Readings for Rural Life

From Moore’s Rural New-Yorker in Rochester, NY

Aug 27th 1864

Dried Fruits for Soldiers

The following letter from a lady to the New York Tribune, who has been an army nurse needs no endorsement – it needs only to be read.

“I noticed with pleasure to-day your remarks calling attention to those living in the country to a simple way of drying currants, &c., for the use of the soldiers, both sick and well. This matter should receive wide attention – acid fruit being a necessity for those who live on the unvarying “ration” in a warm climate, also counteract the brackish water they are often obliged to drink. Currants, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, whortleberries, grapes, plums and pie-plant, cut into pieces and stewed in its own juice, are all equally good saved in this way, and more desired than jellies and preserves, besides being easier made and cheaper now, considering the price of sugar, so that there is every reason why all our good women should take hold of this work.

“When dried, the fruit is saved in strong paper bags, or those made of old muslin. A little of the dried fruit put in his tin cup and hot water poured on, with a trifle more sugar, makes a home-like relish for the hard tack to the weary and worn soldier after hard service in the field of on picket. Would that all “the boys” laying in the trenches before Petersburg could have a supply of what they so much need for health, and which every woman would gladly prepare where the idea suggested to her. In neighborhoods where a profusion of the small fruits can be had for the picking, not a quart of them should be allowed to go to waste while this war lasts. Thousands of valuable lives would be saved could the men have what they so greatly crave, “something sour.”

The good ladies in Orange county also prepare a refreshing drink from currant juice, which is a next to lemons in value. To one quart of currant juice add one pound of sugar, and boil and skim; this keeps all the year in bottles or kegs. Other acid juice, also, could be prepared with little trouble, and raspberry vinegar is eagerly asked for by female nurses for their wounded patients in Southern hospitals.


Published in: on August 27, 2014 at 6:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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