Wednesday, 21 December 2016

14 May 1881 - Useful Hints

CALVES' FEET JELLY. – Split four feet, and boil them gently in a gallon of water for four hours, skimming well when the broth is reduced to half that quantity. Strain the stock into a basin through a sieve, and when cold and in a firm jelly scrape off the grease, wash the surface with scalding water, wipe, and place it in a stew-pan, adding 2 lbs of sugar, the juice of 12 lemons, the rind of 6, a bruised stick of cinnamon, and 20 coriander seeds. Set on the fire, dissolve, and add the whites of 6 eggs well whisked with half-a-pint of water; continue whisking the jelly, while on the fire, until it commence to boil. Then add a pint of sherry, put on the lid, laying some live embers of charcoal upon it, and leave the jelly to simmer slowly by the side of the stove for about twenty minutes longer. Then pour through a jelly bag into a basin, returning it again through the bag, until it passes quite clear and bright-looking. It can be coloured with cochineal, or annatto, or other suitable preparations to be procured at a chemist's.

MACARONI CHEESE. – Cut the macaroni in two or three inch lengths, place in a stewpan with 3/4 lb of grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese, 4 oz of fresh butter, a spoonful of good béchamel; season with pepper and salt, toss all well over the fire, pile it in the centre of a dish, bordered round with fried croutons of bread, covering also the bottom. Cover the top with equal parts of fine bread-crumbs and grated Parmesan, and pour over all a little melted butter through the holes of a spoon, and place the dish in the oven to be baked.

TAPIOCA CREAM. – Soak two tablespoonfuls of tapioca over night in just enough water to cover it. Boil one quart of milk with the tapioca in the morning; add a little more than half a tea cup of lump sugar, a pinch of salt, and the yolks of three eggs well beaten; stir them in the milk, then remove it from the fire. Flavour to taste with lemon or vanilla; beat the three whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, and drop them on the cream when cold.

CURE FOR CHILBLAINS. – Bathe the parts affected in the water in which potatoes have been boiled, as hot as can be borne. On the first appearance of the blains this bath, affords relief, and in the more advanced stages repetition prevents breaking out, and generally results in a cure. One ounce of white coppers dissolved in a quart of water and applied occasionally is also considered efficacious.

A NICE WAY TO BAKE APPLES. – Choose good sour apples, dig out the cores, and fill the cavities with sugar, and, if liked, a small clove. Place the apples in a dish, or tin, with about a cup of water. Bake them in a quick oven. This makes a good dish for children, and is very cooling and pleasant for invalids.

AN EASY WAY TO MAKE AN OMELETTE. – Beat the whites and yolks of three eggs separately, add a teaspoonful of water and a pinch of salt to the yolks; beat and mix them with the whites lightly. Put about as much butter as will lie in the bowl of a teaspoon into the frying-pan, hold it over the fire till it melts, then pour in the egg. When the surface is nearly dry, fold one half of the omelette over the other, slide it gently off on a plate and serve quickly.

OATMEAL CAKES. – Mix a handful of fresh coarse oatmeal with a little water and a pinch of salt; rub in a little butter. Make the paste sufficiently moist to roll out the thickness of a shilling; put it on a girdle over a clear fire. When slightly brown on one side, toast the other side before the fire. Each cake must be mixed separately.

SCALDED BATTER PUDDING. – Four piled tablespoonfuls of flour, four eggs, a little salt, and rather less than a pint of ilk. Mix salt with the flour, and when the milk is quite boiling pour it gradually over the flour, stirring it with a fork until it is sufficiently mixed. Set it to cool, and in the meanwhile whisk the eggs very thoroughly and stir them in to the other ingredients when these are just warm. Boil for an hour and a half in a well-buttered cloth, leaving room  for the pudding to rise. It will be very light and delicate, a perfect pudding for an invalid; but in the preparation no spoon should be used, the mixing being done wholly with a fork. Serve with wine sauce, or, if this is objected to, plain melted butter and jam, or a little raspberry vinegar.


1. Soak a soft fig for about a week in pale brandy, and take half when the cough is troublesome.

2. Put a lemon in boiling water. Boil it for a quarter of an hour. Then press out the pulp into a jar, removing the pips, and mix it very thoroughly with a quarter of a pound of honey. Take a teaspoonful when required.

3. Dissolve 1 oz of gum Arabic and 14 lb of sugar candy in a pint of water. A little lemon juice and a chip or two of the rind, cut off very thin, may be added, and greatly improve the flavour. A teaspoonful of the mixture taken a bedtime will often allay the tickling and irritation of the throat, and secure a night's rest. It should be sipped very slowly. By sucking a little pure gum Arabic the same effect may be produced as it coats over the susceptible surface. The mixture is, however, more palatable, and especially for children.

4. Thin linseed tea, which should always be boiled, not merely infused, sweetened with sugar-candy and flavoured with lemon juice and rind, is also an excellent demulcient, and highly nutritious. Some black Spanish juice may be boiled with the linseed. This old-fashioned remedy is often undervalued, because it is extremely cheap, and may be used with only the limit of the patient's inclination.

5. For tickling in the throat a teaspoonful of the soft, cold pulp of a roasted apple often proves useful, especially in the night.

6. Put a large tablespoonful of black currant jam into half a pint of boiling water. Stir and bruise thoroughly; let it stand till cold, and drink of the liquor when the cough is troublesome.

7. Half a teaspoonful of Condy's fluid – crimson – mixed in half a tumbler of water is an excellent morning gargle for a susceptible throat. It is also a purifying wash for the mouth and teeth, but should not be swallowed.

See you next year! :)

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