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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette, November 16, 1978, and January 4, 1979. Interview H-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Changes in flour making decreased mill workers' economic self-reliance

Rather than rely heavily on store bought breads, Faucette recalls her mother's use of local milled flour. However, as flour becoming increasingly processed and commodified, self-sufficiency declined.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette, November 16, 1978, and January 4, 1979. Interview H-0020. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's go back to the bread, and how that changed. Do you remember when people quit making the bread and started buying it.
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Well, no I don't. I don't remember, 'cause that's been a long time ago.
ALLEN TULLOS:
'Cause you said your mother made this.
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Yeah, my mother used to make her-light rolls they called 'em. And they were just as good as any light bread you ever eat.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But people were already buying light bread then.
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Yeah. But she made that before they was buying it because she made that years and years ago. And she took flour, and we used to use lard where they use oil now. She took buttermilk and yeast and just a tiny bit of sugar. But I don't remember all she put in there and she made that up-just like she was making up a batch of dough to make biscuits. And then she'd pack it down in a big bowl and set it in the ice box. And let it set in there and all night and then the next morning she'd take it out and she'd knead that good and then she'd set it up where it was warm and let it rise. And it'd rise clean out of that bowl. I've seen it rise up 'till it raised the lid up off of the bowl. Then she would fix it in a loaf and put it in a loaf pan and bake it. And it was as good a light bread as you ever eat-it's a whole lot better than this here that the bakeries make now.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you all change from one kind of flour to another, any time?
ETHEL MARSHALL FAUCETTE:
Well, whenever they begin to put out this self rising flour-my momma bought that. But she didn't buy it regular, she used her old straight grade flour where it was ground at the mill. And there's a mill up yonder right above Green Acres that still grinds flour-makes flour. It's on the river, and it's water ground.