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CONTRACT SUPPLIES.

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rience in all matters concerning the care of the poor

and sick gave them a great superiority over us, and they were ever ready to show us their method and to enter into our difficulties, and these, in our extra-diet kitchen in Turkey, were not a few. Milk that would turn, eggs the half or more than half the number rotten, the rice filled with dirt, are great obstacles in the construction of puddings, so also are green lemons when you want to make lemonade.

Most of these articles were supplied to the hospital by contract, and when it was a little more difficult than usual to get things such as milk in the hot weather, or lemons when the season for them was past—they used to send anything they could get hold of, and the purveyor would have kept them had we not had permission from the Purveyor-in-Chief to send back inferior articles, for he said the contractors were well paid by Government, and ought and should send articles fit for use.

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THE GELATINE DIFFICULTY.

We soon had excellent rice and rather better milk, but it was impossible to get really good milk anywhere. Lady Stratford de Redcliffe used to send some milk daily to the “Home,” from Therapia, which was the best that could be had, and by heating this directly it came in we prevented it from turning, but if this precaution was neglected in the middle of the day it became sour. Good eggs we tried hard for, but could not procure, and were obliged to be content with breaking dozens of rotten ones to arrive at the good. The green lemons we returned, and after some battles with the contractors we got others.

Gelatine was the next difficulty. There was a call for jelly; of course no calves’-feet could be had, so we tried gelatine, one kind of which made it nicely, while the other made it so very thick and bad we could not send it into the wards. It was by no means sufficient just to state this to the pur

GOVERNMENT COOKS.

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veyor and ask for it to be changed, he thought it would “ do very well,” so we had to be very resolute to get our way.

The Barrack Hospital extra-diet kitchen had a cook who was a civilian (a good many of whom had been sent out by government). This was a great improvement, as it is difficult to find cooks among the soldiers, and when they are found and practised they are liable—as the orderlies—to be ordered up to their regiment. At the General Hospital, however, Sister M-J— had a soldier for a cook who gave her great satisfaction.

The routine of the extra store-rooms was as follows: They were opened at nine in the morning; the nurse who assisted the lady, or Sister, sweeping and dusting, while the lady looked over the total abstract and ladies' requisitions. The former was made by the purveyor's clerk, who examined the dietrolls of each ward and then made an abstract of the extra diets required of them, and sent

32 ROUTINE OF THE EXTRA STORE ROOMS.

it in to the lady or sister; the latter were for such articles as the ladies required extra to the diet rolls, such as they had verbal permission to give, and for such articles as they wished to keep in their cupboards for emergencies. They were like the following :(No. 50.)

July 19, 1855. Required for 3 Lower Ward, Koulali Hospital—4 quarts lemonade ; 3 do. milk; 4 do. arrowroot; 2 doz. eggs; jelly for two; } lb. of butter; 2 doz. biscuits. Miss

(Signed) Sister MA-. Every lady and Sister sent in a requisition. Except in a case of great emergency they were only permitted to send once a day for all they wanted throughout it, as otherwise irregularity was caused. These requisitions were then served; the articles for each ward were arranged in order, in addition to the requirements of the diet rolls. Then the bell was rung and in an instant a group of orderlies rushed across the barrack-yard

ROUTINE OF THE EXTRA STORE ROOMS.

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to see who would be in time first and carry off his extras. Requisitions from the medical officers came in at all hours, and were instantly attended to.

At 12-30 the bell again rang, and the orderlies assembled to fetch their dinners ; for this purpose they had wooden trays, on which were counted out the number of fowls, chops, potatoes, each required, then they returned again for rice pudding, maccaroni pudding, pints of rice or sago milk; in a quarter of an hour all were served; then came diets of sick officers, for among the large body attached to the hospitals there were generally one or two on the sick list. At two the store room was closed till four ; at five the bell summoned the orderlies to fetch the night drinks_lemonade, barleywater, or tea, as were ordered; arrowroot or beef-tea was again made if required.

In the evening the lady in charge wrote her requisitions on the purveyor's stores for such articles as she would require for her

VOL. II.

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