Toasted bread or zwieback should be made of good light bread, white, graham, or whole-wheat, cut in slices about two thirds of an inch thick. Stale bread is better, as the zwieback made from it will be more brittle and crisp. Sour or heavy bread will not make zwieback. Place in a warming oven until quite well dried through, and then bake in a moderate oven until a nice light brown clear through. New or moist bread baked in a hot oven will render it so tough and hard that it will be almost impossible to eat it. Bread that is toasted only on the surface is as injurious as new bread, for the central part of the slice is just like new bread. When toasted bread is mentioned in the following recipes, that which has been toasted clear through is meant. Most of the toasts given under this head are excellent foods for the sick, being at the same time something to please the eye, palate, and stomach.
Take 6 good-sized tart apples; pare, core, and cook in as little water as possible until very tender. Stir often when nearly done to keep from burning, and to dry them out. Remove from the stove, and sift through a sieve; add sugar to taste, and beat until it is light and filled with air bubbles. Reheat, and moisten slices of zwieback by dipping them into a dish of hot water and immediately removing them. Place the toast on individual pie plates, and cover with the hot sifted apple. Serve at once.
Moisten slices of zwieback, and cover with an apple foam sauce. (See recipe for Apple Foam.)
Select nice, ripe bananas, and press through a fruit press or mash with a silver fork. Add a very little sugar, and serve on moistened zwieback. The bananas can be heated after they are mashed, if desired.
Moisten nicely browned slices of toast, and cover with a sauce made like recipe for Banana Foam. (See index.)
Take nicely browned slices of zwieback, and moisten by dipping into hot water and removing at once. Place on pie plates, and cover with a celery gravy made according to recipe. (See index.)
Wash, and cook some cranberries in a very little water; when done, put through a sieve to remove the skins, which are hard of digestion. Add enough sugar to sweeten, and heat again to boiling, and pour over slices of white zwieback, which have been moistened by dipping into hot water. The acid of the cranberry does not seem so sharp if a tablespoon-ful of almond butter is added to each pint of the cranberries.
Pull the dates apart, and pour over them boiling water, shake in the dish for a few minutes to remove the dirt, and then drain. Pour on cold water, and when cool, drain again, and wipe with a clean towel. Some people are afraid to wash dates for fear they will melt or lose some of their goodness, but this is a mistake; though they are soft, they have a tough skin that will not admit the water. Then grind them through the nut-butter mill. To 1 cup of the ground dates add 2 cups of hot water, and put 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls on well-moistened slices of zwieback.