Sunday, March 30, 2014

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, It’s National Doctors’ Day


When I first learned that today was National Doctors’ Day, I chalked it off thinking it wouldn’t really be fair of me to share in the celebration since I’m not a huge proponent of doctors. However, after tossing it around in my head for couple of hours, I erased such thoughts when it dawned on me that today just may be the perfect day to give a nod to the medical profession. After all, through the years, many medical professionals have come to, not only my “rescue,” but indeed the salvation of several members of my immediate family including friends and relatives. Most recently, the successful diagnosis and treatment of my daughter Michele. Although I have personally thanked them, it never hurts to remember them on Doctors’ Day. (FYI: India celebrates National Doctor’s Day on the 1st of July.)

National Doctor's Day began in 1933 to commemorate Dr. Crawford W. Long the physician who, on March 30, 1842 first used ether for surgical anesthesia. The first Doctor's Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. This first observance included the mailing of greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctor's Day…
Olde-Time Heartland Country Wisdom
by Karyn Maiser ©2010

Today I would like to venture into the world of “patent medicines” and two books published by The Dr. Miles’ Laboratories. The first book is titled Dr. Miles Cookbook and the second, is simply titled The Daily Diet. Both books were most likely published in the 1930s.

…Patent medicines originally referred to medications whose ingredients had been granted government protection for exclusivity. In actuality, the recipes of most 19th century patent medicines were not officially patented. Most producers (often small family operations) used ingredients quite similar to their competitors—vegetable extracts laced with ample doses of alcohol. These proprietary, or "quack" medicines could be deadly, since there was no regulation on their ingredients. They were medicines with questionable effectiveness whose contents were usually kept secret… History of Patent Medicine

Self-doctoring was a necessary part of life in early America. Not only was the field of medicine still virtually unknown in rural America, but the shortage of rural physicians was a huge problem. Medical science eventually improved but many people were still leery of doctors and avoided seeing them unless absolutely necessary. Many found it much simpler and cheaper to try to treat themselves with the plethora of "patent medicines" (what we would now call over the counter products) offered for sale. The Dr. Miles’ Laboratories, founded by “country doctor” Dr. Franklin L. Miles of Elkhart, Indiana, was one such purveyor.

From the Indiana Historical Society:

“In the early 1880s Dr. Franklin L. Miles began bottling and selling “Restorative Nervine,” which he prescribed for a variety of illnesses including nervous exhaustion, headaches, insomnia, backaches, epilepsy, and miscellaneous pains and spasms. The bromide sedative syrup was a precursor to modern tranquilizers. In 1884 Miles founded the Dr. Miles Medical Company to market his medications (ranging from his Restorative Nervine to tonics, blood purifiers, and liver pills). The Dr. Miles Medical Company invested heavily in advertising; the advertising budget was $100,000 as early as 1893. The company printed a huge amount of advertising material on its own presses, including a wide variety of colorful almanacs sent to rural customers, calendars distributed by retail druggists, and a Little Book series on health and housekeeping topics. The material combined useful information with product promotion. In 1932 the company became Dr. Miles Laboratories, shortened to Miles Laboratories three years later. The company expanded and diversified over the years, opening plants overseas and purchasing subsidiaries that produced everything from S.O.S. soap pads for the kitchen to citric acid, enzymes, and medical supplies. In 1978 Bayer AG, an international chemical and health care company based in Leverkusen, Germany, acquired Miles Laboratories for $253 million.”

In the Dr. Miles Cook Book, recipes are dispersed in between early products produced by the Miles Laboratories. Dr. Miles’ Nervine is one such product.


And here are frozen dessert recipes. (notice the recipe using Junket:)

The “patent medicine” testimonial is as old as the medical industry itself. These ads all had one thing in common, they “promised” the purchaser of the medicine they would be immediately cured of a vast array of ailments just as their “neighbors” had been. Remember, there were no consumer protection laws, no testing laboratories to confirm or refute the claims, and no standards to ensure quality.

Perhaps the widest known drug manufactured by the company that Dr. Miles founded is Alka-Seltzer. Yes, you read that right, Alka Seltzer! (The first use of the drug was December 20, 1930. By 1981, the two billionth Alka-Seltzer tablet was produced.)


In 1933, the makers of Alka Seltzer became the sponsors of The National Barn Dance touted as “one of the first American country music radio programs and a direct precursor of the Grand Ole Opry.”


There aren’t really any “worthy” recipes in either of these books. However, I would like to remain in “healthy” mode so, I dug out a Mott’s Applesauce cookbook that I think will “fit” in with today’s post. I substitute applesauce in many recipes that call for oil. I’ve been doing it for years quite successfully, especially with box cake mixes. (yes, I use box cake mixes as does Marion:) I usually just substitute the same amount of applesauce for the oil called for in the recipe. If you’re a bit skeptical about my approach, you can, and should, try at least doing halfie halfie:) I should mention, Stefani, over at the Cupcake Project doesn’t entirely agree with this method. You can see her “lab” test approach here. (Stefani makes some amazing cupcakes!) Just for the heck of it, I searched out this recipe for Carrot Cake that successfully uses applesauce in place of the oil. And this recipe for Tropical Carrot Cake not only uses applesauce, it also uses egg beaters!


I haven’t tried this recipe for Applesauce Cinnamon Rolls, yet. (you know me and my yeastaphobia:) Since this Cinnamon Roll recipe does, after all, come from the Mott’s Applesauce Cookbook, published in 1985, naturally it calls for Mott’s applesauce. I’m sure your favorite applesauce will work just as well, perhaps even better if you go all natural organic.


As you have probably figured out, I have finally finished the transfer from the “kaput” computer to the new iMac. It should have been easier than what it was but I can’t really blame it on anyone but myself. I also had to buy a new scanner, which at this moment I’m not happy with. I must say though, the people at Epson tech support were very helpful. In the midst of all this “geeky” stuff, my flat screen TV also went “kaput.” That’s right folks, Best Buy and I have become quite friendly this past week. The new TV was almost as difficult to get up and running as the other paraphernalia I bought this week. I had no idea that televisions no longer last as long as they use to. The young man at Best Buy told me the “life” expectancy of the new LCD, LED televisions is only about 6-8 years. I may just be bringing in my “box” TV set in from the shed if the new one decides to quit any time soon. Talk about about a disposable society…

I’ve missed all of your delicious posts this week. I will be rejoining the world of blogging now that I am all set up and not as ‘putered out as I have been all week. “See” ya soon, Louise:)

1. The Crawford W. Long Museum in Jefferson, Georgia
2. ‘Pop’ Culture: Patent Medicines Become Soda Drinks
3. How to Substitute Applesauce for Butter
4. How to Substitute Applesauce for Oil
5. Healthy Substitutes for Oil