Fans of Little House on the Prairie (you know, the die-hard ones?) can’t get enough Laura Ingalls goodness in their lives. So for you (you know who you are!) I’ve got a review of TWO awesome cookbooks that you need in your life. Whether you’re a grown-up with fond memories of reading Little House books as a child, or a mom who’s reading them aloud to her children, you will want to add both of these books to your collection.
The Little House Cookbook
The Little House Cookbook is so much more than a list of recipes. It is a history book, a kitchen manual, and a very interesting collection of old-time recipes. You won’t just flip through it for recipe ideas; you’ll want to sit down and read it from cover to cover!
The recipes in this book are recreations of those mentioned in all of the books in the Little House Series. The book explains some of the most basic ingredients in the Little House kitchen, such as salt pork, cornmeal, molasses, and other stand-bys. There is a detailed explanation of the bread-making process the way Ma and Laura did it. There is a how-to for homemade butter, both in a churn and in a mason jar. There are even detailed instructions for making cheese as described in Little House in the Big Woods.
You will also find instructions for copying the scrumptious meals featured in Farmer Boy (Little House) , made by Almanzo’s mother. Look for Fried Apples ‘n Onions, Apple Turnovers, Chicken Pie, and even Roasted Pig!
- Re-create the brown bread the Ingalls’ ate twice daily when the town ran out of food.
- Make the same sourdough starter that Ma used in By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House) for her biscuits.
- Try the Stewed Jack Rabbit and Dumplings that the family shared with Mr. Edwards in Little House on the Prairie (Little House, No 2).
- And make Fried Salt Pork with Gravy as the Ingalls family did in nearly every book in the series.
The best part is, most of the recipes can be made today with our basic kitchen ingredients! For the self-sufficient type, this book is a must-have. The Ingalls family, like all Pioneers, were self-sufficient by necessity. The Wilders were, as well.
You can find out how to make baking powder, vinegar, soured milk, and more in your own home! Find out how they used up every last morsel to make their resources stretch.
We have enjoyed trying the basic cornbread recipe, the flapjacks, and eggnog from Farmer Boy (in fact, this is the recipe we use every year at Christmas).
The cover of this book makes it seem like a children’s book, but it is not! It’s a real cookbook blended with history. There are plenty of easy recipes for your children to learn to cook with, and quite a few advanced recipes for the more experienced adult cooks.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook
The next cookbook is even more exciting: The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. These are recipes taken straight from Laura’s own recipe scrapbook. The introduction explains that these were compiled most likely during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Recipes were penned on the backs of letters from her literary agent, a calendar page, and fan letters. There is cooking advice from Ma (from Ma!), as well as Laura’s daughter Rose.
There are 70 recipes along with Laura’s household hints. The beautiful color photographs are all from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Museum in Mansfield, Missouri. That’s where I purchased this book on our vacation a couple of years ago.
I love living history, and learning from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books are a fun way to homeschool! Check out some of the things we use, and other blog posts: