Tag Archives: Laura Ingalls Wilder

It’s Christmas Time in the Kitchen

Christmas time in the kitchen is all about the

cookies

 

The words of Silver Bells just beg to be re-written for our own versions of the holiday.

silver-bell-cookies-pillsbury

Silver Bells cut out cookies from Pillsbury

Even Vogue magazine is about cookies this month…..

A Baker’s Tour of Europe’s Finest Holiday Cookies

by Oliver Strand

european-cookies-2-large

This is the illustration from Vogue

AND….

New York Times Style magazine has this article:

Baking Sweets From Childhood Tales

littlehouse-xmas-ill-06tmag-13look_sign-t_ca0-master768

This illustration from “Little House on the Prairie” shows all it took to make Christmas perfect for Laura and Mary: two heart-shaped cakes, two tin cups, two peppermint sticks and two pennies — one for each girl. Credit Garth Williams, Little House on the Prairie, from group of four, 1953: Christmas Stockings/Copyright Garth Williams 1953; renewed 1981/Image courtesy Heritage Auctions

from the article In Praise of the Good Enough

And today, 12/12 is Ma Ingalls birthday!

ma-ingalls

Today is Ma Ingalls’ birthday! 177 years ago on this day, Caroline Lake Quiner (later to become Caroline “Ma” Ingalls) was born in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin, the fifth of seven Quiner children. Some said that baby Caroline was the first non-native American baby to be born in the area.

In this picture, Caroline is seated next to her husband, Charles Ingalls.

Happy Birthday, Ma!

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

Cookies I’ve written about:

Italian Cookies

S’Wonderful (S cookies)

Oh, Joy! Chocolate Coconut Macaroons with Almonds

Wine with a Twist (cookies)

Oatmeal Raisin cookies

The Cool Cookies

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, winter

Popcorn, Pilgrims….

Myth and Magic

Once upon a time, a long time ago…

John Howland pondering popcorn at the first Thanksgiving - from a scene from a 19th century novel

John Howland pondering popcorn at the first Thanksgiving …MYTH

CHAPTER XXVI.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING DAY OF NEW ENGLAND.

The meal was a rude one looked upon with the dainty eyes and languid

appetites of to-day, but to those sturdy and heroic men and women it was

a veritable feast, and at its close Quadequina with an amiable smile

nodded to one of his attendants, who produced and poured upon the table

something like a bushel of popped corn,–a dainty hitherto unseen and

unknown by most of the Pilgrims.

All tasted, and John Howland hastily gathering up a portion upon a

wooden plate carried it to the Common house for the delectation of the

women, that is to say, for Elizabeth Tilley, whose firm young teeth

craunched it with much gusto.

Breakfast over, with a grace after meat that amounted to another

service,…..

STANDISH OF STANDISH : A Story of the Pilgrims By JANE G. AUSTIN Author of “A Nameless Nobleman,” “The Desmond Hundred,” “Mrs. BeauchampBrown,” “Nantucket Scraps,” “Moon Folk,” Etc., Etc.Boston and New York Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press,Cambridge 1892 Copyright, 1889,by Jane G. Austin.All rights reserved

But the problem with myth, is that it GROWS….

… and then other myths grow from there.

Popcorn is American. Nobody but the Indians ever had popcorn, til after the Pilgrim Fathers came to America. On the first Thanksgiving Day, the Indians were invited to dinner, and they came, and they poured out on the table a big bagful of popcorn. The Pilgrim Fathers didn’t know what it was. The Pilgrim Mothers didn’t know, either. The Indians had popped it, but it probably wasn’t very good. Probably they didn’t butter it or salt it, and it would be cold and tough after they had carried it around in a bag of skins.

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls WIlder, p. 32.

Farmer Boy coverAnd who doesn’t want to believe Half-Pint?

laura6

Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls in the TV show ‘Little House on the Prairie’

So although popcorn is a variety of corn that was not grown in New England before the nineteenth century, and therefore popcorn could NOT have been part of the first Thanksgiving, popcorn has a whole lotta cool in its past….even in the Little House in the Prairie series….like this:

You can fill a glass full to the brim with milk, and fill another glass of the same size brim full of popcorn, and then you can put all the popcorn kernel by kernel into the milk, and the milk will not run over. You cannot do this with bread. Popcorn and milk are the only two things that will go into the same place.

Farmer Boy, Chapter 3

3 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Thanksgiving

bits and pieces

 apl-bite Finished reading The Book Lover’s Cookbook booklovers CBapl-biteI’ve long thought about cookbooks and recipe files to go with different books….part of the

you are what you eat – especially if you’re fiction

thinking.

apl-biteErle  Stanley Gardner and Perry Mason…steak, Scotch and baked potatoes

ESG DA cooks

This might be a good place to start, even if no actual goose is involved.

Earl Stanley Gardnerbooks

There are over 80 volumes in the series, so it could take a while, reading them, collecting the references, looking up appropriate period recipes, testing them…..

apl-biteTotally random bit : Erle Stanley Gardner was born in Malden Massachusetts in 1889.

And he really was a lawyer, in California.

Erle is an odd ball enough spelling of his name to keep him as a crossword puzzle clue for generations.

apl-biteLaura ‘Half-Pint’ Ingalls Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie is mentioned .She already has a cookbook of her own.LittleHouseCookbook apl-biteAlmond macaroons – the Italian ones, made of almonds, (not French one O macaron  or the coconut ones, which are good) ….are a very good thing.

Almond-Macaroon

Easy Almond Macaroons by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on January 13, 2013

Almond macaroons are also known as  ‘squishy cookies’ (at least in my family) Here’s a link to a recipe or find a good Italian baker. apl-bite

Family party which include my mother and her cousins discussing the best sfogliatella…..

Sfogliatelle_pic

Sfoglitella – flaky pastry from southern Italy

Evidently the best  these days is  in San Diego or Naples….again, a treat you buy and don’t make at home. There are a number of videos on YouTube, but once you start calling them ‘Lobster Tails’ you’re already too far from the source to be taken too seriously. And none of them are being done by home cooks or Nonnas.

apl-biteWhat do Italians talk about when they sit at the table with food?

Other food.

Food we have had, food we remember, food we would like to make or eat or improve. Who made it, who else was there, who ate with us. Before there were foodies, there were Italians.

apl-biteI’ve also been watching Bluebloods. Almost every episode has at least one scene of the whole family, all four generations, seated around a totally enormous table.

Everyone gathered. Everyone talking. But this is an Irish family, not an Italian one.

Bluebloods, the Regan clan gathered round the dinner table

Bluebloods, the Regan clan gathered round the dinner table

What do the Irish talk about around the table? Politics. Work.

Not so much food, except to pass the dish or clear off at the end of the meal.Also pretty true.

And last but not least, a piece of Birthday Cake, for the family June birthdays.

cake_slice

A piece of cake

Leave a comment

Filed under Birthday, Books, Irish, Italian

Snow Daze

I have never been so done with SNOW snow

as I am right now. Enough already. Is it because I don’t come from Snow People? My ancestors – immediate and the not all that far back  – didn’t come from snowy places. Is that is the root of my discontent?

Ireland, for instance is the Emerald Isle, NOT the Snow-up-to-your-eyeballs Isle

Ireland - pretty green - average snowfall? When it snows, the whole country pretty much shuts down.

Ireland – pretty green – average snowfall? Most years, next to none. When it does snow, the whole country pretty much shuts down.

Gaeta, Italy average snowfall? NONE. Maybe every hundred years or so…but pretty much never ‘neve‘. (Neve is snow – I had to look it up because, really, who from Gaeta talks like that?)

Average snowfall? Not worth mentioning

Gaeta average snowfall? Not worth mentioning

Shoveling snow has taken up a considerable amount of my winter time. Being worn out from shoveling takes even MORE time. Sigh.

And the month has had other kinds of busy:

  •  February 7, 1867 was the day Laura Ingalls Wilder was born and Sarah Uthoff  had a birthday party on her radio show Trundlebed Tales. So one night I stayed up late to chat on talk radio about birthday and other cakes from the Little Houses all over the places that the Ingalls lived, with an extra special shout out to Barbara Walker who wrote the Little House  Cookbook that is such pure delight.LittleHouseCookbook
  • The link to the radio show – it ran a little long… Trundlebed Tales Laura Ingalls Wilder On-Air Birthday Party
  •   That reminded me of the snow candy that the Ingalls girls made in Little House in the Big Woods

“One morning she boiled molasses and sugar together until they made a thick syrup, and Pa brought in two pans of clean, white snow from outdoors. Laura and Mary each had a pan, and Pa and Ma showed them how to pour the dark syrup in little streams on to the snow. They made circles, and curlicues, and squiggledy things, and these hardened at once and were candy.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods

LIW snowcandyenhanced-buzz-19949-1360338018-10

  • Then I got a call asking about oysters, colonists and aphrodisiacs – my work as a foodways culinarian is never dull….

The link to that interview is here: NPR The Salt For the Love of Oysters how a kiss from the seas evokes passions

Jan Steen The Oyster Eater

Jan Steen The Oyster Eater

Shovel snow. Shovel snow. Shovel snow. I’d like a week without the word Blizzard in the weather forecast….

Then there’s prepping for February Vacation  at Plimoth Plantation Workshops

 February Vacation at Plimoth Plantation

Tuesday, February 18
10 a.m. Take and Bake – earn your baker badge
Make an apple pie to take home and bake. When the English arrived in New England, there were no apple trees here. They created orchards here as soon as possible – they really missed apples! You will learn all sorts of modern-day kitchen skills while you follow a 17th-century English recipe to make your pie!

11:30 a.m.  Behind the Scenes Museum Tour

1 p.m. Cook over a Hearth Fire – earn your chef badge
Prepare a few familiar foods over an indoor hearth in the modern Visitor Center. In the 17th century, pancakes weren’t made from a box! Learn about interesting English recipes for pancakes and fritters, and how to prepare some deliciously different versions of foods we still eat today.

Still some openings for Tuesday – and there’s a full week of other workshops, too. Check out the Plimoth Plantation Calendar of Events

Each workshop is $5 ($4 for museum members). Bundles of programs can be purchased. Call 508) 503-2653 or groupsales@plimoth.org

Tomorrow is another Meatless Monday, hot soup edition.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Books