Graveyard stew is for sick folks.
We ought to know, it’s been our menu for several days. Oh, we weren’t ill, but we just didn’t feel quite right. Always slow and lazy, we have been even more so, though we did get everything done that had to be completed, and all we wanted to do, anyway.
What is the recipe of the diet recommended for people on the ailing list? Quite simply, it’s “milk toast,” by today’s more common terminology. That is typically a bowl or cup of milk warmed up, with a sliver of oleo floating on top, plus two pieces of lightly toasted and buttered bread, maybe with a little grape jelly.
But Dad always referred to it as graveyard stew and typically ordered it that way when feeling pale and eating at the local café. It was even on the menu that way some places. We haven’t seen it listed other than “milk toast” in a long time, and some don’t have the offering, though most will comply with the request upon description.
This time, when the regime got old, we cheated and put chocolate in our milk. It didn’t upset our system any more, and increased the appreciation of our meals. Additionally, we did drink quite a bit of plain ole water, and it seemed to taste best of all. Now, we’ve graduated to hot tea, and increased the hard stuff in the ration, as well.
“Feed a cold, starve a fever” is a commonly heard recommendation, but we didn’t seem to have either of those. Therefore, we ate enough that we weren’t too hungry or feeling any worse. Plus, the adage “drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest” was followed quite precisely. We were the perfect patient, even though we weren’t really sick.
Odd, how sickness can affect one’s appetite. When a person doesn’t feel up to doing much, eating seems unappealing as well. However, scientists have found that eating a meal boosts the type of immune response that destroys the viruses responsible for colds, while fasting stimulates the response that tackles the infections causing most fevers.
Without question, a person cannot live without food. Consequently, when the body is combating viruses, infections and diseases, nutrition becomes an even more essential requirement, though also increasingly difficult to achieve. Therefore, special high protein drinks and intravenous feeding of liquids may become needed to aid survival.
Surest and fastest way to know something’s wrong with a horse is when it goes off feed. “Those hayburners can eat one out of house and home,” as Uncle Elmer would say, and that’s certain. Yet, we’d have to admit when they won’t eat, it’s worse than always hungry. Most upsetting though is when they can’t go, and we’ve had that experience, too.
Pacification comes in Exodus 23:25: “But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.”