“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Taking care of your health.

Old time remedies may just soon have a comeback ... especially if President Obama's health reform bill is passed .. and we are forced to give up our private insurance care. There is talk about the many limits on what treatment will or will not be available under this scheme.

I have a fascination with 1800's cookbooks. There is usually a section of good health advice and remedies from nature to help alleviate some common maladies and prevent poor health in the first place. Admittedly, some have talk of adding opium to tinctures which gave me a good chuckle. Some of the remedies seem plausible as prevention. Simple ideas such as serving 'milk toast' to an invalid, alleviation of growing pains in children, leanness (not too common today, eh) remedy, etc. give new food for thought at taking better care of our bodies in the first place. Preventative medicine .. goes along the lines of the old saying, 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' .. My latest read is: The Original White House Cookbook, 1887 edition. It has all manner of intriguing articles from carving meats .. to measures and weights in ordinary use. In between there are recipes for custards, cordials, rabbit stew, turtle soup ... and mock turtle soup. This last entry gave my daughter a fright when I asked her what 'mock' meat was used in place of the turtle. She read: "Scald a well-cleansed calf's head, remove the brain, tie it up in a cloth, and boil an hour , or until the meat will easily slip from the bone ..." Sorry I asked! Even with the old recipes, there are others that give great instruction that are more appetizing to our current likes. Refrigeration was not readily available (electric) so ice and dry curing methods were used. This is definitely a good read. Check it out in full context here.

1 comment:

Letters From Midlife said...

I'm getting very frustrated with Obama on this health care thing too. Don't get me started! lol!

I like old cookbooks too and while I resist the urge to buy them, I like looking at them.