A slice of plain roasted mutton or beef, or a lightly grilled chop or steak, are easily digested. The following recipes will be found useful: -

Minced Beef

1/2 lb. best rump-steak. 1/2 pint cold water.

Pepper and salt. Sippets of toast.

Either get the butcher to mince the steak, or, after removing all the fat and connective tissue, put it through the mincing machine.

Never buy so-called mince collops from the shop for an invalid; there is always too much fat in it.

Take a small lined stewpan; put the minced beef into it, with half the water and the seasoning. Put the pan on the stove, and pound the meat well until it loses its raw appearance. Then add the rest of the water; simmer gently by the fire for twenty minutes. Do not allow the meat to rook too quickly, or it becomes hard. Remove any grease that may rise on it, and serve very hot. Garnish the dish with some neat sippets of toasted bread.

Meat-Juice Mince

1 lb. best rump-steak.

1 small piece of butter.

Pepper and salt.

Take the meat and rub through the hair sieve until all the red juicy part has gone through; scrape the bottom of the sieve. Melt a very little piece of the butter in a small frying-pan; toss the meat juice in it for three or four minutes, until it loses its red colour. Flavour, and serve with toast. This looks just like mince, but as none of the fibre is present, it is very digestible. This meat-juice mince can be made more easily digestible by omitting the butter, and adopting the following method: - Take the scraped meat, and add a teaspoonful of beef-tea or simple stock, and stir in an iron pan for three or four minutes, when the juice granulates and becomes brown in colour. If an enamel pan is used, the meat has a very unappetising appearance.

Beef Quenelles

1 lb. beefsteak. Breadcrumbs.

Salt and pepper to taste. 1 egg.

2 tablespoonfuls stock.

Pound the beefsteak, half a teacupful of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, egg and stock well in a mortar, rub through sieve, shape with tablespoons, and poach in shallow pan for ten minutes in boiling water. Serve with sippets of toast, and pour a gravy made of thickened beef-tea round the quenelles.

Vegetables

The following are the most suitable vegetables for convalescent patients: - Spinach, boiled lettuce, baked tomatoes, steamed asparagus, stewed celery, seakale, young leeks, cauliflower, onions, and vegetable marrow. The most suitable methods of cooking these vegetables have been described on p. 122. All these vegetables can be served with a little well-made white sauce served round them. This sauce must be properly made, as described on 0. 123.

Rice and Macaroni. These carbohydrates are the basis of many nourishing and easily digested Italian dishes. In cooking, the directions for boiling rice and macaroni should be closely followed.

Plain Boiled Rice

Wash well some Patna rice in several waters until the last water looks quite clean. If there is a pot for steaming the rice in, it is best to use this, but if not, boil the rice in a saucepan of boiling water containing salt, which is in the proportion of I teaspoonful to the quart. Boil quickly with the lid off, stirring it frequently with a fork to prevent it sticking to the pan. Cook from ten to fifteen minutes until the grain will rub down easily when one is tested between the finger and thumb. Strain through sieve or strainer, and finish the cooking by drying it, either by putting it into the saucepan by the side of the fire, or putting it on to a plate in a moderate oven. While drying, stir lightly with a fork every now and then to keep the grains separate.

N.B. - The water in which the rice has been boiled contains the best part of the rice, so it should not be thrown away, but kept for the stock pot.

Italian Rice (Cheese And Rice)

Plain boil the rice as directed above. After straining the rice, pour it back into a pan. Put a sufficient quantity of butter into a frying-pan; when the butter is melted add the rice, and mix well together for two or three minutes. Place the rice in a dish, and cover with grated Parmesan cheese.

Milan Rice (Rice With Meat Extract)

Place a bit of butter in a saucepan; when melted, throw in the rice (2 oz. is sufficient for one person). Mix rapidly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning. When the rice begins to colour, moisten with good stock, by degrees, until the rice is thoroughly cooked. Then add a small teaspoonful of any meat extract. Mix with it salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese, about I oz. A little of the cheese is mixed with the rice and the remainder served separately.

Boiled Macaroni

Break the macaroni into short lengths, and throw it into a saucepan of freshly boiling water with salt in it.

Boil quickly with the lid off the pan until it has thoroughly swelled and is tender. Stir occasionally, to prevent it sticking. The time depends on the variety of the macaroni - the large pipe will take about half an hour, the small much longer. Keep it well covered with water. When ready, drain, and this may either be served plain with meat, or it may be put back into the saucepan with enough stock to cover it and allow to stew for half an hour.

The pulp of a fresh tomato rubbed through a sieve may also be added to this.