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Beef and Chicken Tea

The following valuable hints are from an experienced physician at one of our hospitals, who was for many years a surgeon in the U. S. Navy:

‘ As we have now a great many sick soldiers around and amongst us, and their diseases are of such a type or character as to require food of the most nourishing kind, and in the most available form, we take the liberty of presenting to the ladies and nurses the following formula and directions for making beef, mutton, or chicken tea, it being the best and most expeditions mode of preparing a nourishment of incalculable importance to the well doing of those who languish upon beds of sickness:

Take one pound of tender fresh beef, free from all fat, chop it up as fine as if intended for mince meat, put it in a wide-mouth stone jar, and pour into it a half pint of cold water; stop the mouth of the jar tightly, then place it in an iron pot, having enough cold water in it to come up about half way of the jar; place the pot over a slow fire, and gradually bring the whole to the boiling point; after the water has boiled not longer than five minutes remove the pot from the fire, and allow it to remain some ten or fifteen minutes, after which you may take out the jar and proceed to pour the contents into a clean cloth or towel, spread over a bowl, that the liquid may be strained into it. After the liquid has ceased running through, the cloth may be taken with both hands and squeezed until all the liquid has been pressed out of the meat. Nothing more remains to be done but the addition of a few grains of salt, when it is ready for use, warm or cold, as the case may require.

In recommending this mode of extracting liquid food from meat of any kind, for the use of the sick, we are fully aware that objections will be made by all those who will do everything just as they have seen their mothers or grandmothers do it, right or wrong, and will not be persuaded to do otherwise.--To such persons we have nothing to say in the hope of getting them to give up their prejudices. We are writing for the benefit of those who are willing to learn, and particularly so when their learning is likely to be of so great a benefit to the sick and suffering soldier.

The prevalent idea that in making soups of all kinds you must allow them to boil for hours before the virtues of the meat is extracted, is erroneous; and were it pertinent or profitable for us here to discuss this subject scientifically, we could show clearly the reasons why it was so. We simply now make the statement as a matter of fact, and have the highest and best authority for doing so.

In finishing this subject, we would suggest the propriety, as well as the usefulness, of changing the names of these excellent articles of nourishment — beef tea, chicken tea, &c.; and although a rose may smell as sweet by any other name, yet we feel confident that beef or chicken tea will often-times prove more serviceable to the sick under some other more appropriate and euphonious title. The very name of tea sometimes excites a prejudice in the sick amounting to disgust and loathing; and, besides, the article we have been speaking of, and for the making of which we have given such particular directions, is not a tea, but a fluid extract of the meat, containing all its nutritious principles.--Therefore, calling things by their right names, as of great importance to the sick man, let us learn to say extract of beef, or beef extract, instead of beef tea. Amicus.

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