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The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories

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This award-winning cookbook features more than 100 of the recipes that Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicles in her classic Little House books. A great gift for Little House fans and anyone who wants more information about what life on the praisie was really like. With this cookbook, you can learn how to make classic frontier dishes like corn dodgers, mincemeat pie, cracklings, a This award-winning cookbook features more than 100 of the recipes that Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicles in her classic Little House books. A great gift for Little House fans and anyone who wants more information about what life on the praisie was really like. With this cookbook, you can learn how to make classic frontier dishes like corn dodgers, mincemeat pie, cracklings, and pulled molasses candy. The book also includes excerpts from the Little House books, fascinating and thoroughly researched historical context, and details about the cooking methods that pioneers like Ma Ingalls used, as well as illustrations by beloved artist Garth Williams. This is a chance to dive into the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, American pioneer, women's club member, and farm homesteader. This book has been widely praised and is the winner of the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Horn Book praised it as "a culinary and literary feast."


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This award-winning cookbook features more than 100 of the recipes that Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicles in her classic Little House books. A great gift for Little House fans and anyone who wants more information about what life on the praisie was really like. With this cookbook, you can learn how to make classic frontier dishes like corn dodgers, mincemeat pie, cracklings, a This award-winning cookbook features more than 100 of the recipes that Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicles in her classic Little House books. A great gift for Little House fans and anyone who wants more information about what life on the praisie was really like. With this cookbook, you can learn how to make classic frontier dishes like corn dodgers, mincemeat pie, cracklings, and pulled molasses candy. The book also includes excerpts from the Little House books, fascinating and thoroughly researched historical context, and details about the cooking methods that pioneers like Ma Ingalls used, as well as illustrations by beloved artist Garth Williams. This is a chance to dive into the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, American pioneer, women's club member, and farm homesteader. This book has been widely praised and is the winner of the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The Horn Book praised it as "a culinary and literary feast."

30 review for The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Prairie cooking for Little House fans. A nice companion to the series as here you will find the recipes from the Little House books, as well as cooking techniques and historical context. As a fan of the Little House series, I really enjoyed learning more about all that went on "behind the scenes" to put dinner on the table (no matter how meager it might be). From field or forest to dinner table was an involved process and a far cry from today's much simplified cooking. Really makes you appreciat Prairie cooking for Little House fans. A nice companion to the series as here you will find the recipes from the Little House books, as well as cooking techniques and historical context. As a fan of the Little House series, I really enjoyed learning more about all that went on "behind the scenes" to put dinner on the table (no matter how meager it might be). From field or forest to dinner table was an involved process and a far cry from today's much simplified cooking. Really makes you appreciate the conveniences of modern times!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Ferguson

    For Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, The Little House Cookbook is a no-brainer, must-have, geek fest. As a Laurafan, I’ve been salivating over Ma’s vanity cakes and sourdough biscuits since 1972, pining for those heart-shaped cakes sprinkled in white sugar. Chapters often feature a quote and original illustration by Garth Williams form the “Little House” series. Even the font and point size are the same. Comfort and nostalgia abound. An admitted “Bonnethead,” I read with the intention of holding a pion For Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, The Little House Cookbook is a no-brainer, must-have, geek fest. As a Laurafan, I’ve been salivating over Ma’s vanity cakes and sourdough biscuits since 1972, pining for those heart-shaped cakes sprinkled in white sugar. Chapters often feature a quote and original illustration by Garth Williams form the “Little House” series. Even the font and point size are the same. Comfort and nostalgia abound. An admitted “Bonnethead,” I read with the intention of holding a pioneer-themed dinner party. My first read made me think that Ma Ingalls was not just being modest when she said, “Hunger is the best sauce.” Salt Pork. Cornmeal. Codfish. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Laura Ingalls Wilder always had the knack of making even lettuce with a sprinkle of vinegar and sugar sound like black truffle risotto, but The Loftus General Store wasn’t exactly Whole Foods. I wanted the fun of a pioneer meal and food people would enjoy. What I discovered, while looking for recipes that wouldn’t give my guests heart disease, was a good read. Barbara Walker not only knows how to cook, she is a food historian—her bibliography is four and a half pages long. In each chapter, she locates recipes within their historical context and explains every ingredient. We all know that women cooked over an iron stove, but did you know that they didn’t have baking soda? I didn’t. I learned that tomatoes only became sweet at the turn of the century, and that Laura (who became a renowned poultry farmer in her own right) lived to see “poultry raising change from a gentlemen’s sport and farm wife’s pocket money to two separate industries, egg production and meat production.” Today poultry farmers use different breeds for “layers” versus “fryers.” Laurafans will love how Walker takes on recipes that demonstrate Ma’s resourcefulness during lean times. She recreates the Green Pumpkin Pie Ma baked when there were no apples to be found. Blackbirds decimating the corn crop? There’s Ma, rebounding with blackbird pie. (Now Blackbirds are endangered, so Walker recommends substituting the new aviary pest, Starlings). She explains how to bake “Long Winter” bread, which the Ingalls family subsisted on during eight months of prairie blizzards. I admit that while reading about these recipes I probably wasn’t going to make them, but I did enjoy thinking about making them. So The Little House Cookbook is fun to read, but The American’s Test Kitchen taught me that the key to a useable cookbook, versus a pretty one, is that the recipes actually work. Walker gets big kudos for writing up the recipes so that you can recreate them. For each dish, she first describes how a pioneer would have prepared the food, and then details how to adapt these recipes to the modern kitchen. One of my favorite quotes comes from the recipe for Stewed Jackrabbit with Dumplings, “If you can’t find a hunter to give you a skinned rabbit (he will want the pelt), look for a farm-raised rabbit at a German butcher shop. (Hasenpfeffer is a favorite German dish).” Thus, I learned a little more about pioneer life, German culinary culture AND the Laverne and Shirley theme song. And as for my party? I had my fantasies. Roast Suckling Pig. Mincemeat Pie. Husk Tomato Preserves. In the end, though, I only used Walker’s book for the iconic Apples ‘n’ Onions to the letter. I cheated and used baking soda for my cornbread and biscuits. Instead of subjecting my guests to Salt Pork (kind of gross), I put out a plate of fried bacon. I did remain true to the pioneer spirit, shopping at the Farmer’s Market for jellies, butternut squash and berries. I opened a jar of homemade watermelon rind pickles given to me by a friend’s mother. After slaving over my brand new gas oven all day, I had an appreciation for Ma and what she went through. In the end, I like to think she would have approved of my innovations. And I have no doubt that if Ma could have run to Kroger for a ham instead raising, butchering, and curing the meat herself, she would have been all about it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Well and honestly, I do have to admit that I feel rather massively reading pleasure conflicted with regard to parts of Barbara M. Walker’s The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories. Because yes indeed, while I have of course totally appreciated and also enjoyed the historical frontier, pioneer food trivia and the Little House on the Prairie series recipes (even though for the vast majority, I am far more interested in reading about than actually attemp Well and honestly, I do have to admit that I feel rather massively reading pleasure conflicted with regard to parts of Barbara M. Walker’s The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories. Because yes indeed, while I have of course totally appreciated and also enjoyed the historical frontier, pioneer food trivia and the Little House on the Prairie series recipes (even though for the vast majority, I am far more interested in reading about than actually attempting to prepare them), that the author, that Barbara M. Walker also and equally presents an attitude of in my humble opinion extreme unfriendliness, even occasional rabid fury towards nature, towards wildlife in general, and yes, that animals such as blackbirds, the extinct passenger pigeon, jackrabbits and so on and so an are often simply deemed to be pests to and for farmers (and really nothing else) and bien sûr therefore also deserve to be culled and exterminated en masse, this really does tend to rub me the wrong proverbial way. For albeit that an attitude such as the above might well make historical sense for Laura Ingalls Wilder and her contemporaries, while I can to a certain extent even much appreciate and even understand pioneer farmers and their families having such a mindset towards wildlife, towards the environment, and that the natural world and its animals are thus present on earth for humans to control and to cull as needed and wanted, that author Barbara L. Walker in my opinion still seems to have such an outdated and dangerous worldview in 1979 regarding her choice of words for those instances in The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories which deal specifically with farming and with wildlife and obviously not just with regard to history either, this really does tend make me cringe angrily, frustratingly and with major annoyance. And while I do find find most of the information presented and the general set-up of The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories delightfully engaging and very much educational without being pedantic (and with the included bibliography being a much appreciated added bonus), for me, yes indeed, the constantly all round negative kill, kill, kill attitude Barbara L. Walker seems to often and not just historically sport towards animals deemed potential agricultural pests certainly does absolutely chafe and grate (and in particular that Walker’s wording about the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon seems to and for my reading eyes to indicate that its demise as a species was not only to be expected but acceptable, perhaps even necessary due to them being “pests” a viewpoint that especially for modern times is to and for me TOTALLY, UTTERLY VILE and not acceptable). And in fact, considering how much this has oh so much bothered and infuriated me, the fact that I am still going to be rating The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories with three stars and to also recommend the book albeit with caveats, is I think, rather generous on my part.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Alternate title: Things No One Wants To Eat Ever. Blackbird Pie made with starlings you hunt yourself, cottage cheese balls (eat the curds and use the whey to fertilize your garden), and apples you dry by spearing on a curtain rod and hanging on a laundry rack near a radiator. In this cookbook, Walker attempts to recreate the recipes for foods found in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. What's good about the book is that it pulls extensive quotes from Wilder's books and follows them with Alternate title: Things No One Wants To Eat Ever. Blackbird Pie made with starlings you hunt yourself, cottage cheese balls (eat the curds and use the whey to fertilize your garden), and apples you dry by spearing on a curtain rod and hanging on a laundry rack near a radiator. In this cookbook, Walker attempts to recreate the recipes for foods found in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. What's good about the book is that it pulls extensive quotes from Wilder's books and follows them with recipes; what's bad is that the recipes are mostly unworkable. They're not adapted to the modern kitchen and Walker also has an annoying tendency to refer to things using the words Wilder would have used (e.g., saleratus for baking soda, bake oven for dutch oven, bloodwarm for lukewarm). It's unlikely that anyone would attempt too many of these recipes even to see what cooking was like back then, since they're far too labor intensive. There's a recipe for Hard Cheese that involves ten days of turning the cheese and wiping off mold, then waiting five months for the flavor to develop. This is technically a children's book; no kid is going to wait five months for cheese. I'm an adult and on day two of mold-wiping, I'm going to toss that thing and head to Safeway for some shrink-wrapped cheddar. Aside from being too much work, there's the food safety issue. In the holiday recipe for Roasted Stuffed Goose, which is one of the few times Walker specifies an oven temperature, you're instructed to roast the stuffed goose at 165° for eight hours. Merry Christmas! I got you salmonella! It's an interesting idea for a book, but since the recipes aren't useful, this is mainly a collection of food quotes. I deducted one star because Walker didn't include a recipe for Laura's rhubarb pie with forgotten sugar, but added one star because the glossary includes a definition for "bunghole."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    NOTE: This review is for the earlier edition. Overall thoughts - thoroughly researched with so many lovely recipes. It contains relevant illustrations from the original series HOWEVER no pictures of the food, hence 4 stars. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads NOTE: This review is for the earlier edition. Overall thoughts - thoroughly researched with so many lovely recipes. It contains relevant illustrations from the original series HOWEVER no pictures of the food, hence 4 stars. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Growing up, I was a die-hard Little House fan. The books, the show, the time period, the attire- I loved it all! So when I saw The Little House Cookbook for sale on @bookoutlet I knew I had to get myself a copy! Reading this was like being reacquainted with an old friend. ♥️ I will likely not try a majority of the recipes included but there are some Im excited to try! This book is rich in backstory and history and I loved that aspect of it. This ignited a passion in me to re-read through the ser Growing up, I was a die-hard Little House fan. The books, the show, the time period, the attire- I loved it all! So when I saw The Little House Cookbook for sale on @bookoutlet I knew I had to get myself a copy! Reading this was like being reacquainted with an old friend. ♥️ I will likely not try a majority of the recipes included but there are some Im excited to try! This book is rich in backstory and history and I loved that aspect of it. This ignited a passion in me to re-read through the series! For me, the Little House Cookbook was ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars. A must read for any Little House fans.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    Happy B=Day Laura. A few years back we did our Thanksgiving Day Dinner out of this. Featured some trout a friend of ours caught. Don't recall what=else ; but it was superior to the typically bland US menu for this most imperialistic of Holidaze. [still looking forward to that Corn=Fed Crow The Significant mentions on occasion] Happy B=Day Laura. A few years back we did our Thanksgiving Day Dinner out of this. Featured some trout a friend of ours caught. Don't recall what=else ; but it was superior to the typically bland US menu for this most imperialistic of Holidaze. [still looking forward to that Corn=Fed Crow The Significant mentions on occasion]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    5 stars all the way Full review to come YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads 5 stars all the way Full review to come YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  9. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    "'It takes a great deal to feed a growing boy,' Mother said. And she put a thick slice of birds-nest pudding on his bare plate, and handed him the pitcher of sweetened cream speckled with nutmeg. Almanzo poured the heavy cream over the apples nested in the fluffy crust. The syrupy brown juice curled up around the edges of the cream. Almanzo took up his spoon and ate every little bit." (from Farmer Boy). The Little House books are filled with glorious, worshipful descriptions of food which could o "'It takes a great deal to feed a growing boy,' Mother said. And she put a thick slice of birds-nest pudding on his bare plate, and handed him the pitcher of sweetened cream speckled with nutmeg. Almanzo poured the heavy cream over the apples nested in the fluffy crust. The syrupy brown juice curled up around the edges of the cream. Almanzo took up his spoon and ate every little bit." (from Farmer Boy). The Little House books are filled with glorious, worshipful descriptions of food which could only be written by someone who most likely suffered from malnutrition when growing up. Just look at that quote above. Anyway, this book is to blame for distracting me from studying for my calculus exam, just as writing this review is doing the same, as I have my calculus textbook open in front of me. Sigh. This is more of a food history book, and an excellent one at that - not a book of recipes you'd actually cook from, unless you're feeling bored and masochistic (and especially willing to risk burning yourself with boiling hot lard). The book gives you more of an understanding just how much WORK went into preparing food before technological advances like the freezer became commonplace. Walker also warns that some of the foods aren't really suited for modern palates. Like this food would be AWESOME if you were a child laborer, picking potatoes for 15 straight hours or trying to avoid starvation during a six-month winter by consuming one slice of course brown bread a day. The recipes (and brief history) include: Cracklings, blackbird pie, vinegar pie, mincemeat pie, rye'n'injun bread, tomato preserves, spit-roasted wild duck, fried cornmeal mush, johnnycakes, corn dodgers, hardtack, pulled molasses candy, and green pumpkin pie. You can also try your hand at making your own vinegar.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emmkay

    Recently, I really enjoyed reading The Wilder Life. by Wendy McClure - in it she mentioned The Little House Cookbook. I hadn't thought of it in years, but I remember getting it out of the library multiple times when I was in elementary school. I was pleased to discover it's still out there! The research Barbara Walker did into the foods that appear in the Little House books is very impressive, and makes for interesting reading, although not for the squeamish or the vegetarian (and I'm the latter Recently, I really enjoyed reading The Wilder Life. by Wendy McClure - in it she mentioned The Little House Cookbook. I hadn't thought of it in years, but I remember getting it out of the library multiple times when I was in elementary school. I was pleased to discover it's still out there! The research Barbara Walker did into the foods that appear in the Little House books is very impressive, and makes for interesting reading, although not for the squeamish or the vegetarian (and I'm the latter). It's a bit of a funny combination, because it is a children's book, and Walker will occasionally refer to the need to get an adult to do something - but it's so incredibly improbable that a child would be making these recipes. Well, or that anyone would be making most of them, as one sees for example from her suggestion that the best way to recreate blackbird pie these days is to hunt starlings instead. Or the from the cautions about the dangers of hot lard. Maybe I'll try snacking on raw turnip slices sometime, though.

  11. 4 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    This cookbook contains old-fashioned recipes like the ones Ma Ingalls and Mrs. Wilder used to make. The recipes included come from the text of the books and are accompanied by the passage from the novel and Garth Williams' charming illustrations. It includes rye and injun bread, maple syrup on snow, fried apples and onions and many more. I used to check this book out of the library all the time. I don't think I ever really used it but I liked learning about pioneer food. When the library weeded This cookbook contains old-fashioned recipes like the ones Ma Ingalls and Mrs. Wilder used to make. The recipes included come from the text of the books and are accompanied by the passage from the novel and Garth Williams' charming illustrations. It includes rye and injun bread, maple syrup on snow, fried apples and onions and many more. I used to check this book out of the library all the time. I don't think I ever really used it but I liked learning about pioneer food. When the library weeded their children's non-fiction and I saw this book for sale, I grabbed it. It's a must have for any Little House fan.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This is a cookbook that’s more than a cookbook. The author goes into detail about each recipe, with quotes from the book it was mentioned in, and also relevant information about cooking at the time. Some notes as I read: Even though I feel like I spend a lot of time cooking now, it’s nothing compared to Laura’s days. Caroline Ingalls and her pioneer sisters would have had little time for “finding themselves” or hobbies when one realizes the huge amount of time it took to prepare food and keep the This is a cookbook that’s more than a cookbook. The author goes into detail about each recipe, with quotes from the book it was mentioned in, and also relevant information about cooking at the time. Some notes as I read: Even though I feel like I spend a lot of time cooking now, it’s nothing compared to Laura’s days. Caroline Ingalls and her pioneer sisters would have had little time for “finding themselves” or hobbies when one realizes the huge amount of time it took to prepare food and keep their houses clean. Hunting their own meat was a stark reminder of how close we all are to the food we eat. There’s a recipe for blackbird pie, calling for “12 starlings, plucked and dressed.” I passed on this one. There’s also a lengthy description of how to roast a suckling pig, with the note “It is still worth doing.” We then read to “draw the head and back feet together with the butcher’s string and tie it… at the table, start carving by cutting off the pig’s head.” Wow. That would certainly change the tone of a meal. I learned a few tips I hadn’t known, for instance, “old” potatoes are better for mashing than fresher ones, because they have a more mealy texture. Several things kind of, pardon the expression, grossed me out. Drippings (fat from butchering animals) was often used as butter on bread. I’m even pretty repulsed by butter, so that thought of pure animal fat on bread was not appealing to me. I made several recipes from the book. I’ll admit that it was a bit of a chore to find some we’d eat, with the pioneer reliance on animal products of all kinds and many ingredients deemed unhealthy today for our modern (and far less active) culture. It got to the point that when I’d announce, “This is from the Little House Cookbook,” my husband would cast a suspicious eye and ask, “Has it got lard in it?” Let’s face it, when we picture the Ingalls family around the table, we usually envision them smiling over dishes of steamed turnips, or perhaps happily chewing on a fried pig’s tail. What tasted good to them is not what might taste good to us. Will I cook and bake from this cookbook on a regular basis? Probably not. But I enjoyed, and recommend, at least browsing through it for a closer look at the lives of pioneer women and the eating habits of those days, which are quite different from our own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Cookbook, food history, and a little bit of pioneer history. This book contains recipes for many of the things that the Ingalls family survived on as pioneers, including the bread they made with home-ground (with a coffee grinder) wheat, that was often their only food during the long winter. Sourdough biscuits, Laura's wedding cake, vanity cakes, and a whole lot of the foods Almanzo had as a kid (especially that time when their parents left them all at home for a week!) are featured here, as wel Cookbook, food history, and a little bit of pioneer history. This book contains recipes for many of the things that the Ingalls family survived on as pioneers, including the bread they made with home-ground (with a coffee grinder) wheat, that was often their only food during the long winter. Sourdough biscuits, Laura's wedding cake, vanity cakes, and a whole lot of the foods Almanzo had as a kid (especially that time when their parents left them all at home for a week!) are featured here, as well as game, vegetables, and snacks like popcorn. Many thanks to Cleokatra, who found this copy for me!

  14. 4 out of 5

    linda

    If you read the Little House books and were fascinated with the descriptions of food -- this is for you. It's not just a cookbook, it's also a wonderful food history and social context to the actual series of books, which has never faded from my most beloved list of rereads on a rainy day. And also? Come on. It teaches you how to make pancake men. If you read the Little House books and were fascinated with the descriptions of food -- this is for you. It's not just a cookbook, it's also a wonderful food history and social context to the actual series of books, which has never faded from my most beloved list of rereads on a rainy day. And also? Come on. It teaches you how to make pancake men.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Wicks

    This is such a wonderful book because it has authentic recipes, not just watered down versions of real pioneer food. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the Little House series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alma

    We have had this one for years, ever since my boys and I were reading the Little House books aloud together. Reading it again brought back fond memories of making the “Pulled Candy” from Farmer Boy with Eric for a 4th grade book report. In the story, the candy pull was less-than-successful, but ours turned out pretty good and made us appreciate modern candy. This book is a delight to read, with excerpts from Wilder books, accurate historical information about frontier cooking ingredients and met We have had this one for years, ever since my boys and I were reading the Little House books aloud together. Reading it again brought back fond memories of making the “Pulled Candy” from Farmer Boy with Eric for a 4th grade book report. In the story, the candy pull was less-than-successful, but ours turned out pretty good and made us appreciate modern candy. This book is a delight to read, with excerpts from Wilder books, accurate historical information about frontier cooking ingredients and methods and Garth Williams illustrations from the original books. I’m looking forward to sharing this one again with my grandchildren.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ginny Messina

    I have always wanted to make Ma Ingalls Green Pumpkin Pie. Now that I actually have a recipe, I may devote a big chunk of this year’s veggie garden to growing pumpkins. (I don’t know where else I’ll find green ones). This book is more than just fun; it’s educational and a nice resource for understanding the ingredients used in 19th century recipes and how to recreate those recipes today.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tara Schaafsma

    This was great! I bought it because we were reading the little house books, and Lyra said how she wanted to make some of the food. There is a paragraph about the food from the book, then a little history of it, and then the closest recipe that the author could make/find. Many of the ingredients are specialty items now, but we have already tried a few of the recipes and it has been fun.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Celeste Ng

    Each recipe in this cookbook is drawn from a passage in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and includes historical commentary. Yum. Each recipe in this cookbook is drawn from a passage in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books and includes historical commentary. Yum.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    This book! Oh, this book! Five Stars is such an insult to it! As someone who practically grew up devouring the Little House books, it was always a source of curiosity and fascination to me as to exactly what the Ingalls and Wilder families devoured. And it's all here in this wonderful book, nearly every single food or recipe that even had only a passing mention in the entire set. Everything from the vanity cakes that Ma made for the country party in On the Banks of Plum Creek to the Ice cream th This book! Oh, this book! Five Stars is such an insult to it! As someone who practically grew up devouring the Little House books, it was always a source of curiosity and fascination to me as to exactly what the Ingalls and Wilder families devoured. And it's all here in this wonderful book, nearly every single food or recipe that even had only a passing mention in the entire set. Everything from the vanity cakes that Ma made for the country party in On the Banks of Plum Creek to the Ice cream that Almanzo Wilder and his siblings cooked up when their parents went away on holiday leaving them in charge of the house and farm in Farmer Boy. The cottage cheese balls that Ma made for Mary's last supper home before going to collage, the 'Hard Winter Bread' that kept the Ingalls family alive during the months of blizzards and slow starvation during the Long Winter, the vinegar pie that Almanzo tried at the county fair, the fried chicken from the fourth of July dinner, the molasses-on-snow candy that Laura and Mary made in the Big Woods, and even the 'Bean Porridge Hot' that they sang about in Little House on the Prairie. No Little House collection is complete without this addition to complement all the foods and recipes mentioned and given in the series. I also loved the way the author kept with the Little House theme throughout the book, with nearly every recipe being preceded by an excerpt from one or more of the books themselves, and the charming, original illustrations found in the series being scattered generously throughout the book to complement the recipes given. My only regret is that I didn't have it as a child while I was reading all those books for the first time. An absolute must-have for all Little House fans!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    As a child, I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder. My mom was also a great cook so when I came across this book on one of our library trips, I was intent on having her help me recreate the old-fashioned recipes. Although I think it is now out of print, my mom was eventually able to get me my own copy simply because she was sick of having to check it out of our library every time we went. As I recall, the recipies are, where possible, organized according to where the ingredients would have come As a child, I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder. My mom was also a great cook so when I came across this book on one of our library trips, I was intent on having her help me recreate the old-fashioned recipes. Although I think it is now out of print, my mom was eventually able to get me my own copy simply because she was sick of having to check it out of our library every time we went. As I recall, the recipies are, where possible, organized according to where the ingredients would have come from. For example, field, forest, and stream. this makes sense for those who would have originally used them, but isn't always helpful for the practical purposes. Some of the ingredients are hard to come by because people don't really keep lard on handy anymore or buy a chicken with all the innerds still intact. Most though, can be adapted for a modern kitchen if you get a little creative and, if you are really into cooking, it can be fun looking for the hard to find ingredients in specialty shops. I remember making the molasses candy by pouring a molasses mixture onto a pan of fresh snow, making homemade butter (my mom thought having us shake the canning jars of heavy whipping cream was a great way to keep us out of trouble in the summer), and I was so proud when I tested out the recipe for pound cake which I brought to share with my 4th grade class when i gave my book report on laura ingalls wilder. A great book for the experimental/historically accurate chef!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dioscita

    This is an interesting combination of Walker's trials in replicating food described in the Little House series, a look at what pioneer food/eating/cooking was like (particularly as they differ from today), and excerpts from various books in the series. While reading the books I would often wonder what, say, "hardtack" was (and what it tastes like), so I thought I would be totally gung-ho about making these different dishes. However, a glance at the ingredients in most of these recipes begs the q This is an interesting combination of Walker's trials in replicating food described in the Little House series, a look at what pioneer food/eating/cooking was like (particularly as they differ from today), and excerpts from various books in the series. While reading the books I would often wonder what, say, "hardtack" was (and what it tastes like), so I thought I would be totally gung-ho about making these different dishes. However, a glance at the ingredients in most of these recipes begs the question: did food have any flavor for those hardworking pioneers? (As example, here are the ingredients for hardtack: flour, water, and salt.) Still, even if I don't make a single recipe, this is a fun book and recommended for anyone who likes the Ingalls Wilder stories.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha Iqbal

    Of course this is a reference book so you will never really finish the book( by what I mean finish is trying all the recipes) but it also has great information on how food was prepared and what they had. But also sense I am interested in Indigenous foods in my area, and foraging, I’m sure that these foods mentions are only a few of what the Ingalls had really eaten.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rose

    very fascinating to read but full of many things I definitely do Not want to eat! there are a few recipes I was intrigued enough by to contemplate making one day in future, but mostly I just thoroughly enjoyed the way foods from Laura’s novels translated into more modern terms. I’ve only read the first of Laura’s books, and I’m glad I read this before the rest, as I feel I’ll have a much greater understanding of them now!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was fun to read alongside the Little House series. The author did a great job of finding/creating recipes the modern cook can follow. Lots of historical details about food in the late 19th century.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linds

    Recipes for the foods cooked in the Little House series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    The recipes in this cookbook are adaptations on recipes cooked by pioneer women. Because of this, they aren't necessarily recipes I would be interested in making today. What I did enjoy about the book though, is the history the author went into when writing about the different methods of cooking, about what types of fruit and vegetables were eaten in the 1800's versus what we eat now and the detail she used when adapting the recipes to modern kitchens. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this b The recipes in this cookbook are adaptations on recipes cooked by pioneer women. Because of this, they aren't necessarily recipes I would be interested in making today. What I did enjoy about the book though, is the history the author went into when writing about the different methods of cooking, about what types of fruit and vegetables were eaten in the 1800's versus what we eat now and the detail she used when adapting the recipes to modern kitchens. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book to children. Though it seems to have been aimed at children, the level of difficulty of the actual recipes (canning, deep frying, etc...) do not really seem appropriate for kids. Also, even though I enjoy reading about the history of wheat and grains in the Midwest, and the difficulties of making a sourdough starter, I don't believe I would have enjoyed this as a child when I was reading the Little House books. It would probably be more appropriate for a child to read along with a parent. Despite all of this, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Walker's book, and would recommend it to anyone who loved Laura Ingalls Wilder's books growing up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I'm in the middle of this book, and am really enjoying reading it. I owned the box set of the Laura Ingalls books when I was young, and read them over and over again! So, a good part of the enjoyment comes from the nostalgia of remembering the stories I loved so much 3-ish decades ago. :) However, it has not increased my desire to cook blackbird pie, or use QUITE so much salt pork in my cooking! I also doubt that I'll be making cracklins or very many of the other recipes, but reading about how t I'm in the middle of this book, and am really enjoying reading it. I owned the box set of the Laura Ingalls books when I was young, and read them over and over again! So, a good part of the enjoyment comes from the nostalgia of remembering the stories I loved so much 3-ish decades ago. :) However, it has not increased my desire to cook blackbird pie, or use QUITE so much salt pork in my cooking! I also doubt that I'll be making cracklins or very many of the other recipes, but reading about how they used to cook different things is quite enjoyable. Update: I completely enjoyed reading the little snippets from the Little House books, and reading about what they ate and how they prepared it. I wasn't quite ready to start cooking prairie-style, but loved reading the book anyway.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    It's not that I want to utilize the recipes in this finely researched cookbook. In fact, most of them sounds bland. (especially the numerous cornmeal recipes where they all pretty much uses the same ingredients) However the book made me feel nostalgic for the simple times gone past. I remember reading the food porn in the little house books as a youngster. It made me realize at the time that most foods can actually be made at HOME. And it was GOOD. It was a revelation for me. Duncan hines was no It's not that I want to utilize the recipes in this finely researched cookbook. In fact, most of them sounds bland. (especially the numerous cornmeal recipes where they all pretty much uses the same ingredients) However the book made me feel nostalgic for the simple times gone past. I remember reading the food porn in the little house books as a youngster. It made me realize at the time that most foods can actually be made at HOME. And it was GOOD. It was a revelation for me. Duncan hines was not necessary to make a cake. Biscuits need not come from mcdonalds. Lemonade can be homemade, not bought from the refrigerated section at the grocery store. It instilled self reliance for me when it came to cooking. And this book is a lovely reminder of that for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Talea

    While this book is geared for younger people it's still a great read, especially for those that simply want the closest recipe to what our ancestors ate that is fairly easily made using today's ingredients and safety measures. I think it's great that she explains how to do some of the recipes using what is readily available to the majority of us for recipes that might be a little more difficult for us to make the same way Laura and her family did. (Salt rising bread is the one that comes to mind While this book is geared for younger people it's still a great read, especially for those that simply want the closest recipe to what our ancestors ate that is fairly easily made using today's ingredients and safety measures. I think it's great that she explains how to do some of the recipes using what is readily available to the majority of us for recipes that might be a little more difficult for us to make the same way Laura and her family did. (Salt rising bread is the one that comes to mind the most.)) I highly recommend this book not just for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, but also anyone that's even mildy curious on how people ate before refrigeration and so many of our modern conveniences.

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