Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/705

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A FEW WORDS ABOUT EATABLES.

C. I gather from what you have said that you would prefer, as food for invalids, milk enriched with cream or some other fatty matter, or the yolks of eggs, or something like the bouillon of the French pot-au-feu, to highly nitrogenous preparations from which the fat has been carefully skimmed off, such as Brand's essence, or Liebig's extraction carnis, or ordinary beef-tea.

M. That I certainly do; lean meat more or less fluidified and its juices are not the sine qua non in food if what I have said be true. On the contrary, I am disposed to think that in very many cases foods of this sort are really unsuitable, if only by calling upon the liver to do work which this organ is unequal to at the time.

C. You approve, then, of the old-fashioned milk diet rather than of the meat preparations which are now so much in vogue?

M. I am quite a believer in the virtue of unskimmed milk as a most suitable food for invalids of all ages in almost all cases; and I think that, in very many cases where this fluid does not agree, this difficulty will be got over by the addition of cream or some fatty matter. I can imagine that many mothers who can not feed their infants in the proper way, or get fresh cow's milk or cream, will have reason to be glad when they can procure preparations of condensed or inspissated milk enriched with various quantities of cream or some fatty matter. I can imagine that preparations more or less similar to those, which, for the reason I have just hinted at, might properly be called brain-food or nerve-food, might make cod-liver oil almost superfluous as medicine, and be of infinite service to countless myriads of persons in whom brain-power or nerve-power is lacking. I can imagine that in many cases it will be difficult to find a food for invalids which is to be preferred to lightly boiled yolk of egg, or to ordinary egg flip. And in the cases where it is expedient to use flesh—meat in one form or another—I am sure it will be a great change for the better when, instead of having recourse to beef-tea, or Brand's essence, or Liebig's extraction carnis, the thoughts are turned to something like the bouillon of the French pot-au-feu, or rather to the very thing itself.

C. In what respect is this bouillon better than broth or stock?

M. It is much more pleasant to the taste. It is the outcome of ages of experience in the people who have a special genius for cookery. The animal and vegetable ingredients are so blended that the flavor of no one article is predominant. The bouillon contains all, or almost all, the soluble portions of those ingredients which are necessary for tissue-forming or plastic purposes, and for force-production, and, when taken along with bread, it provides a meal for an invalid which is most palatable, most digestible, and most restorative. It is the basis of all good gravies and soups, becoming, for example, excellent purée or pea-soup when a proper portion of pea-flour is added to it.

C. What about the bouilli which remains behind in the pot when