Eggs are next in importance to milk in diet for the sick, and for invalids, children and the aged. They are nitrogenous, taking the place of meat, fish or milk.
The digestibility of an egg is governed largely by the method of cooking. Coddled, poached or soft boiled, they are easily digested. A raw egg eaten unseasoned is not so quickly digested as one lightly cooked. An ordinary hard-boiled egg is very difficult of digestion, both yolk and white. When properly hard boiled, however, the yolk is quite as easy of digestion as a soft-cooked egg.
The yolk of an egg is frequently added to liquid foods to increase their nutritive value. In cases of chronic or acute gastritis and flatulent dyspepsia, the white of an egg is more easily digested than the yolk. It may be beaten with fruit juice, or thoroughly shaken with milk or any of the water gruels.
Eggs may be used freely in tuberculosis, asthma, ton-silitis, quinsy and chronic diarrhoea, the white should be avoided by those who are subject to flatulency, gastritis with dilatation, chronic gastritis, intestinal catarrh and Bright's disease.
Wash the shells of all eggs thoroughly before cooking them.
To ascertain the freshness of an egg without breaking it, drop it in a bucket of cold water; if it topples around in the water or stands on its ends, it is fairly fresh, but should be rejected as food for invalids; if it floats do not use it at all; but if it sinks quickly to the bottom and falls on its side it is perfectly safe.
This is one of the best methods of cooking eggs for the sick.
Drop one or two eggs into a quart of boiling water; the water may be either in a kettle, or a saucepan with a lid; cover and stand on a table away from the fire, six minutes, or if the eggs are to be served very soft, five minutes. Serve in a hot cup. If cooked correctly the white will be congealed but soft, while the yolks will be quite well cooked.
Select a small individual egg dish or ramekin, cover the bottom with a few fresh bread crumbs, drop in one fresh egg, stand the dish in a pan of hot water and in a moderate oven until the egg is "set" and looks like a poached egg; dust it with salt, put on a bit of butter and serve at once.
Drop a perfectly fresh egg into a saucepan of boiling water; sprinkle over a little salt, and pull the pan to the side of the stove where the water cannot possibly boil. Have ready a piece of toast the shape of the egg but a little larger; butter it quickly, lift the egg on an egg-slice or skimmer, with a spoon cut off the ragged edges, and slide it carefully on the toast.
Boil four tablespoonfuls of rice in plenty of water; when very tender, drain, and arrange neatly in the center of an individual platter; put on top a nicely poached egg, and, on top of this, a tablespoonful of cream sauce.
Score the center of each row of grains on one ear of corn; with a dull knife scrape out the pulp, being very careful not to get one particle of the hull. Put the pulp in a saucepan or cup, stand it over hot water for twenty minutes, until thoroughly cooked. When ready to serve, put a round of toast in the middle of the platter, season the corn with a little salt, add a tablespoonful of cream, and pour it over the toast. Place in the center one well-poached egg.. Dust with salt and serve.
An excellent luncheon for a child or the aged.