Wheat was in high demand, much of it sent to feed our allies in Britain and our troops in Europe, for whom bread was a staple food. By 1917, the price of wheat had tripled to $2.20 a bushel. Farm families prospered. It was boom time in Saskatchewan.
We also sent pork, beef, butter and cheese to Europe, creating shortages here at home. Recipes published in the Saskatoon Daily Star reflected these shortages. Baked goods were made with less white flour and more oat, corn, rye and whole wheat flour, and less white sugar in favour of brown sugar, syrup and molasses.
There were fewer recipes for meat dishes and more for fish and beans. There were also more recipes for cooking and preserving garden vegetables and local fruit such as apples and berries. Recipes in 1914 such as fancy sandwiches and cheese fondue gave way in 1916 to recipes for baked brown bread and raspberry ice.
This frugal recipe for potato and apple salad appeared in the newspaper on August 28, 1916, along with recipes for curried crab, raspberry ice and whole wheat apple cake.
Potato and Apple Salad
6 tart apples
4 medium boiled potatoes
Juice of one lemon
Core apples (peeled or unpeeled) and cut into cubes or thin slices. Marinate in lemon juice one hour. Cut cold potatoes into cubes or thin slices to match the apples. Lightly mix in apples. Serve on salad greens with French dressing.
Note that in 1916, French dressing was not the pinkish salad dressing in our stores today, but a simple blend of 2 tsp vinegar, 4 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. To that, I added 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 2 tbsp grated onion and a pinch of sugar.
(This article first appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.)