Cooking by Troops, for Camp and Hospital

by Florence Nightingale

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Directions for Cooking in Hospital

No. 1.


Put in a convenient sized vessel 16 gallons water, 60 lbs. meat, 12 lbs. plain mixed vegetables, 9 lbs. pearl barley or rice (or 4½ lbs. each), 1½ lbs. salt, 1¼ lbs. flour, 1 oz. pepper. Put all the ingredients, except the flour, into the pan; set it on the fire, and when beginning to boil, diminish the heat, and simmer gently for two hours and a half; take the meat out and keep warm; add to the soup your flour, which you have mixed with enough water to form a light batter; stir well together with a large spoon; boil another half hour; skim off the fat, and serve the meat and soup separate. The soup should be stirred occasionally while making, to prevent burning or sticking.

No. 2.


Proceed the same as for mutton, only leave the meat in till serving, as it takes longer to cook than mutton. The pieces are not to be above 4 or 5 lbs. weight each.

No. 3.


Cut three pounds lean beef into pieces the size of walnuts, and break up the bones (if any); put it into a convenient sized kettle, with ½ lb. mixed vegetables (onions, celery, turnips, carrots, or one or two of these, if all are not to be obtained), 1 oz. salt, a little pepper, 2 oz. butter, ½ pint of water. Set it on a sharp fire for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, till it forms a rather thick gravy at the bottom, but not brown; then add 7 pints of hot water; simmer gently for an hour. Skim off all the fat, strain through a sieve and serve.

No. 4.


Dissolve a teaspoonful of arrow-root in a gill of water, and pour it into the beef tea twenty minutes before passing through the seive, or add ¼ oz. gelatine to the above quantity of beef tea, when cooking. Mutton and veal will make good tea, by proceeding the same as above.

No. 5.


Take 1 lb. lean beef, cut fine; put it into a porter bottle with a tea cup of water, ½ teaspoonful of salt, a little pepper, and 6 grains allspice; cork loosely, and place in a saucepan of cold water; then with a gentle heat let it simmer till sufficient quantity of the essence is obtained. Serve either warm or cold.

No. 6.


Put in a stew-pan a fowl, 3 pints water, 2 teaspoonfuls of rice, 1 of salt, a little pepper and a small onion, or two ounces of mixed vegetables; boil the whole gently for one hour (if an old fowl, simmer for two hours, adding one pint more water.) Skim off the fat and serve. A light mutton broth may be made in the same way, taking 1½ pounds mutton—neck if convenient.

No. 7.


Put 2 quarts water in a stew pan with a teaspoonful of salt; when boiling, add to it ½ pound rice, well washed; boil for ten minutes; drain off the water and slightly grease the pan with butter; put the rice back, and let it swell slowly for about twenty minutes, near the fire. Each grain will then swell up, and be well separated. Flavor with nutmeg or cinnamon, and sweeten to taste.

No. 8.


Put in a pan with 3 pints water, 3 oz. sago, 1½ oz. sugar, half a lemon peel, cut very thin, ¼ teaspoonful of ground cinnamon, or a small stick of the same, and a little salt; boil about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, then add a little port, sherry or madeira wine, as the case will admit.

No. 9.


Put in a pan 4 oz. arrow-root, 3 oz. sugar, the peel of half a lemon, ¼ teaspoonful of salt, 2½ pints of milk; set it on the fire; stir gently; boil for ten minutes, and serve. If no lemons at hand, a little essence of any kind will do. When short of milk, use half water—half an ounce of butter is an improvement.

No. 10.


Put in a pan 3 oz. arrow-root, 2 oz. white sugar, the peel of a lemon, ¼ teaspoonful of salt, and 4 pints water; mix well, set on the fire, and boil for ten minutes. Serve hot or cold.

No. 11.


Put 7 pints water to boil; add 2 oz. rice, washed, 2 oz. sugar, the peel of two-thirds of a lemon, boil gently for three quarters of an hour, or till reduced to 5 pints. Strain and serve—use as a beverage.

No. 12.


Put in a saucepan 7 pints water, 2 oz. pearl barley; stir now and then when boiling; add 2 oz. white sugar, [11]the rind of half a lemon, thinly peeled; boil gently for two hours, and serve, either strained or with the barley left in.

No. 13.


Put in a basin 2 tablespoonfuls of white or brown sugar, ½ a tablespoonful of lime juice, mix well together, and add one pint of water.

No. 14.


Dissolve 1 oz. citric acid in one pint of cold water; add 1 lb. 9 oz. white sugar; mix well to form a thick syrup; then put in 19 pints cold water, slowly mixing well.

No. 15.


Cut a piece of crusty bread about ¼ lb.; toast gently and uniformly to a light yellow color; then place near the fire, and when of a good brown chocolate, put in a pitcher; pour on it 3 pints boiling water; cover the pitcher, and when cold, strain—it is then ready for use. Never leave the toast in, as it causes fermentation in a short time.

A piece of apple, slowly toasted till it gets quite black, and added to the above, makes a very refreshing drink.


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