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Sick-Room Cookery

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As recovery from any illness depends in large part upon proper food, and as the appetite of the sick is always capricious and often requires tempting, the greatest pains should be taken in the preparation of their meals. If only dry toast and tea, let each be perfect, remembering instructions for making each, and serving on the freshest of napkins and in dainty china. A tête-à-tête service is very nice for use in a sick-room; and in any case a very small teapot can be had, that the tea may always be made fresh. Prepare only a small amount of any thing, and never discuss it beforehand. A surprise will often rouse a flagging appetite. Be ready, too, to have your best attempts rejected. The article disliked one day may be just what is wanted the next. Never let food stand in a sick-room, for it becomes hateful to a sensitive patient, and have every thing as daintily clean as possible. Remember, too, that gelatine is not nourishing, and do not be satisfied to feed a patient on jellies. Bread from any brown flour will be more nourishing than wheat. Corn meal is especially valuable for thin, chilly invalids, as it contains so much heat. In severe sickness a glass tube is very useful for feeding gruels and drinks, and little white china boats with spouts are also good. A wooden tray with legs six or seven inches high, to stand on the bed, is very convenient for serving meals. Let ventilation, sunshine, and absolute cleanliness rule in the sick-room. Never raise a dust, but wipe the carpet with a damp cloth, and pick up bits as needed. Never let lamp or sun light shine directly in the eyes, and, when the patient shows desire to sleep, darken the room a little. Never whisper, nor wear rustling dresses, nor become irritated at exactions, but keep a cheerful countenance, which helps often far more than drugs. Experience must teach the rest.


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The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking (1903).

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