Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Shelby

Little House series reading group (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Recommended Posts

Here is my worn set

Little House on the Prairie Food Topic 001.jpg

Little House on the Prairie Food Topic 002.jpg

Little House on the Prairie Food Topic 003.jpg

Ok, ya caught me...my real name is Melissa...got my set at 7 years old...isn't my penmanship great??? :rolleyes: So, that was 29 years ago *faint*. I don't feel that much older... :blink:

Anyway, does anyone else have the set yet so we can discuss?

Can't wait to delve in again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to a lovely food blog on eGullet by Shelby (click) I am on board.

I have been taking note and am currently on "On the Banks of Plum Creek". So I will let you start with the first book which has SO much great food "Little House in the Big Woods". All of this is quite inspiring to enjoy and use what is around me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a great idea Melissa. I don't have a set but I like the idea so much I may swipe my sister-in-law's collection.

I may do something similar for Lucy Maud Montgomery.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a great idea Melissa. I don't have a set but I like the idea so much I may swipe my sister-in-law's collection.

I may do something similar for Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Many of us got early inspiration about the centricity of food from books and I find it fascinating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I can think of you as anyone other than Shelby! :blink: So, did you choose your username because of Steel Magnolias? That's always the first thing that comes to mind when I see your name.

My Little House set is sitting right next to me on the side table. I pulled it out when you mentioned it in your wonderful foodblog. I'm hoping they release the set for Kindle soon; I'm so used to reading books on the device now, I'm less motivated to hold a real "paper" book. For Little House I'll make an exception, though. I've always loved the description of how they used the whole hog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I've got that exact same set... the name inside is the same too ;)

Loved that series!

I haven't read the series since I was a child but crisp pig tail and maple syrup candy come to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume folks might already know this, but there is at least one cookbook based on the "Little House" series [edit: now I see that it was mentioned in the other thread linked up above]:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Cookbook-Frontier-Ingalls/dp/0064460908

When I was a kid, we had this cookbook, and even had a "Little House" party, which featured a bunch of the recipes in the book ("churning" butter in a glass jar is my main memory from the day).


Edited by Will (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Little House in the in the Big Woods the first thing I noted was "fresh venison so good she wished they could eat it all but most must be salted and smoked and packed away for the winter". Then a wagonload of fish to be salted down and then the pig referred to above- first wild eating acorns and roots to fatten. The kids playing with the bladder blown like a balloon- bit more in touch with our food than we are used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a great idea Melissa. I don't have a set but I like the idea so much I may swipe my sister-in-law's collection.

I may do something similar for Lucy Maud Montgomery.

I would love it if you did. I loved all Lm Montgomery's books as a child. The raspberry cordial in Anne of Green Gables sticks in my mind, but there was also a church picnic where girls made pies (or was it cakes?) and the boys bid for them. I loved the food, even the bad food seemed delicious to me. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to a lovely food blog on eGullet by Shelby (click) I am on board.

I have been taking note and am currently on "On the Banks of Plum Creek". So I will let you start with the first book which has SO much great food "Little House in the Big Woods". All of this is quite inspiring to enjoy and use what is around me.

It's very inspiring to me, too.

It's a great idea Melissa. I don't have a set but I like the idea so much I may swipe my sister-in-law's collection.

I may do something similar for Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Get to swiping so you can start :biggrin:

I'm definitely on board for L.M.M.

I'm not sure I can think of you as anyone other than Shelby! :blink: So, did you choose your username because of Steel Magnolias? That's always the first thing that comes to mind when I see your name.

My Little House set is sitting right next to me on the side table. I pulled it out when you mentioned it in your wonderful foodblog. I'm hoping they release the set for Kindle soon; I'm so used to reading books on the device now, I'm less motivated to hold a real "paper" book. For Little House I'll make an exception, though. I've always loved the description of how they used the whole hog.

Oh, you can still think of me as Shelby :biggrin: Shelby was the name of my beloved springer spaniel that has now passed.

I'm shocked that it's not on Kindle!

I think I've got that exact same set... the name inside is the same too ;)

Loved that series!

I haven't read the series since I was a child but crisp pig tail and maple syrup candy come to mind.

LOL!!! Nice to see a fellow "Melissa" :smile:

I'm still dying to try the maple syrup candy...if it would only snow enough!

I assume folks might already know this, but there is at least one cookbook based on the "Little House" series [edit: now I see that it was mentioned in the other thread linked up above]:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Cookbook-Frontier-Ingalls/dp/0064460908

When I was a kid, we had this cookbook, and even had a "Little House" party, which featured a bunch of the recipes in the book ("churning" butter in a glass jar is my main memory from the day).

What a great idea!! I'm so glad that others grew up with the same memories of these books that I have.

In the Little House in the in the Big Woods the first thing I noted was "fresh venison so good she wished they could eat it all but most must be salted and smoked and packed away for the winter". Then a wagonload of fish to be salted down and then the pig referred to above- first wild eating acorns and roots to fatten. The kids playing with the bladder blown like a balloon- bit more in touch with our food than we are used to.

We cleaned a pig a few years ago and I begged my husband to get the bladder out so I could do that.....he looked at me like I was a nut. :blink:

The descriptions of the all of the food makes me drool. Last night I read until page 80 in "The Little House In The Big Woods". It made me want to get my pole out!

Also, the part where the smoker is described. Made me realize that no one has to have all of the fancy contraptions to smoke and preserve things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a bit of a confusion when I hit page 63 of LHBW(the new softcover set) and Ma was boiling sugar and molasses into a syrup to be poured over a pan of snow for candy. I thought my maple sugar snow candy memory was false! When I got to p, 131 discussing the maple sugaring process thankfully the snow candy was there.

I also enjoyed the grating of some carrot and squeezing the juice into the cream for butter in the wintertime to give it the nice yellow color that naturally occurs when cows are grazing on fresh grass. I was reminded that capsules of yellow color were squeezed into margarine long ago to make it look like butter. I also believe that adding the orange color to cheddar cheese is part of that whole color expectation. Interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No slam on Ma, but the best food stories are in Farmer Boy. I still need to find fresh wintergreen berries before I die and I lived ten years in Pennsylvania where you'd think there would be some growing somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a great idea Melissa. I don't have a set but I like the idea so much I may swipe my sister-in-law's collection.

I may do something similar for Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Oh please do!! I LOVE Lucy Maud! We can talk about raspberry tarts and cordial!


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No slam on Ma, but the best food stories are in Farmer Boy. I still need to find fresh wintergreen berries before I die and I lived ten years in Pennsylvania where you'd think there would be some growing somewhere.

I agree on Farmer Boy (second book in the series)- that youngster was all about the food. I always thought wintergreen was a mint until I read that. Feasting on seasonal goodies with such abandon and glee is a joy to read about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No slam on Ma, but the best food stories are in Farmer Boy. I still need to find fresh wintergreen berries before I die and I lived ten years in Pennsylvania where you'd think there would be some growing somewhere.

Agreed! Pork with apples and onions, that's what I remember.....*sigh.

My books are all in a box in the attic at my parents' house, otherwise I'd be cooking along with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No slam on Ma, but the best food stories are in Farmer Boy. I still need to find fresh wintergreen berries before I die and I lived ten years in Pennsylvania where you'd think there would be some growing somewhere.

Agreed! Pork with apples and onions, that's what I remember.....*sigh.

My books are all in a box in the attic at my parents' house, otherwise I'd be cooking along with you.

Hey, you've read the books, so you're more than qualified to cook along with us! :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I think we are just swooning over the descriptions rather than cooking. I think the apples and onions from Farmer Boy did not even have pork in them (well maybe a little salt pork for flavor)- for some reason I did not make a note about the dish although I love that combo and was pleasantly surprised to see that simple meal as one of his favorites. As I just thumbed through I noted the use of the apple cores for vinegar- any idea how that was done? Shelby- is it in the cookbook?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I think we are just swooning over the descriptions rather than cooking. I think the apples and onions from Farmer Boy did not even have pork in them (well maybe a little salt pork for flavor)- for some reason I did not make a note about the dish although I love that combo and was pleasantly surprised to see that simple meal as one of his favorites. As I just thumbed through I noted the use of the apple cores for vinegar- any idea how that was done? Shelby- is it in the cookbook?

Yes! It's on page 131 in the foods from gardens and orchards section.

To summarize in my own words, it says that a quantity of good vinegar was important to a family that preserved its own meat and veggies. They also used vinegar as a table condiment.

To make it they started with a clean barrel open at the top for air that was fitted with a "bung" for decanting. They mixed rainwater with some of last years vinegar and the peel and cores from apple canning and drying. To make it sweeter they might use "preserve-kettle skimmings, molasses-barrel rinsings, honey or brown sugar." After a while it turned into "hard cider" and after months it turned to vinegar.

It says that if we were to make it today we cannot start with store bought vinegar because it's been pasteurized. It says we would have to use baker's yeast instead. Here is the recipe from the book:

This makes a 1/2 gallon of cider vinegar

Spring, rain or well water, 1/2 gallon

Honey, 2 cups

Peels and cores of at least 12 apples

1/2 package of dry yeast

Small barrel or plastic gallon jug, cork or lid and sipping straws

And, here are the instructions, summarized in my own words:

Using a milk jug would probably be the most convenient for us. Wash it out really well and sterilize it. Keep it in a warm place on it's side with the narrow opening serving as a "bunghole". Cut an opening on the top so that you can stick a cork in. Make sure air can still come through. It can't be "airtight".

Boil the water, pour it in the jug and stir in honey, peels and cores. Cover and set aside checking daily for bubbling. If none occurs in a week, add the yeast. If mold forms on the surface, skim it off.

After a month, the bubbling will have stopped the souring will have begun.

The recipe goes on to say that now is the time that you sample it to tell you whether it is ready to use. It says to compare it with commercial cider vinegar. It should take about 2 months.


Edited by Shelby (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I think we are just swooning over the descriptions rather than cooking.

I think this is it, as well. I fondly recall Almanzo and his brother and sisters being left to tend the farm for the week while the parents went visiting. After being told not to eat all of the sugar, the first thing they do when the wagon is out of sight is make ice cream, cake and candy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to get in on this soon. I'm finishing up a Nero Wolfe book right now (talk about food fiction - fantastic food in those books - and WAY ahead of his time), but will probably start rereading the Little House books in order tomorrow or the next day.

Here's my set:

P1060680.JPG

I am completely on board for the LMM books, too. Anne with an E was my favorite girl ever. I reread them every few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I think we are just swooning over the descriptions rather than cooking.

I think this is it, as well. I fondly recall Almanzo and his brother and sisters being left to tend the farm for the week while the parents went visiting. After being told not to eat all of the sugar, the first thing they do when the wagon is out of sight is make ice cream, cake and candy.

"And so in the end they picked six of the biggest melons, and they lugged them one by one to the ice house" - a balanced diet - they had fruit (watermelon) as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi -- This is my first post on eGullet, though I've been lurking for years and years.

Shelby, your fabulous blog helped to pull me out of lurkdom, so thank you! I loved it all so much, and was frustrated that I couldn't comment (not that I haven't been frustrated before, but I was *extra* frustrated this time!) Especially since I am considering buying farmland and would love to pick your brain ;)

And I would even more love to participate in this discussion. I truly believe that the books I loved as a child led me to my love of cooking, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books were a huge part of this. I haven't looked back at the books yet, but the town/country parties in Plum Creek (I think) come to mind right away! Ma's crispy little cakes! Lovely. Oh! Oh! And I just had a conversation with my sister a few weeks ago about how I read and reread ad nauseum the description of the perfect kitchen and pantry Almanzo built for Laura in (I think) The First Four Years. Anyway, the short book where they move into that fantastic kitchen [house] and then everything goes to hell like it always does in Ingalls-Wilder territory.

I think heidih is so right -- the joy of literary food, simple or fancy, is all in the description. How lovingly, gorgeously, lusciously is the food described? So... also Lord of the Rings, just in bits, but those bits are major for me -- the bacon and mushrooms in the first volume. I can't read that without violently craving bacon and mushrooms.

Little Women and other Louisa May Alcott books also have some great food descriptions tied so wonderfully closely to character (like the Little House books). Just to start, the description in the very beginning of Little Women of the Christmas brunch the girls give away, all dripping with butter, etc. Jo and her crisp apples... the blancmange Jo takes to Laurie. Or the so dramatic incident of Amy's pickled limes! And, much later, Amy's attempt to be "fancy," and her finally wise decision to be simple as Marmee suggests.

I could go on forever, but instead I will look into my set of Little House books and plan to cook something from them to show here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I seemed to overlook this topic. Glad to find it. That Laura girl sure got around! We have at least four of her places within a hundred miles of our farm.

Interesting idea on the cider vinegar. We’ve got the last of the seasons apples to process and already have too many pies in the freezer. I may do a five gallon batch in a carboy.

Shelby, we are in a corn/soy area and grow a fair amount of edamame. We’ve settled on: Beer Friend, Sayamusame and

Misono. If you want some help let me know.


Edited by StanSherman (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to get in on this soon. I'm finishing up a Nero Wolfe book right now (talk about food fiction - fantastic food in those books - and WAY ahead of his time), but will probably start rereading the Little House books in order tomorrow or the next day.

Here's my set:

P1060680.JPG

I am completely on board for the LMM books, too. Anne with an E was my favorite girl ever. I reread them every few years.

I love the gingham pattern on your books!

I'm on the second book now...I swear I could just veg out and read for days....

On a completely un-food side question...am I the only one that ever wonders when Ma and Pa get some "alone" time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...