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It is something more than a human axiom, that milk is for babes; and as this forms the basis of nearly all the food from which their nourishment is derived, it is necessary to observe, that the best way of using it is without either skimming or boiling it. The cream is the most nutritious balsamic part of milk, and to deprive it of this is to render it less nourishing, and less easy of digestion, than in its pure state.

In some particular cases skimmed milk may be preferable, but it may be adopted as a general rule, that new milk is the wholesomest and the best. If it stands any time before it is used, instead of taking off the cream, it should be mixed in with the milk. Boiling the milk, if it be only a little, fixes it, and entirely alters its qualities. As a proof of this, it will not afterwards afford any cream, but merely a thin skin. In this state it is hard of digestion, and therefore apt to occasion obstructions. It is most proper for food in its natural state, or when only scalded.

One of the first and simplest preparations for infants is Bread Pap, made by pouring scalding water on thin slices of good white bread, and letting it stand uncovered till it cools. The water is then drained off, the bread bruised fine, and mixed with as much new milk as will make it of a tolerable consistence. It is then warm enough for use, without setting it upon the fire. Sugar is very commonly put into this pap, but it is much better without it. The palate of the child will not require sugar in any kind of food, till habit makes it familiar.

Egg Pap is another suitable article for young children. Set a quart of spring water on a clear brisk fire. Mix two spoonfuls of fresh fine flour with the yolks of two or three eggs well beaten, adding a little cold water. When the water is ready to boil, stir in the batter before it boils, till of a sufficient thickness. Then take it off the fire, add a little salt, pour it into a basin, and let it cool of itself till it become about as warm as milk from the cow. If eggs cannot be procured, a small piece of butter may be added with the salt, and stirred in gently till well mixed, to prevent its oiling. Eggs however are to be preferred. This food is extremely wholesome, affords real nourishment, opens all the passages, breeds good blood and lively spirits, is pleasant to the palate, and grateful to the stomach. The frequent use of it purifies the blood and all the humours, prevents windy dis-tempers and griping pain, both of the stomach and bowels. From all the ingredients bearing a resemblance to each other, no predominant quality prevails, so that it may justly claim the first place amongst all spoon-meats or paps, and as food for infants it is next to the milk of the breast. 

In some cases it is much better, on account of the various diseases to which suckling women are subject, and the improper food in which they too frequently indulge. No other ingredients should however be added to this kind of food, such as sugar, spices, or fruits, which tend only to vitiate the diet, and to render it less nutritious. This and other sorts of spoon-meat should be made rather thin than otherwise, and abounding with liquid, whether milk or water. All porridges and spoon-meats that are made thin, and quickly prepared, are sweeter, brisker on the palate, and easier of digestion, than those which are thick, and long in preparing. Food should never be given to children more than milk warm, and the proper way to cool it is by letting it stand uncovered to cool itself; for much stirring alters the composition, and takes off the sweetness. Covering it down too, keeps in the fumes that ought to go off, and by excluding the air, renders it less pure.

--Flour Pap. To two thirds of new milk, after it has stood five or six hours from the time of milking, add one third of spring water, and set it on a quick clear fire. Make a batter of milk and fine flour, and just as the milk and water is ready to boil, pour in the batter, and stir it a few minutes. 

When it is ready to boil again, take it off, add a little salt, and let it stand to cool. A good spoonful of flour is sufficient to thicken a pint of milk, or milk and water. This will make it about the thickness of common milk porridge, which is what will eat the sweetest, and be the easiest of digestion. This kind of food affords substantial nourishment, it neither binds nor loosens the body, but keeps it in proper order, nourishes the blood, and tends to produce a lively disposition. Pap prepared in this way is far more friendly to nature than in the common way of boiling, and may be constantly eaten with much better effect, and without ever tiring or cloying the stomach.

--Oatmeal Pap. Mix a pint of milk and water, in the proportion of two thirds milk and one third water, with a good spoonful of oatmeal, but it is best not to be too thick. Set it in a saucepan upon a quick clear fire, and when it is near boiling take it off. Pour it from one basin into another, backwards and forwards seven or eight times, which will bring out the fine flour of the oatmeal, and incorporate it with the milk. Then return it into the saucepan, set it upon the fire, and when it is again ready to boil take it off, and let it stand in the saucepan a little to fine, for the husky part of the oatmeal will sink to the bottom. When settled, pour it off into a basin, add a little salt, and let it stand to cool. This is an excellent pap, very congenial to a weak constitution, affording good nourishment, and easy of digestion.

--Water Gruel. Take a spoonful and a half of fresh ground oatmeal, mix with it gradually a quart of spring water, and set it on a clear fire. When ready to boil take it off, pour it from one basin into another, backwards and forwards five or six times, and set it on the fire again. Take it off again just before it boils, and let it stand a little time in the saucepan, that the coarse husks of the oatmeal may sink to the bottom. Then pour it out, add a little salt, and let it stand to cool. When water gruel is made with grots, it must boil gently for some time. The longer it boils the more it will jelly; but moderation must be observed in this respect, for if it be very long boiled and becomes very thick, it will be flat and heavy. A mistaken idea very generally prevails, that water gruel is not nourishing; on the contrary, it is a light, cleansing, nourishing food, good either in sickness or in health, both for old and young.

Milk Porridge. Make some water gruel, and when it has stood awhile to cool, add to it about one third part of new milk without boiling. It may be eaten with or without salt. Milk porridge is exceedingly cleansing and easy of digestion, and is agreeable to the weakest stomach. There is also another way of making it, which some prefer. Stir a pint of water gradually into three large spoonfuls of fresh oatmeal, let it stand till clear, and then pour off the water. Put a pint of fresh water to the oatmeal, stir it up well, and leave it till the next day. Strain off the liquor through a fine sieve, and set it in a saucepan over a clear brisk fire. Add about half the quantity of milk gradually while it is warming, and when it is just ready to boil take it off, pour it into a basin, add a little salt, and let it stand to cool. This as well as the former porridge is very light, and proper for weak stomachs.

Indian Arrow Root is another excellent preparation for children. Put a dessert-spoonful of the powdered root into a basin, and mix with it as much cold new milk as will make it into a paste. Pour upon this half a pint of milk scalding-hot, stirring it briskly to keep it smooth. Set it on the fire till it is ready to boil, then take it off, pour it into a basin, and let it cool. This may be made with water instead of milk, and some cold milk mixed with it afterwards; or if the stomach be very weak, it will be best without any milk at all. Great care must be taken to procure the genuine arrow root, which makes a very strengthening and excellent food for infants or invalids.

--Sago Jelly. Soak a large spoonful of sago for an hour in cold water, then pour off the water, add a pint of fresh water to the sago, and stew it gently till it is reduced to about half the quantity. When done, pour it into a basin, and let it cool.

--Sago with Milk. Prepare a large spoonful of sago by soaking it for an hour in cold water, but instead of adding water afterwards, put in a pint and a half of new milk. Boil it gently till reduced to about half the quantity, then pour it into a basin, and let it cool.

--Tapioca Jelly. Wash two good spoonfuls of the large sort of tapioca in cold water, and then soak it in a pint and a half of water for four hours. Stew it gently in the same water till it is quite clear. Let it stand to cool after it is poured out of the saucepan, and use it either with or without the addition of a little new milk.

--Pearl Barley Gruel. Put two ounces of pearl barley, after it has been well washed, into a quart of water. Simmer it gently till reduced to a pint, then strain it through a sieve, and let it cool.

--Rice Gruel. Soak two large spoonfuls of rice in cold water for an hour. Pour off the water, and put a pint and a quarter of new milk to the rice. Stew it gently till the rice is sufficiently tender to pulp it through a sieve, and then mix the pulp into the milk that the rice was stewed in. Simmer it over the fire for ten minutes, and if it appear too thick, gradually add a little more milk, so as not to damp it from simmering. When done, pour it into a basin to cool.

--Rice Milk. To four large spoonfuls of whole rice, washed very clean in cold water, add a quart of new milk, and stew them together very gently for three hours. Let it stand in a basin to cool before it is used. Another way of making rice milk is boiling the rice first in water, then pouring off the water, and boiling the rice with milk. A better way perhaps is, after washing the rice well, setting it over the fire for half an hour with a little water to break it. Add a little at a time some warm milk, till it is sufficiently done, and of a proper thickness. Let it simmer slowly, and season it with salt and sugar; but for children the sugar had better be omitted.

--Ground Rice Milk. Mix a large spoonful of ground rice into a batter, with two or three spoonfuls of new milk. Set a pint of new milk on the fire, and when it is scalding hot, stir in the batter, and keep it on the fire till it thickens, but it must not boil. It should be carefully stirred to prevent its burning, and cooled by standing by in a basin.

--Millet Milk. Wash three spoonfuls of millet seed in cold water, and put it into a quart of new milk. Simmer it gently till it becomes moderately thick, and cool it in a basin till wanted for use. All those preparations which require some time in doing, also require the precaution of being carefully stirred, to prevent their burning.

--Drinks for young children, in addition to their diet, are best made of milk and water, whey, barley water, pearl barley water, apple water, and toast and water. For Milk and Water, put one third of new milk to two thirds of spring water. This is best drunk cold; but if it must be warmed, it should be by putting warm water to cold milk. It ought not to be made more than milk warm. For Whey, take a quart of new milk before it is cold, and put in as much rennet as will turn it to a clear whey. Let it stand till it is properly turned, and pour it off through a cheesecloth without pressing the curd, that the whey may be the purer. It may be drunk cold, or just warmed by setting it before the fire for a little while. If new milk cannot be had, other milk must be warmed to the degree of new milk.

--Barley Water is made of a handful of common barley well washed, and simmered in three pints of water, till of a proper thickness for use; but the longer the barley boils, the thinner the liquor will become. Pearl Barley Water is made of an ounce of pearl barley, heated in half a pint of water over the fire in order to clean it. The water is then poured off, and a quart of fresh water added to the pearl barley. Simmer it half an hour, and if it appears too thick, add more water, but let it be kept warm, as any quantity of cold water would damp it too suddenly, and thus tend to spoil it. Both this and barley water may be used cold, or milk warm.

--Apple Water. Slice into a jug two or three sound ripe apples, and pour on them a quart of scalding hot water. Let it stand to cool, and it will be fit for use. The apples should not be pared, as it takes off their spirit.

--Toast and Water is made of a slice of white bread toasted quite dry, and of a dark brown color. It is then put into a jug, and spring water poured upon it. After an hour it is fit for use. As all these preparations, both of drinks and spoon-meats, become flat and good for little by long standing, it is better to make only such quantities of them at a time as will soon be used. When they are warmed up, no more should be done at once than is just sufficient for the occasion, as repeated warming injures the nutritious quality of every thing. When it can be avoided it is better not to set things on the fire to warm them up, but to place them before or on the side of the fire. Care however must be taken not to let them dry and scorch, as it makes them very strong and unwholesome. Some earthenware vessel should be used for this purpose, as less liable to produce an injurious effect. A very good method of warming things is by setting them in a basin over boiling water, or by placing them in it.