Leora seemed to always have a batch of bread “set” on the evening before her babies were born, to bake the next morning. Her mother was there for the birth and to help out for a few days. When Doris was born, in August of 1918, Grandmother Laura Goff made rolls out of some of the dough and baked them and loaves of bread the next morning. When little Delbert and Donald, ages 3 and 2 came in from playing, they could smell the aroma of baking bread. Of course, they each wanted a roll. Then another one. Grandmother said, “Oh, you’ll eat up all and your Daddy won’t have any.”
Donald said, “He can eat con-bread,” meaning cornbread. Food was rationed during the war, and flour was stretched by adding other grains. Bread made from it didn’t keep long–it soured quickly and was sticky.
The government encouraged replacing wheat bread with cornbread.
In fact, “An Appeal to the People” by Herbert Hoover, United States Food Administration, was published in local papers throughout the nation in June, encouraging reduction in consumption of food. “But the situation with regard to wheat is the most serious in the food supply of the Allied world. . consumption . . . must be reduced to approximately one-third of normal.”
He stressed that “it is imperative that all those whose circumstances permit shall abstain from wheat and wheat products in any form until the next harvest.”
The newspaper included a list of substitutes for one cup of wheat flour:
barley 1 ¾ cup buckwheat ⅞ cup corn flour 1 scant cup corn meal, coarse ⅞ cup corn meal, fine one scant cup corn starch ¾ cup rice flour ⅞ cup rolled oats 1 ½ cup rolled oats ground in meat chopper 1 ½ cup soybean flour ⅞ cup sweet potato flour 1 ½ cup “This table will help you to make good griddle cakes, muffins, cakes, cookies, drop biscuit, and nut or raisin bread without using any wheat flour.”
The newspaper also included a muffin recipe:
Rice and Barley Muffins
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon fat
2 tablespoons syrup
4 teaspoons baking powder level
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice flour
1 ½ cup barley flour
Beat egg, add milk, fat and syrup, combine with sifted dry ingredients, bake 20 to 30 minutes in hot oven. These are very delicious, the recipe added.
Delbert and Donald asked their grandmother if they could take the new baby for a ride in their wagon. “Let’s ask your mamma.” They tiptoed into the bedroom, where the boys bumped up against the bed to ask their question. Leora answered that baby Doris needed to get bigger first, so they skipped back outside to play.