Sunday, July 24, 2011

Boy's Coffee

Mrs. Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book [1850]

I am sure that, like me, you are fascinated by temperance beverages and children's drinks, as you do not drink alcohol, tea, or coffee. No? Well tough cookies to you! It is time for some Boy's Coffee.

Green tea and coffee, as ordinarily used, are very injurious to very many constitutions. They contain but very little nourishment, except what is added by the milk and sugar, and training a family of children to love them (for no child loves them till trained to do it) is making it probable that all of them will be less healthful and comfortable, and certain that some will be great sufferers. Training children to drink tea and coffee is as unreasonable and unchristian, as training them to drink foxglove and opium would be--the only difference is, that in one case it is customary, and the other it is not; and custom makes a practice appear less foolish and sinful.

There is no need, at this period of the world, to point out the wickedness and folly of training children to love alcoholic drinks.

Boy's Coffee.

Crumb bread, or dry toast, into a bowl. Put on a plenty of sugar, or molasses. Put in one half milk and one half boiling water. To be eaten with a spoon, or drank if preferred. Molasses for sweetening is preferred by most children.

Verdict: Meh. It's basically cambric tea, but with molasses (sorghum, of course) and bits of bread. Not bad, really, but not very good, either. Much like a bland breakfast cereal. It reminds me of that (very) old breakfast classic, warm milk poured over bread. I'm fairly certain that most modern children would just look at you incredulously if you served this to them, but that theory remains to be tested.*

*on unsuspecting nieces and nephews. Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

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