Ice, once a luxury enjoyed only by the rich, has become a necessity of daily life. Rough ice, at 1d. or 2d. per lb. is used in summer for keeping fish good, and cooling butter in nearly all well-to-do families, and by thus saving our food it is really an economy.
Ice is also most useful in many cases of illness; in fevers, spinal affections, etc. etc.
Its use in cooling drinks was known from the most remote antiquity. The manufacture of ices was an invention of the seventeenth century.
Ice can now be artificially produced by machinery, by evaporation, etc. etc., but it is seldom made at home except in wealthy households.
The importance of being able to keep small quantities of ice for various purposes, and especially in sick rooms for medical use, cannot be overrated. Dr. Schwarz has communicated to the public the following simple method, which he has practised with success. He says, "Put the ice in a deep dish or jug, cover it with a plate, and place the vessel on a pillow stuffed with feathers, and cover the top with another pillow carefully, by this means excluding the external air. Feathers are well-known bad conductors of heat, and in consequence the ice is preserved from melting." Dr. Schwarz states that he has thus preserved six pounds of ice for eight days. The plan is simple, and within the reach of every household.
Make a double pocket of any-kind of strong woollen cloth, no matter how faded and coarse it is. Have a space of two inches or so between the inner and outer pockets, and pack this space as full as possible with feathers. You have no need to use geese feathers; hen's feathers are just as good. With a pocket thus constructed, and kept closely tied at the mouth, a few pounds of ice may be kept a week.
Buttermilk is a very cooling summer drink. It must be drunk, however, the first day, for it is not fit for drinking afterwards. Sweeten with a little sugar, and add grated nutmeg to taste.
Half a drachm of citric acid to a pint of milk. This will make good curds and whey.
Weak green tea let get cold, and with half a lemon squeezed into it, makes an excellent beverage.
Put a gill of wine (Port or Madeira) into a tumbler, add to it water, hot or cold, nearly to fill it, sweeten with loaf-sugar to taste, grate nutmeg over, and serve with sponge-cake or Savoy biscuit, cut small.
Fill a jug with boiling water. carefully drop into it a piece ofbread toasted very brown. Let it stand till cold.
If the water be poured on the toast instead of the toast being dropped in, the liquid will look cloudy and discoloured; it ought to look as clear as sherry. Some persons make toast and water with cold water; this is very nice when you are quite sure of the goodness of the water itself; but as boiling water destroys much that is bad in it, we think it advisable to boil it first. If the water be cold, the toast had better approach the state of charcoal. But boiling water, with the toast, as we have said, carefully dropped into it, can be strained when it is coloured, and then poured from jug to jug till it is once more filled with carbonic acid from the air.