A Recipe for Victory: Wartime Cornmeal Waffles

wartime propaganda for corn products

The year 1918 saw the the publication of the Twentieth Century Club War Time Cook Book, an elegant, informative tome filled with useful and tasteful economical recipes. The federal food administrator of Pennsylvania praised the book, deeming it instrumental in winning “the war that is being waged to guarantee the safety of American home” and in ensuring the “permanency of American institutions.” Though he cautions that “much more will be demanded before we can hope for victory, as much perhaps as has been demanded in England and France,” he assures readers that “there is no more important war activity in which women may engage than the careful conservation of our food supply which is altogether inadequate to the needs our own men and our allies at the fighting front.”

Elsewhere the federal food administrator of Allegheny County writes of the “most bountiful variety of foodstuffs” that the United States produces and to which “allies turn”in order to correct their being on “the verge of starvation.” Whether those allies were making such delightful recipes as war-time cornmeal waffles remains a matter of speculation. But should you wish to create a tasty treat for you and the troops, the following recipe, contributed by one Mrs. W.H.R. Hilliard, will ensure that breakfast meets with victory.

Wartime Cornmeal Waffles

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fat, melted
2 eggs
1 scant cup milk

Beat eggs separately and add yolks to flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt, and milk, into which the melted fat is poured.
Fold in whites last and bakes
This quality makes about 16 waffles.


Baumgarthuber, Christine. Fermented Foods: The History and Science of a Microbiological Wonder. Reaktion Books, 2021.

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