Nurse Appreciation Week got me to looking at some items relating to 19th century nursing. I found this one which is particularly interesting in light of characteristics of my family in the nursing profession.
"The more quiet the nurse the better. Often sewing, knitting, or any other employment which would assist the nurse in passing the time, proves a source of real suffering to her patient. Reading in a quiet voice, combing the hair, gently rubbing the palms of the hand, will often induce sleep, when anodynes fail. Another important matter not to be lost sight of in a nurse is a cheerful obliging temper. Be always ready to humor a sick person in every thing that will do them no harm; never think of your own trouble, when you can, in the smallest particular, add to the comfort of the sick...It is not well to cross a sick person, if it can be avoided. A person with a gloomy disposition is unfit to take charge of the sick."
[Source: Plasters, Poultices and Paregoric:The Civil War Medicinal Cookbook]
Receipt and Recipe
While preparing for a hearth and kitchen program, I came across some great recipes that have been taken from a long ago hand written recipe book and perfected to modern cooking. All the hard work to keep the great flavor of the period has paid off and I want to share a couple of these with you.
1 1/2cups sugar
1/2pound butter, room temperature
3large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2teaspoon caraway seeds
Sugar for rolling
Preheat oven 375. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
flour and salt into large bowl. Set aside. With electric mixer, cream
butter and add sugar gradually. To flour, add very well beaten eggs,
butter mixture, and seeds. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon to combine
well. By hand, gently knead ingredients into a ball of soft dough. If
the weather is warm and the dough too soft to shape, you can refrigerate
it for a couple of hours. Roll teaspoonfuls of the dough on a very
lightly floured work surface, forming long thin ropes (about 5 inches).
Roll the ropes in a plate of sugar. Place the ropes on prepared baking
sheets, curling them into a circle and gently pressing ends together.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are very brown. Cool cookies on a
rack. They crisp when they cool.
Variations: The caraway seeds are
unexpected and a lovely complement to this sweet cookie. For a sweet,
decadent cookie, substitute toffee candy bits for the seeds. This dough
can be made into little crunchy cakes by placing scant cup portions into
well buttered and sugared muffin tins.
1/2pound peeled, grated carrots
5large eggs (omit 2 egg whites)
1pound home-style white bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces
1/2package frozen puff pastry, defrosted (optional)
1/4to 1/2 cup white wine or sherry
1/2cup butter, melted
1/2teaspoon grated nutmeg
oven to 350. Lightly butter a 6-8 cup baking dish 2-3 inches deep. If
you wish to use the puff pastry base, roll it out a little thinner and
place it on the bottom and up the edges of your pan. Refrigerate until
ready to use. Mix all remaining ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.
Pour the mixture over the pastry or directly into the prepared pan if no
pastry is used. Bake for 1 hour or until pudding appears set in the
middle and nicely browned.
Note: Dark brown sugar can be
substituted for the white sugar and add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1
teaspoon freshly grated ginger. Try serving a wedge of this for lunch or
as a first course for dinner on a plate of green salad lightly tossed
with a lemon vinaigrette.