While sorting out some old family belongings recently, I came across a little handbook of nursing, titled “Home Nursing – The Authorized Textbook of the St. John Ambulance Association“. This book was first published in June 1932 and contains some wonderful gems on patient care. These were the days when patients were literally ‘nursed’ back to health.
BEVERAGES AND INVALID COOKERY
“Beverages may be refreshing, nourishing or stimulating”.
Beverages for this purpose should be taken in sips, and the patient urged to hold the fluid under the front of the tongue or at the back of the throat. The effect will be a refreshing sensation of coolness, whereas a large draught does not so well allay the thirst and may induce flatulence. Rinsing the mouth with cold water will often effectually allay thirst.
Teas made from Jam – Blackcurrant tea is especially suitable. Add a tablespoonful of jam to a pint of boiling water and allow to stand; strain.
Toast Water – Soak a slice of well toasted bread in a pint of boiling water; stand till cold; strain.
Apple Water – Slice thinly an apple without peeling or coring; pour over it a pint of boiling water; stand till cold; strain.
Barley Water (thin) – Add half a pint of boiling water to a teaspoonful of washed pearl barley, with a pinch of salt: stand by the fire for an hour, stirring occasionally: strain through fine muslin: allow to cool.
Albumen Water – Stir the whites of two fresh eggs in half a pint of cold boiled water, to which a pinch of salt has been added; leave for half an hour.
Gruel (Oatmeal) may be made with mild or with water. Mix into a paste with water two tablespoonfuls of fine oatmeal or groats in a saucepan; add a pint of milk or water, as ordered, and boil gently for half an hour, stirring frequently. Flavour with salt or sugar.
Egg Flip – Remove the speck; beat up a new-laid egg with a teaspoonful of sugar; add half a pint of milk and, if ordered, a tablespoonful of brandy; stir well.
Beef Tea (quick) – Remove the fat and skin from half a pound of gravy beef, which should be cut in small pieces and placed in a saucepan; add sufficient water to cover the meat and a little salt; while warming over a moderate fire, press out the juice of the meat for ten minutes; removed the meat and boil the liquor for one minute.
Those were the days! Do you think the HSE could learn any useful tips from this book? More to follow…