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The Art of Cookery: Receipts for the Sick, Part 2/2

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Hannah Glasse BookHere’s the second part of the chapter on “Receipts for the Sick.”  There are some suprising ingredients in this section below; surprising in the sense that it seems that the “average” household (which could afford servants and cooks) would have had access to things like China root, balsam of Tolu, and liquorice.  Next up will be chapter 1, “Of Roasting, Boiling &c.”


Receipts for the Sick Part 2/2

To make panada*.

You must take a quart of water in a nice clean sauce-pan, a blade of mace, a large piece of crumb of bread; let it boil two minutes, then take out the bread, and bruise it in a bason very fine.  Mix as much water as well make it as thick as you would have; the rest pour away, and sweeten it to your palate.  Put in a piece of butter as big as a walnut, don’t put in any wine, it spoils it; you may grate in a little nutmeg.  This is hearty and good diet for sick people.

[*Panada is a thick paste made with flour, breadcrumbs, etc.  with milk, water, stock, butter or sometimes egg yolks.  It is also the name of several kinds of soup using this paste as a base.]

To boil sago*.

Put a large spoonful of sago into three quarters of a pint of water, stir it, and boil it softly till it is as thick as you would have it; then put in wine and sugar, with a little nutmeg to your palate.

[*Sago is a thickener made from palm starch, in a powdered form.]

To boil salup*.

It is a hard stone ground to powder, and generally sold for one shilling an ounce:  take a large tea spoonful of the powder and put it into a pint of boiling water, keep stirring it till it is like a fine jelly; then put wine and sugar to your palate, and lemon, if it will agree.

[*Salup, or also spelled saloop, salob, saleb, or any other variant of the phonetics, was a popular hot beverage in the 17th & 18th centuries; it is still sold in eastern Mediterranean lands as salep.  It is made from the powdered roots of a particular orchid which is then added to boiling milk and sugar, then sprinkled with cinnamon just before serving.  The salup thickens much like arrowroot, and it’s ready to drink when it is as thick as runny mashed potatoes.  It’s basically tasteless, so arrowroot or cornstarch could be substituted.]

To make isinglass* jelly.

Take a quart of water, one ounce of isinglass, half an ounce of cloves; boil them to a pint, then strain it upon a pound of sugar, and when cold sweeten your tea with it.  You may make the jelly as above, and leave out the cloves.  Sweeten to your palate, and add a little wine.  All other jellies you have in another chapter.

[*Isinglass is a form of gelatine made from the air bladders of fish such as the sturgeon; it was used as a glue, as well as a clarifying agent for beer and wine.]

To make the pectoral* drink.

Take a gallon of water, and half a pound of pearl barley, boil it with a quarter of a pound of figs split, a pennyworth of liquorice sliced to pieces, a quarter of a pound of raisins of the sun stoned (seeds removed); boil all together till half is wasted, then strain it off.  This is ordered in the measles, and several other disorders, for a drink.

[*In this context, it is referring to a remedy that is good for diseases of the chest or lungs.]

To make buttered water, or what the Germans call egg-soop (Eiersuppe), who are very fond of it for supper.  You have it in the chapter for Lent.

Take a pint of water, beat up the yolk of an egg with the water, put in a piece of butter as big as a small walnut, two or three knobs of sugar, and keep stirring it all the time it is on the fire.  When it begins to boil, bruise it between the sauce-pan and a mug till it is smooth, and has a great froth; then it is fit to drink.  This is ordered in a cold, or where egg will agree with the stomach.

To make seed water.

Take a spoonful of coriander seed, half a spoonful of caraway seed bruised* and boiled in a pint of water; then strain it and bruise it with the yolk of an egg.  Mix it with sack and double-refined sugar, according to your palate.

[*Bruise:  Often used in this book, it refers to crushing, grinding, or mashing to one degree or another.]

To make bread soop (soup) for the sick.

Take a quart of water, set it on the fire in a clean sauce-pan, and as much dry crust of bread cut to pieces as the top of a penny loaf, the drier the better, a bit of butter as big as a walnut; let it boil, then beat it with a spoon, and keep boiling it till the bread and water is well mixed:  then season it with a very little salt, and it is a pretty thing for a weak stomach.

To make artificial asses-milk.

Take two ounces of pearl-barley, two large spoonfuls of hartshorn shavings, one ounce of eringo root, one ounce of China root, one ounce of preserved ginger, eighteen snails bruised with the shells, to be boiled in three quarts of water, till it comes to three pints, then boil a pint of new milk, mix it with the rest, and put in two ounces of balsam of Tolu.  Take half a pint in the morning, half a pint at night.

[Ass: Yep, the animal.

Hartshorn:  the powder ground from the antlers of a hart; it was once used as a source of ammonia, and a precursor to baking soda and baking powder; it’s a leavening ingredient.  Interestingly, it breaks down into a gas when heated, which causes the leavening, but if it is not allowed to escape will leave the taste and odour or ammonia; it was mainly used in light batters, where it wouldn’t have far to reach the surface to escape.

Eringo root:  Also spelled Eryngo, it is the Eryngium campestre.  It was used medicinally for treating coughs and urinary infections; the roots were sometimes candied, or boiled and roasted to serve as a vegetable.  There are warnings attached to the usage and dosage of this herb, as it is still used.

China root:  This is a bit vague; it could refer to anything from Angelica roots, to dry lily bulbs; there are many roots from China that are still used in medicines today.

Balsam of Tolu:  This is a resin used in some cough syrups.  It is also used in perfumes, as it has a mellow but spicy aroma.  It is used on skin rashes, though it is also known to cause some skin allergies.  Its flavour notes are similar to cinnamon and vanilla.]

Cows milk, next to asses milk, done thus.

Take a quart of milk, set it in a pan overnight, the next morning take off all the cream, then boil it, and set it in the pan again till night, then skim it again, boil it, set it in the pan again, and the next morning skim it, warm it blood-warm, and drink it as you do asses milk.  It is very near as good, and with some consumptive people it is better.

To make a good drink.

Boil a quart of milk, and a quart of water, with the top-crust of a penny-loaf and one blade of mace, a quarter of an hour very softly, then pour it off, and when you drink it let it be warm.

To make barley water.

Put a quarter of a pound of pearl-barley into two quarts of water, let it boil, skim it very clean, boil half away, and strain it off.  Sweeten to your palate, but not too sweet, and put in two spoonfuls of white wine.  Drink it lukewarm.

To make sage tea.

Take a little sage, a little baum*, put it into a pan, slice a lemon, peel and all, a few knobs of sugar, one glass of white wine, pour on these two or three quarts of boiling water, cover it and drink when dry.  When you think it strong enough of the herbs, take them out, otherwise it will make it bitter.

[*Baum:  This is vague; Baum is the German word for tree; she could be referring to a ground bark, or it could be a misspelling or phonetic spelling of “Berme”, which was a yeast used in leavening, similar to that which is found in fermenting malt liquor froth.]

To make it for a child.

A little sage, baum, rue*, mint and penny-royal**, pour boiling water on, and sweeten to your palate.  Syrup of cloves, &c. and black-cherry water, you have in the Chapter of Preservatives.

[*Rue is a medicinal herb that has been used in cuisines since at least ancient Rome.  It is quite bitter, so needs to be used sparingly; too much can cause gastric pain.

** Pennyroyal:  Even though its oil is extremely poisonous, this herb from the mint family has been used as a culinary herb since ancient Rome.]

Liquor for a child that has the thrush.

Take half a pint of spring water, a knob of double-refined sugar, a very little bit of alum, beat it well together with the yolk of an egg, then beat it in a large spoonful of the juice of sage, tie a rag to the end of the stick, dip it in this liquor, and often clean the mouth.  Give the child overnight one drop of laudanum, and the next day proper physic, washing the mouth often with the liquor.

To boil comfrey roots.

Take a pound of comfrey-roots, scrape them clean, cut them into little pieces, and put them into three pints of water.  Let them boil till there is about a pint, then strain it, and when it is cold, put it into a sauce-pan.  If there is any settling at the bottom, throw it away; mix it with sugar to your palate, half a pint of mountain wine, and the juice of a lemon.  Let it boil, then pour it into a clean earthen pot, and set it by for use.  Some boil it in milk, and it is very good where it will agree and is reckoned a great strengthener.


About Trinity

A melancholic pragmatist with a wide streak of mischief and an active imagination that turns into novels.

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