This is Dr. Davenport’s recipe, found in an 1877 cookbook under “Food for the Sick.”
Dr. Davenport, Milford Center, Ohio, used this recipe thirty years earlier. He shared this “old and very valuable recipe” with 1877 cooks. Gruels were often given to sick or wounded Civil War soldiers.
Boil 3 pints of water.
Reduce to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes.
It tasted okay.
If this broth will be given to a convalescing patient, toast a piece of bread. They ate hearty breads 150 years ago, so buy a dense bread such as Italian bread. I made my own. I baked some delicious Bran bread and toasted two slices for this gruel.
Break the toast into pieces and add to the gruel.
Dr. Davenport found these to be a nourishing meal for those on a laxative diet. Hmm. Maybe just eat this in moderation.
I’d love to hear if you try this. Enjoy!
-Sandra Merville Hart
Compiled from Original Recipes. Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Applewood Books, 1877.