LET the kitchen utensils used for preparing dishes for invalids be scrupulously clean. If this is neglected, a disagreeable flavor may be imparted, which will disgust the patient, and lead to a refusal to take any nourishment whatever. Never cook a large quantity of any one thing. A variety is necessary to tempt the appetite. I knew of one case in which some soup was carried to the bedside of a sick lady in a two-quart tin-basin. The lady was fastidious, and, of course, that meal was spoiled. Gruel served in a glass is more appetizing than if served in a cup or basin.
Always have some dainty dish in readiness. If a patient is required to wait for food, he loses the desire to eat.
Have a clean napkin spread on a tray, and let the service be as bright as possible. If a patient cannot eat what is offered, do not leave it by him in hopes that he may eat it, but take it right away and after a while bring it again; or, perhaps, make some little change in the arrangement of it. Do not serve beef tea or broth with any fat on the top. After either is made, let it cool, when the fat may be removed entirely.
Do not spill the contents of the cup into the saucer. When I have been weak and sick, I have had my breakfast entirely spoiled by a cup of coffee brought to me partly spilled into the saucer.
Provide plenty of clean napkins and towels for use. These are necessary to protect both the bedding and the clothing of the patient.
Roast 4 nice, smooth, tart apples carefully, preserving all the juice. Put them into a pitcher and pour on a quart of boiling water. Let cool, and it is a refreshing drink for an invalid. May be sweetened or flavored if liked.
Bake some crab-apples thoroughly. Put in a glass, sweeten, and pour water over to cover them.
Pour boiling water over pieces of bread, toasted very brown. Strain for use, and add cream and sugar.
One pound ground flax-seed and 2 lemons, boiled together in 4 quarts water. Sweeten to taste after it cools. Especially good for persons with weak lungs.
One cup milk sweetened, 2 tablespoons brandy stirred in. Give it with ice. Grate nutmeg over the top.