Making Bread on the Prairie
How the old Texas Rangers used to make bread in the middle of nowhere:
"In June 1875, I went on my first [Texas Ranger] scouting trip. There were 15 of us called out for scout duty. We packed three mules with our supplies, one carried the flour, one the blankets, and the other had the bacon, coffee, pots, and pans. We had rations for 15 days. We started north, went west of Santa Anna Mountain, [At camp], we unpacked our mules, side-lined and hobbled our horses, and got ready to cook supper.
I, being a tenderfoot, wondered how we were going to make and cook our bread. I watched, but asked no questions. One man took a forty-eight pound sack of flour, set it on one end, and ripped the other end open. Another man fried out some bacon grease, and they were then ready to make the bread. They made a hole in the flour in the top of the sack, poured in some water, bacon grease, salt, baking powder, mixed them all together, and soon had enough dough for all. They gave each man a piece about the size of your fist, and told him to cook it.
I just watched to see how they would go about doing this. Each man cut a green stick about three feet long, and the size of your finger, and pulled the dough out like a ribbon, rolled it around the stick, beginning at the end, making it nice and smooth. Then they held it over the hot coals, and it cooked nicely, if we were careful not to burn it or get ashes on it. It was as fine bread as any one would wish. I cooked a roll and sent it to my mother in Brownwood."
----- C.M. Grady, "Fifty-Eight Years in Texas," printed in Frontier Times, June 1934
Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.