Ask the Past: clear fluids

I've got to have a colonoscopy soon, and I'm supposed to be on clear fluids the day before. I've been told I can have things like sports drinks, lemonade, and apple juice, but is there anything else that I could have to keep things interesting?

Well, I don't like to keep beating the beef tea drum, but I think you'll find that beef tea, prepared properly, is a clear liquid that you should be fine with. If you do want to follow any of those beef tea recipes, though, I would stick to the ones that are intended to be consumed orally for the time being.

If that doesn't sound appetising for whatever reason, though, you certainly have other options. When you're craving solid food and want a hint of what you're missing, this recipe for Toast Water from the CWA Cookery Book, Tenth Edition will remind you of happier meals.

1 slice of bread, 1 slice of lemon, 1 1/2 pints boiling water. Toast the bread over coals until a dark brown, but do not burn it. Cut into small pieces, and put in a jug with the lemon, pour over it the boiling water, and set aside till cold. Strain and serve.

Of course, toast water isn't great for gluten sensitivities, and if that's you, try this recipe for Rice Water from Hyleigh's Medical and Stock Book:

Two ounces of rice, one pint of water, sugar, lemon juice. Wash the rice well, throw it into fast boiling water. After it has swelled, boil it gently for half to three quarters of an hour, flavour to taste, and strain. When cold it is ready for use.

If you want to keep things simple, but with a twist, this recipe for Irish Moss Lemonade from Invalid Cookery is sure to be more exciting than plain old lemonade:

One-fourth of a pint of Irish moss. One quart of boiling water. Six tablespoonfuls of lemon juice. Four tablespoonfuls of sugar.

Wash the moss thoroughly, and let it soak in cold water ten minutes ; then remove all imperfect parts and any gravel that may adhere to it.

Put it into a pitcher with all the other ingredients, cover closely, and steep on the back part of the stove two hours.

Strain through a wire sieve, and drink either hot or cold.

I'm sure that will help.

Subscribe to Happy Family Happy Home

Don't miss out on any of this very helpful advice - get it delivered straight to your inbox instead.