Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Laura Ingalls Part 5: Cook Like Laura

Part 1: Introduction to the Series, information about Laura
Part 2: The books!
Part 3: Dress like Laura
Part 4: Places to visit to have that "Laura Experience"
Part 5: Cook like Laura
Part 6: Other books you might enjoy

Maybe I should have titled it "eat like Laura" because some of it doesn't require a bunch of cooking, but none the less my girls and I have enjoyed trying out some of the things that are referenced along the way in the Little House Series.

First up! Honey!
In the book the girls were very excited when Pa went out into the woods and returned home with a story of out smarting a bear and then the corresponding honey bees to get a big batch of honey. We took that as a geat invitation to discuss things like pollination, functions of bees, and of course how honey is produced. We are fortunate to have several local beek keepers and I always keep a stock of raw fresh local honey. It was great to just get a spoon full and savor it while discussing it in the book.

Maple Syrup!
Maple syrup making is a process discussed a lot in the book. We don't tap trees anywhere around here, but I do splurge every so often and purchase the good stuff from Vermont. We talked about maple syrup making, how it has to be cooked and purified, how the book discuss Ma stirring it, and Pa tapping the trees and the sweet treats that were made from it. Be sure to sample maple syrup during your exploration into the Little House on the Prarie Books.

Drop Biscuits and Johnny cakes
Although not quite as exciting, we also have made biscuits and Johnny cakes that are discussed in the books. The girls were interested in the Johnny cakes and the book describes the reason Ma thinks they are called that ( you'll have to read it to find out!). This was a great lesson in basic cooking, stockpiling basics and simple techniques to ensure warm bread is on the table by using few ingredients.

There is also mention in the books about butchering there own meat. My girls are used to us eating venison , fish and other seafood so they are familiar with that process. The smokehouse is something else they know about as we smoke some of our meats in my father in laws small smokehouse. The process of curing a ham in a tree trunk though was new to them! It allowed us a chance to talk about food preservation in the "olden days" and ways Laura's family could preserve enough food to eat for the winter.

So what are some other ideas of fun foods to make or try with kiddos while discussing the Little House books??

Happy Homesteading!

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