[Retro Recipe Monday] Recipes for Invalids

So this is one of my oldest cookbooks and probably published in the beginning of the cookbook era in 1911. The Butterick Cookbook contains no pictures and is not set up in a way that is familiar to modern cookbook readers, it reads more like a crypt note that you should know how to decipher from at that time. Ovens were more like fire places from the sound of it verses a modern oven. There is however a charming and practical chapter on cooking for invalids as per the book. Here are a few tasty treats for the infirm:

Sherry and egg – Beat the yolk of an egg and one teaspoon of sugar together and add this to two teaspoons of sherry, brandy or port, stirring well. Beat the white of an egg to a very stiff froth, stir it in, beating well, and serve at once. This will quite fill the glass. If wine is not desired, nutmeg may be used for flavoring.

Arrowroot Blanc Mange – Put half a pint of milk into a double boiler, scald and stir into it three heaping teaspoons of arrowroot which have been dissolved in one-half cup of cold water. Stir until thick and smooth; remove from the fire, flavor with a half teaspoon of vanilla and pour into a mold to cool. Serve with sugar and cream.

Beef Juice – When much nourishment must be given in small compass, the best nurses now prepare beef juice. This is made of the round of beef cut at least an inch thick. Take a piece of the meat about four inches square, place it in a wire broiler and broil it over a bright fire until both sides have been browned and the meat has been well warmed through to start the juices. If the fire is bright, two minutes of broiling will generally be sufficient. Lay the beef on a plate, sprinkle it with salt, cut it into pieces, place in a small piece of cheesecloth or a presser and squeeze out all the juice. About three tablespoons of juice will usually result from a piece of meat the size mentioned.

Sufficient juice for two servings is generally prepared at one time and the second portion will, of course, require warming. This must be done very carefully, as too high a degree of heat will cause the juice to coagulate. Place the juice in a cup, set the cup in boiling water, stir the juice constantly until it is a little above blood heat and then serve.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


3 Responses

  1. Rufus Opus

    What's the picture from? I should probably know, but I don't.

  2. Where in the world did you find a cookbook from Buttrick?? lol I thought they only did patterns…The wording in the recipes you posted is a riot! "The best nurses now prepare beef juice." lol I love it! Awesome post and thank for sharing this.

  3. Deborah Castellano

    @RO – It's Betty Draper from Mad Men

    @ Tamara – It was actually a gift 🙂 People give me old cookbooks as presents sometimes. I know, it's crazy! Beef juice for everyone!

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