil from 2 to 3 hours.
SALT BEEF OR PORK, WITH MASHED BEAXS. FOR 0:\E
Put in two vessels 37^ lbs. meat each ; divide 24 lb.-:,
oeans in four pudding cloths, loosely tied ; putting to
boil at the same time as your meat, in sufficient water :
let all boil gently for two hours ; take out the meat and
beans ; put all the meat into one boiler, and remove the
liquor from the other; into which turn out the beans;
add to them two teaspoonfuls of pepper, a pound of fat,
and with the wooden spatular mash the beans, and serve
with the meat. Six sliced onions fried and added im.-
proves the dish.
6 DIRECTIONS FOR COOKINO.
[Note. — -In cooking all kinds of meat, be careful to
preserve the grease, which can be easily done by put-
ting the liquor in which it is boiled, by till it cools ;
then skim off and place in a clean covered vessel. It
is an excellent substitute for butter; is useful for cook-
ing purposes, and will burn in a common lamp or tin
plate with a piece of old cotton twisted up for a wick.1
Directions for Cooliing in Hospital.
MUTTON STEWED AND SOUP FOR ONE HUNDRED MEN.
Put in a convenient sized vessel 16 gallons water, 60
■lbs. meat, 12 lbs. plain mixed vegetables, 9 lbs. pearl
barley or rice (or 4| lbs. each), 1| lbs. salt, 1^ lbs.
flour, 1 oz. pepper. Put all the ingiedients, except the
flour, into the pan ; set it on the fire, and when begin-
ning to boil, diminish the beat, and simmer gently for
two hours and a half,-^ take the meat out and keep
warm ; add to the soup your flour, which you have
mixed with enough water to form a light batter; stir
well together with a large spoon ; boil another half
hour; skim off* the fat, and serve the meat and soup
separate. The soup should be stirred occar:ionallv
while making, to prevent burning or sticking.
Proceed the same as for mutton, only leave the meat
in till servino;, as it takes longer to cook than mutton.
The pieces are not to be above 4 or 5 lbs, weight each.
8 DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING.
BEEF TEA, SIX PINTS.
Cut three pounds lean beef into pieces the size of
walnuts, and break up the bones (if any) ; put it into a
convenient sized kettle, with ^ lb. mixed vegetables
(onions, celery, turnips, carrots, or one or two of these,
if all are not to be obtained), 1 oz. salt, a little pepper,
2 oz. butter, | pint of water. Set it on a sharp fire for
15 minutes, stirring occasionally, till it forms a rather
thick gravy at the bottom, but not brown ; then add 7
pints of hot water; simmer gently for'an hour. Skim
off all the fat, strain through a sieve and serve.
THICK BEEF TEA.
Dissolve a teaspoonful of arrow-root in a gill of water,
and pour it into the beef tea twenty minutes before
passing through the seive, or add ^ oz. gelatine to the
above quantity of beef tea, when cooking.
Mutton and veal will make good tea, by proceeding
the same as above.
ESSENCE OF BEEF.
Take 1 lb. lean beef, cut fine; put it into a porter
bottle with a tea cup of water, ^ teaspoonful of salt, a
little pepper, and 6 grains allspice ; tork loosely, and
place in a saucepan of cold water ; then with a gentle
heat let it simmer till sufficient quantity of the essence
is obtained. Serve either warm or cold.
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING. y
Put in a stew-pan a fowl, .3 pints water, 2 teaspoon-
fuls of rice, 1 of salt, a little pepper and a small onion,
or two ounces of mixed vegetables ; boil the whole gent-
ly for one hour (if an old fowl, simmer for two hours,
adding one pint more water.) Skim off the fat and
A light mutton broth may be made in the same way,
taking 1^ pounds mutton — neck if convenient.
PLAIN BOILED RICE.
Put 2 quarts water in a steW' pan with a teaspoonful
of salt ; when boiling, add to it | pound rice, well
washed ; boil for ten minutes; drain off the water and
slightly grease the pan with butter; put the rice back,
and let it swell slowly for about twenty minutes, near
the fire. Each grain will then swell up, and be well
separated. Flavor with nutmeg or cinnamon, and
sweeten to taste.
Put in a pan with 3 pints water, 3 oz. sago, 1^ oz.
sugar, half a lemon peel, cut very thin, ^ teaspoonful of
ground cinnamon, or a small stick of the same, and a
little salt; boil about 15 minutes, stirring constantly,
then add a little port, sherry or madeira wine, as the
case will admit.
10 DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING.
Put in a pan 4 oz. arrow-root, 3 oz. sugar, the peel of
half a lemon, ^ teaspoonful of >salt, 2^ pints of milk;
set it on the fire ; stir gently ; boil for ten minutes, and
If no lemons at hand, a little essence of any kind
When short of milk, use half water — -half an ounce
of butter is an improvement.
Put in a pan 3 oz. arrow-root. 2 oz. white sugar, the
peel of a lemon, ^ teaspoonful of salt, and 4 pints water;
mix well, set on the fire, and boil for ten minutes.
Serve hot or cold.
Put 7 pints water to boil ; add 2 oz. rice, washed, 2
oz. sugar, the peel of two-thirds of a lemon, boil gently
for three quarters of an hour, or til! reduced to 5 pints.
Strain and serve — use as a beverage.
Put in a saucepan 7 pints water, 2 oz. pearl barley ;
stir now and then w^hen boiling: add 2 oz. white sugar,
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING. 11
the rind of half a lemon, thinly peeled ; boil gently for
two hours, and serve, either strained or with the barley
Put in a basin 2 tablespoon fu Is of white or brown
sugar, ^ a tablespoonful of lime juice, nnix well together.
and add one pint of water.
CITRIC ACID LEMONADE,
Dissolve 1 oz. citric acid in one pint of cold water ;^
add 1 lb. 9 oz. white sugar, mix well to form a thick
syrup; then put in 19 pints cold water, slowly mixing
TOAST AND WATER.
Cut a piece of crusty bread about ^ lb. ; toast gently
and uniformly to a light yellow color; then place near
the fire, and when of a good brown chocolate, put in a
pitcher; pour on it 3 pii.ts boiling water; cover the
pitcher, and when cold, strain — it is then ready for use.
Neverleave the toast in, as it causes fermentation in a
A piece of apple, slowly toasted till it gets quite black.
and added to the above, makes a very refreshing drink.
TAKING FOOD." •
Every careful observer of the sick will agree in this,
that thousands of patients are annually starved in the
midst of plenty, from want of attention to the ways
which alone make it possible for them to take food.
This want of attention is as remarkable in those who
urge upon the sick to do what is quite impossible to
them, as in the sick themselves who will not make the
effort to do what is perfectly possible to them.
For instance, to the large majority of very weak pa-
tients it is quite impossible to take any solid food before
11 A. M,, nor then, if their strength is still further ex-
hausted hy fasting till that hour. For weak patients
have generally feverish nights, and, in the morning, dr}'
mouths ; and, if they could eat with those dry mouths,
it would be the worse for them. A spoonful of beef-tea,
of arrowroot and wine, of egg flip, every hour, will give
them the requisite nourishment, and pievent them from
being too much exhausted to take at a later hour the
solid food, which is necessary for their recovery. And
every patient who can swallow at all can swallow these
liquid things, if he chooses. But how often do we hear
a mutton-chop, an egg, a bit of bacon, ordered to a pa-
tient for breakfast, to whom (as a moment's considera-
tion would show us) it must be quite impossible to mas-
ticate such things at that hour.
16 TAKING FOOD.
Again, a nurse is ordered to give a patient a tea-cup
full of some article of food every three hours. The pa-
tient's storricich rejects it. If so, try a table-spoonfull
every hour; if this will not do, a tea-spoonfull every
quarter of an hour.
I am bound to say, that I think more patients are lost
by want of care and ingenuity in these momentous mi-
nutiae in private nursing than in public hospitals. And
I think there is more of the entente cordiah to assist one
another's hands between the Doctor and his head Nurse
in the latter institutions, than between the doctor and
the patient's friends in the private house.
If we did but know the consequences which may en-
sue, in very weak patients, from ten minutes' fasting or
repletion (I call it repletion when they are obliged to let
too small an interval elapse between taking food and
some other exertion, owing to the nurse's unpunctuality),
we should be more careful never to let this occur. In
very \\e2tk patients there is often a nervous difficulty of
swallowing, which is so much increased by any other
call upon their strength that, unless they have their food
punctually at the minute, which minute again must be
arranged so as to fall in with no other minute's occupa-
tion, they can take nothing till the next respite occurs —
so that an unpunctuality or delay of ten minutes may
very well turn out to be one of two or three hours. And
why is it not as easy to be punctual to a minute ? Life
often literally hangs upon the^e minutes.
In acute cases, where life or death is to be determined
in a few^ hours, these matters are very generally at-
tended to, especiall3Mn Hospitals; and the number of
cases is large where the patient is, as it were, brought
back to life by exceeding care on the part of the Doctor
TAKING FOOD. 17
or Nurse, or both, in ordering and giving nourishment
with minute selection and punctuality.
But in chronic cases, lasting over months and years,
where the fatal issue is often determined at last by mere
protracted starvation, I had rather not enumerate the
instances which I have known where a little ingenuity,
and a great deal of perseverance, might, in all probabil-
ity, have averted the result. The consulting the hours
when the patient can take food, the observation of the
times, often varying, w'hen he is most faint, the alter-
ing seasons of taking food, in order to anticipate and
prevent such times — all this, which requires observation,
ingenuity, and perseverance (and these really constitute
the good Nurse), might save more lives than we wot of.*
To leave the patient's untasted food by his side, Irom
meal to meal, in hopes that he will eat it in the interval,
is simply to prevent him from taking any food at all. I
have known patients literally incapacitated from taking
one article of food after another, by this piece of igno-
rance. Let the food come at the right time, and be taken
awa}^ eaten or uneaten, at the right time; but never
let a patient have " something always standing" by him,
if you dont wish to disgust him of everything.
On the other hand, I have known a patient's life
saved (he was sinking for want of food) by the-simple
question, put to him by the doctor, " But is there no
hour when you feel yoti could eat?" " Oh, yes," he said,
"I could always take something at — o'clock and —
o'clock." The thing was tried and succeeded. Patients
very seldom, however, can tell this; it is for you to
watch and find it out.
-• A patient should never be asked if he will have any particular
article of food; let it be prepared, and broug-ht to him, without
any questioning on the part of the nurse.
18 TAKING FOOD.
A patient should, if possible, not see or smell either
fhe food of others, or a greater amount of food than he
himself can consume at one time, or even hear food
talked about or see it in the raw state. I know of no
exception to the above rule. The breaking of it always
induces a greater or less incapacity of taking food.
In hospital wards it is of course impossible to observe
all this ; and in single wards, where a patient ,must be
continuousl}' and closely watched, it is frequently im-
possible to relieve the attendant, so that his or her own
meals can be taken out of the ward. But it is not the
less true that, in such cases, even where the patient is
not himself aware of it, his possibility of taking food is
limited by seeing the attendant eating meals under his
observation. In some cases the sick are aware of it, and
complain. A case where the patient was supposed to
be insensible, but complained as soon as able to speak,
is now present to my recollection.
'Remember, however, that the extreme punctuality in
well-ordered hospitals, the rule that nothing shall be
done in the ward while the patients are having their
meals, go far to counterbalance what unavoidable evil
cliere is in having patients together. I have often seen
the private nurse go on dusting or fidgeting about in a
sick room all the while the patient is eating or trying to
That the more alone an invalid can be when taking
food, the better, is unquestionable ; and, even if he inust
be fed, the nurse should not allow him to talk, or talk to
him, especially about food, while eating.
When a person is compelled, by the pressure of occu-
pation, to continue his business while sick, it ought to be
a rule without any exception whatever, that no one
shall bring business to him. or talk to him while he is
TAKING FOOD. 19
faking food, nor go on talking to him on interesting sub-
jects up to the last moment before his meals, nor make
an engagement with him immediately after, so that there
be an}' hurry of mind while taking thern.
Upon the observance of these rules, especially the
first, often depends the patient's capability of taking
food at all, or, if he is amiable and forces himself to
take food, of deriving any nourishment from it.
A nurse should never put before a patient milk that
is sour ; meat or soup that is turned, an egg that is bad.
or vegetables undone. Yet often I have seen these
things brought in to the sick in a state perfectly percep-
tible to every nose or eye except the nurse's. It is here
that the clever nurse appears ; she will not bring in the
peccant article, but, not to disappoint the patient, she
will whip up something else in a few minutes. Remem-
ber that sick cookery should half, do the work of your
poor patient's weak digestion. But if you further im-
pair it with your bad articles, I know not what is to be-
come of him or of it.
If the nurse is an intelligent being, and not a mere
carrier of diets to and from the patient, let her exercise
her intelligence in these things. How often we have
known a patient eat nothing at all in ihe day, because
one meal was left untasted (at that time he was incapa-
ble of eating), at another the milk was sour, the third
was spoiled by some other accident. And it never oc-
curred to the nurse to extemporize some expedient, —
it never occurred to her that as he had had no solid
food that day he might eat a bit of toast (say) with his
tea in the evening, or he might have some meal an hour
earlier. A patient who cannot to'.ich his dinner at two,
will often accept it gladly, if brought to him at seven.
But some how nurses never " think of these thinsrs."
20 TAKING FOOD.
One would imagine they did not consider themselves
bound to exercise their judgment; they leave it to the
patient. Now I am quite sure that it is better for a pa-
tient rather to suffer these neglects than to try to teach
his nurse to nurse him, if she does not know how.
It ruffies him, and if he is ill he is in no condition to
teach, especially upon himself. The above remarks ap-
ply much more to private nursing than to hospitals.
I would say to the nurse, have a rule of thought
about your patient's diet ; consider, remember how
much he has had, and how much he ought to have to-
day. Generally, the only rule of the private patient's diet
is what the nurse has to ^ive. It is true she cannot o-ive
him what she has not got; but his stomach does not
wait for her convenience, or even her necessity.* If it is
used to having its stimulus at one hour to-day, and to-
morrow it does not have it, because she has failed in get-
ting it, he will suffer. She must be always exercising
her ingenuity to supply defects, and to remedy accidents
which will happen among the best contrivers, but from
which the patient does not suffer the less, because "they
cannot be helped."
One very minute caution, — take care not to spill into
your patient's saucer, in other words, take care that the
outside bottom rim of his cup shall be quite dry and clean ;
*Why, because the nurse has not got some food'to-day %vhicl.
the patient takes, can the patient %vait four hours for food to-day,
^vho could not wait two hours yesterday ? Yet this is the only
logic one generally hears. On the other hand, the other logic,
viz ; of the nurse giving the patient a thing because she has got it,
is equally fatal. If she happens to have a fresh jelly, or fresh fruit,
she will frequently give it to the patient half an hour after his
dinner, or at his dinner, when he cannot possibly eat that and the
broth too — or, worse still, leave it by his bed-side till he is so sick-
ened with the sight of it, that he cannot eat it at alL
TAKING FOOD. 21
if, every time he lifts his cup to his lips, he has to carry
the saucer with it, or else to drop the liquid upon, and to
soil his sheet, or his bed-gown, or pillow, or if he is sit-
ing up, his dress, you have no idea what a difference
this minute want of care on your part makes to his com-
fort and even to his willingness for food.
i will mention one or two of the most common errors
among women in charge of sick respecting sick diet. — ^
One is the belief that beef tea is the most nutritive of all
articles. Now, just try and boil down a lb. of beef
into beef tea, evaporate your beef tea and see what is
left of your beef. You will find that there is barely a
teaspoonful of solid nourishment to half a pint of water
in beef tea ; nevertheless there is a certain reparative
quality in it, we do not know what, as there is in tea; —
but it may safely be given in almpst any inflammatory dis-
ease, and is as little to be depended upon with the healthy
or convalescent where much nouri?-hment is required.
Again, it is an ever ready saw that an egg is equivalent
to a lb. of meat, -^whereas it is not at all so. Also, it is
seldom noticed with how many patients, particularly of
nervous or bilious temperament, eggs disagree. All
puddings made with eggs, are distasteful to them in con^
sequence. An egg, whipped up with wine, is often the
only form in which they can take this kind of nourish-
ment. Again, if the patient has attained to eating
nrieat, it is supposed that to give him meat is the only
thing needful for his recovery ; whereas scorbutic sores
have been actually known to appear among sick persons
living in the mid.^t of plenty in England, which could
be traced to no other source than this; viz. : that the
nurse, depending on meat alone, had allowed the patient
26 WHAT FOOD?
to be without vegetables for a considerable time, these
latter being 80 badly cooked that he always left them
untouched. Arrow-root is another grand dependence of
the nurse. As a vehicle for wine, and as a restorative
quickly prepared, it is all very well But it 'is nothing
but starch and water. Flour is both more nutritive, and
less liable to ferment, and is preferable wherever it can
Again, milk, and the preparations from milk, are a
most important article of food for the vsick. Butter is
the lightest kind of animal fat, and though it wants the
sugar and some of the other elements which there are in
milk, yet it is most valuable both in itself and in ena-
bling the patient to eat more bread. Flour, oats, groats,*
barley, and their kind, are, as we have already said; pre-
ferable in all their preparations to all the preparations of
arrowroot, sago, tapioca, and their kind. Cream, in many
long chronic diseases, i> quite irreplaceable by any other
article whatevtT. It seems to act in the same manner as
beef tea. and to most it is much easier of digestion than
milk. In fact, it seldom disagrees. Cheese is not usu-
ally digestible by the sick, but it is pure nourishment
for repairing waste ; and I have seen sick, and not a fevjr
either, whose craving for cheese showed how much it
was needed by them.f
■••'■ " Groats," or grits, a coarse gronnd corn meal, or very small
hominy, fanned and sifted. Tliis can be prepared at any country
corn mill, is a cheap and valuable article of diet for the sick. It can
be boiled or baked. In the latter form, a sauce made with a little
sugar, butter and lemon juice, or vinegar, renders it very palata
ble. When boiled it is usually eaten with a little butter and salt,
tin the diseases produced by bad food, such as scorbutic
dysentery and diarrhoea, the patient's stomach often craves for
and digests things, some of which certainly would be laid down
WHAT FOOD ? '.2t
But, if fre^h milk is so valuable a food for the sick,
the least ch mge or sourness in it, makes it of all arti-
cles, perhaps, the most injurious ; diarrhcea is a commoQ
result of fresh milk allowed to become at all sour. The
nurse therefore ought to exercise her utmost care in this.
In large institutions for the sick, even the poorest, the
utmost care is exercised. Wenham Lake ice is used for
this express purpose every summer, while the private
patient, perhaps, never tastes a drop of iTiilk that is not
sour, all through the hot weather, so little does the pri-
vate nurse understand the necessity of such care. Yet,
if you consider that the only drop of real nourishment in
your patient's tea is the drop of milk, and how much
almost all En^^lish patients depend upon their tea, you
will see the great importance of not depriving your pa-
tient of this drop of milk. Buttermilk, a totally differ-
ent thing, is often very useful, especially in fevers.
In laying down rules of diet, by the amounts of
" solid nutriment " in different kinds of food, it is con-
stantly lost sight of what the patient requires to repair
his waste, what he can take and what he can't. You
cannot diet a patient from a book, you cannot make up
the human body as you would make up a prescription, —
so many parts "carboniferous," so many parts " nitro-
geneous" will constitute a perfect diet for the patient.
The nurse's observation hei-e will materially assist the
in no dietary that ever was invented for sick, and especially not
for such sick These are fruit, pickles, jams, gingerbread, fat of
ham or bacon, suei, cheese, butter, milk. These cases I have seen
not by ones, nor by tens, but by hundreds. And the patient's
stomach was right and the book was wrong. The articles craved
for, in these cases, might have been principally*arranged under
the two heads of fiit and vegetable acids.
There is often a marked difference between im?n and women in
this matter ot sick feeling. Women's digestion is genei'aUy slower.
28 WHAT FOOD?
Doctor — the patient's "fancies " will nnaterially assist the
nurse. For instance, sugar is one of the nnost nutritive
of all articles, being pure carbon, and is particularly re-
commended in some books. But the vast majority of
all patients in England, young and old, male and female,
rich and poor, hospital and private, dislike sweet things,
— and wMiile I have never known a person take to
sweets when he was ill who disliked them when he was
well, I have known many fond of them when in health
who in sickness would leave off anything sweet, even
to sugar in tea, — sweet puddings, sweet drinks, are
their aversion ; the furred tongue almost always likes
what is sharp or pungent. Scorbutic patients are an ex-
ception. They often crave for sweetmeats and jams.
Jelly is another article of diet in great favor with
nurses and friends of the sick ; even if it could be eaten
solid, it would not nourish; but it is simpl}^ the heightof
folly to take ^ oz. of gelatine and make it into a certain
bulk by dissolving it in water and then to give it to the
sick, as if the mere bulk represented nourishment. It is
now known that jelly does not nourish, that it has a ten-
dency to produce diarrhoea,— and to trust to it to repair
the waste of a diseased constitution is simply to starve
the sick under the guise of feeding them. If 100 spoon-
fuls of jelly were given in the course of the day, you
would have given one spoonful of gelatine, which spoon-
ful has no nutritive power whatever.
And, nevertheless, gelatine contains a large quantity
of nitrogen, which is one of the most powerful elements
in nutrition ; on the other hand, beef tea may be chosen
as an illustration of great nutrient power in sickness, co-
existing with'a very small amount of solid nitrogenous
Dr. Christison says that •' every one will be struck
WHAT POOD? 29
with the readiness with which" certain classes of " pa-
tients will often take diluted meat juice or beef tea re-
peatedly, when they refuse all other kinds of food."
This is particularly remarkable in " cases of gastric fever
in which," he says, "little or nothing else besides beef
tea or diluted meat juice" has been taken for weeks or
even months, " and yet a pint of beef tea contains
scarcely ^ oz. of anything but water," — the result is so
striking that he asks what is its mode of action ? " Not
simply nutrient — ^ oz. of the most nutritive material
cannot nearly replace the daily wear and tear of the tis-
sues in any circumstances. Possibly,'' he says, " it be-
longs to a new denomination of remedies."*
It has been observed that a small quantity of beef tea
added to other articles of nutrition augments their power
out of all proportion to the additional amount of solid
The reason why jellyt should be innutritious and leef
too nutritious to the sick, is a secret yet undiscovered,
but it clearly shows that careful observation of the sick
is the only clue to the best dietary.
Chemistry has as yet afforded little insight into the
dieting of sick. All that chemistry can tell us is the
* Chicken broth, with the fat well skimme.d off, is, to most pa-
tients, more palatable than beef tea.
t Another most excellent dietetic article is biscuit jelly, made
according to the following formula :
Biscuit Jelly. — Biscuit^ crushed, 4 oz. — cold water, 2 quarts;
soak for some hours ; boil to one ha!f ; strain ; evaporate to one
pint ; then flavor with sugar, red wine and cinnamon.
Parched Corn, powdered and sweetened to suit the taste, is re-
commended as a pleasant and nutritious diet for invalids.
In a Southern convalescent, one of the most desirable things
that can be given them is thin corn meal,-ground, well boiled,
seasoned with salt, and presented while hot.
30 WHAT FOOD ?
amount of " carboniferous" or " nitrogenous " elements
discoverable in different dietetic articles. It has given
us li?ts of dietetic substances, arranged in the order of
their richness in one or other of these principles ; but
that is all. In the great majority of cases, the stomach
of the patient is guided by other principles of selection
than merely the amount of carbon or nitrogen in the diet.
No doubt, in this as in other things, nature has very
definite rules for her guidance, but these rules can only
be ascertained by the most careful observation at the
b?d-side. She there teaches us that living chemistry,
the chemistry of reparation, is something different from
the chemistry of the laboratory. Organic chemistry is
useful, as all knowledge is, when we cotne face to face
with nature; but it by no meaiis follows that we should
learn in the laboratory any one of the reparative pro-
cesses going on in disease.
Again, the nutritive power of milk and of the prepa-
rations fiom milk, is veiy much undervalued ; there is
nearly as much nourishment in half a pint of milk as
there is in a quarter of a lb. of meat. But this is not the
whole question or nearly the whole. The main question
is what the patient's stomach can assimilate or derive
nourishment from, and of this the patient's stomach is
the sole judge. Chemistry cannot tell this. The patients
stomach must be its own chemist. The diet which will
keep the healthy man healthy, will kill the sick one. The
same beef which is the most nutritive of all meat and
which nourishes the healthy man, is the least nourishing
of all food to the sick man, whose half-dead stomach can
assimilaie no part of it, that is, make no food out of it.
On a diet of beef tea healthy men on the other hand
speedily lose their strength.
I have known patients live for many months without
WHAT FOOD ? 31
touching bread, because they could not eat bakers'
bread. Theee were mostly country patients, but not
all. Homemade bread or brown bread is a most im-
portant article of diet for many patients. The use of
apeiients may be entirely superseded by it. Oat cake
To watch for the opinions, then, which the patient's
stomach gives, rather than to read "analyses of foods,"
is the business of all those who have to settle what
the patient is to eat — perhaps the most important
thing to be provided for him after the air he is to
Now the medical man who sees the patient only
once a day, or even only once or twice a week, cantiot
possibly tell this without the assistance of the patient
himself, or of those who are in con>tant observation on
the patient. The utmost the medical man can tell is
whether the patient is weaker or stronger at this visit
than he was at the last visit. [ should, therefore, say
that incomparably the most important office of the nurse
after she has taken care of the patient's air, is to take
care to observe the effect of his food, and report it to
the medical attendant.
It is quite incalculable the good that would certainly
come fiom such sound and close observation in this
almost neglected branch of nursing, or the help it
W'ould give to the medical man.
A great deal too much against tea* is said b}' wise
* It is made a frequfcnt recommendation to persons about to
incur great exhaustion, either from the nature of the service, or
from their being not in a state fit for it, to eat a fjiece of Inead
before they go. 1 wish the recommenders would themseFves try
the experiment of substituting a piece of bread for a cup of tea
or coffee, or beef tea, as a refresher. They would find it a very
32 WHAT FOOD?
people, and a great deal too much of tea is given to
the sick by foolish people. When you see the natural
and almost universal craving in English sick for their
"tea," you cannot but feel that nature knows what she
is about. But a little tea or coffee restores them quite
as much as a gieat deal, and a great deal of tea, and
especially of coffee, impairs the little power of diges-
tion they have. Yet a nurse, because she sees how
one or two cups of tea or coffee restores her patient,
thinks that three or four cups will do twice as much.
This is not the case at all; it is, however, certain
that there is nothing yet discovered which is a substi-
tute to the English patient for his cup of tea ; he can
take it when he can take nothing else, and he often
can't take anything else if he has it not. I should be
very glad if any of the abusers of tea would point out
what to give to an English patient after a sleepless
poor comfort. Wheti soldiers have to set out fasting on fatiguing
duty, when nurses have to go tasting in to their patients, it is a
hot rest-orative they want, and ought to have, before they go, not
a cold bit of bread. And dreadful have been the consequences
of neglecting this. If they can take a bit of bread tvith the hot
cup of tea, so much the better, but not inslead of it. The fact that
their is more nourishment in bread than in almost anything -elSe
has probably induced th« mistake. That it is a fatal mistake
there is no doubt. It seems, though very little is known on the
subject, that what ''assimilates" itself directly, and with the least
trouble of digestion with the human body, is the best for the above
circumstances. Bread requires two or three processes of assimila-
tion, before it becomes like the human body.
The almost universal testimony of English men and women who
liave undergone great fatigue, such as riding long journeys without
stopping or sitting up for several nights in succession, is that they
could do it best upon an occasional cup of tea — and nothing
Let experience, not theory, decide upon this as upon all other
WHAT FOOD? 33
night, instead of tea. If you give it at 5 or 6 o'clock
in the morning, he may even sometimes fall asleep af-
ter it, and get perhaps his only two or three hours'
sleep during the twenty-four. At the same time you
never should give tea or coffee to the siok, as a rule,
after 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Sleeplessness in the
early night is from excitement generally, and is in-
creased by tea or coffee ; sleeplessness which contin-
ues to the early morning is fiom exhaustion often, and
is relieved by tea. The only English patients I have
ever known refuse tea, have been typhus cases, and
the first sigii of their getting better was their cra-
ving ao:ain for tea. In general, the dry and dirty
tongue always prefers tea to coffee, and will quite
decline milk, unless with tea. Coffee is a better re-
storative than tea, but a greater impairer of the diges-
tion. Let the patient's taste decide. You will say
that, in cases of great thirst, the patient's craving de-
cides that it will drink a great deal of tea, and that
you cannot help it. But in these cases be sure that
the patient require? diluents for quite other purposes
than quenching the thirst ; he wants a great deal of some
drink, not only of tea, and tiie doctor will order what
he is to have, barley water or lemonade, or soda water
and milk, as the case may be.
Le;iman, quoted by Dr. Christison, says that, among
the well and active, "the infusion of 1 oz. of roasted
coffee daily will diminish the waste going on in the
body by one-fourth," -and Dr. Christison adds that tea
has the same property. Now this is actual experi-
ment. Lehmaa weighs the man and finds the fact
fiom his weight. It is not deduced from any "analy-
34 WHAT FOOD?
sis" of food. All experience among the sick shows the
Cocoa is often reconimended to the sick in lieu of
tea or coffee. But independently of the fact that Eng-
lish sick very generally dislike cocoa, it has quite a
different effect from tea or coffee. It is an oily starchy
nut, having no restoritive at all, but simply increasing
fat. It is pure mockery of the sick, therefore, to call
it a substitute for tea. For any renovating stimulus it
has, you might just as well offer them chestnuts instead
An almost universal error among nurses is in the bulk
of the food, and especially the drinks they offer totheir
patients. Suppose a patient ordered 4 oz. . brandy du-
ring the day, how is he to take this if you make it into
four pints with diluting it? The same with tea and
beef tea, with arrowroot, milk, &c. You have not in-
* 111 making coffee, it is absolulel y iiecessary to buy it in the
berry and grind it at home. Otherwise you may reckon upon its
containing a certain amount of chicory, at least. This is not a
question of the taste, or of the wholesoraeness of chicory. It is
that chicory has nothing at all of the properiies for which you
give coffee. And therefore you may as well not give it.
Again, all laundresses, mistresses of dairy-farms, head nurses,
(I speak of the good old sort only — women who unite a good deal
of hard man-ual labor with the head-work necessary for arrang-
ing the day's business, so that none of it shall tread upon the
heels of something else,) set great value, I have observed, upon
liaving a high-priced tea. This is called extravagant. But these
women are '^extravagant" in nothing else. And they ate right
in this. Real tea-leaf tea alone contains'the restorative they want ;
which is not to be found in sloe-leaf tea.
The mistresses of houses, who cannot even go over their own
house once a day, are incapable of judging for these women. For
they are incapable themselves, to all appearance, of the spirit of
arrangement (no small task) necessary for managing a large waro
WHAT FOOD? 35
creased the nourishment, you have not increased the
renovating power of these articles, by increasina: their
bulk', you have very likely diminished both by giving
the patient's digestion more to do, and most likely of
all, the patient will leave half of what he has been or-
dered to take, because he cannot swallow the bulk with
which you have been pleased to invest it. It requires
very nice observation and care (and meets with hardly
any) to determine what will not be too thick or strong
for the patient to take, while giving him no more than
^he bulk which he is able to swallow,-
SCIENCE OF WAR!
INFANTRY, CAVALRY AND ARTILLERY.
ARRANGED AND COMPILED BY
I. V. BTJCKHOLTZ.
Oue Volume, 12mo, Price 75 cts. by mail, post paid.
ARMORY, RICf^MOND, VA., Jan'y 8, 1861.
J. W. Bandolph — Dear Sir: — I have only had time to look
over the Military work of Capt. Jjuckholiz, hecsiuse of my pressing
duties, yet I am satisfied that, if printed, much valuable informa*
tion to our citizen soldiery will be furnished.
The popular works upon military matters, now before the pub-
lic, are confined to ordinary drills and parades. What is now
wanted, is a treatise going to show when the various movements
of Artillery, Cavalry, Infantry and Rifle, as taught in their respec-
tive drills, should be used in presence of an enem}', — what grounds
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be taken when advancing or retreating-^when to act in column-^
when in line, how to post the different arms to act most favorabl}^
— information most essential to success, and without which, no
matter how personally brave troops may be, they are exposed to
almost certain disaster in prc^sence of an equal number of well
drilled and well manoeuvered troops, and this information Capt.
Buckholtz furnishes in his work.
I have no hesitation in recommending it.
Very respectfully yours,
CHARLES DIMMOCK, Capt., ^'c, cj'c.
Published and for sale by
J. W. RANDOLPH, Richmond, Va.
Also for sale by Booksellers generally.
BOOK PUBLISHING HOUSE,
J. W. RANDOLPH,
Boohseller, Publisher^ Stationer
OflTers on the best terms for cash or approved credit, the largest assort
ment of goods in his line to be found south of Philadelphia.
THE STOCK EMBRACES
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Particular attention given to the collection of Rare "Works. Books im-
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Of the best quality,
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BLANK BOOKS made to order, and all kinds of BOOK-BINDING ex-
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Catalogues will be mail-^d to all who send a stamp to pay the postage.
Taken in Exchange for New "Works.
J. W. RANDOLPH,
121 MAIN STREET, Richmond, Va.
NEW MILITARY WORK
INFANTRY CAMP DUTY, FIELD FORTIFICATION, AND
Prepared and arranged by Capt. L. v. Buckholtz, with plates, 16mo,
muslin. Price 50 cts. by mail, post paid.
'' This is a mere pocket-book in size, but it is crowded with instruc-
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great bulk of works on military science. It encloses grains of wheat,
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" We are always pleased to meet with a Southern book, one written,
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information which we have never met with in the popular military
works of the day." — Norfolk Southern Argus.
Published and for sale by .
J. W. RANDOLPH, Richmond, Ta.
Also for sale by Booksellers generally.
PLANTATION and FARM INSTRUCTION,
INVENTORY and ACCOUNT BOOK.
For the use of Managers of Estates, and for the better ordering and
management of plantation and farm business in many particulars.
By a Southern Planter. "Order is Heaven's first law."
New and improved edition, cap folio, half calf, price $1.50. Also a
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' Published and for sale by
J. W. RANDOLPH, Richmond, Va.
Also for sale by Booksellers generally.