Tag Archives: Little House on the Prairie

Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder!

Now this looks like a woman you could pull up a chair next to, pour a glass of lemonade and just sit back to listen to all the delicious stories she could tell.

One of my favourite stocking stuffers this year was a gift from my Mom. It came in the form of a paperback book. It was this year’s edition of the The Old Farmer’s Almanac. I LOVE the Almanac. I find it a fascinating piece of living history and I can’t wait to read whatever tidbit they have listed for the current date.

As I flipped the pages open, on this frosty morning, to the month of February, I saw that today in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder was born. I was a big fan of the Little House books growing up. I dreamed of living in a little cabin in the woods, driving in the covered wagon to the store where I could get a peppermint stick and helping Ma bake bread in our little home. I wanted a prairie bonnet so badly, so I could look like her. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writing, conjured up a lot for my imagination and I have always adored Garth Williams’ illustrations. There is something so very comforting about his work. He was the illustrator for some of my most beloved childhood stories.

I was also a big fan of the TV show and used to watch it over my bowl of cereal in the morning. Who didn’t want to be “Half-Pint”?

I love the cowboy hats they are wearing in this photograph of Laura and her husband Almanzo. Don’t you just know that Anne Shirley would be going crazy for those puffed sleeves!

I know that her stories were embellished, that not everything was at it appears and some people are hung up on that. But that is the mark of a good storyteller, these weren’t true biographies, they were her stories and they filled my head with all kinds of wonderful things.

She is a woman I would have been intrigued to meet. She was a true pioneer woman, a lady of great endurance and a woman of strong faith. Happy Birthday Laura Ingalls Wilder, you little prairie girl.

{Photograph of Laura in her rocking chair found HERE // Photograph of Laura and Almanzo Wilder found HERE}

SaveSave

The Sweet Things

To some she was only a Pioneer girl, to others she was simply a TV character, but for many she was a writer who held in her books the secrets of their own heart’s desires; to run barefoot in a field with sun-kissed cheeks, as bonnets, hung from their necks, bounced along their backs, as they made their way home to Ma & Pa.

This quote by Laura Ingalls Wilder, to me, says all I need to know about her. She was a woman who realized the secret of life: that it is important to draw pleasure from the simple things, the little things, the everyday blessings, that we just might be too busy to stop and see and we miss out.

(Image by Mary Engelbreit)

Maple Snow

All this snow has made me think of “Little House in the Big Woods”.  I loved reading this books as a child, it was a world I wanted to belong to.

I wanted to be in the sleigh with them as they drove through the snow to their Grandparent’s house, for the sap harvest.  Once, they arrived Pa joined the men folk, trudging off into the snow to help start the sap buckets.  Drilling holes into the thick bark to place a pipe that would drain the sap into the buckets below.

The women worked hard indoors for the party that would come that evening under the starlight. At the party to celebrate the winter harvest, Laura and Mary scoop fresh powdery snow into bowls and their Grandma ladles a stream of hot syrupy sap onto their dishes to make snow candy with. The sap hardened on the snow, thus making a chewy maple candy to enjoy.

“Grandma…poured hot syrup on each plate of snow. It cooled into soft candy, and as fast as it cooled they ate it. They could eat all they wanted, for maple sugar never hurt anybody.”

I always wanted to do this when I was little, I loved reading about Laura’s pioneer girl existence, I wanted to be a pioneer girl myself! I wanted to run through the fields with my hair in braids and my bonnet hanging down my back, the warm sun baking me as I brought Pa his lunch pail.

I found this recipe for “Snow Sugar” on the Laura’s Prairie House website:

I have not tried this particular recipe myself, so I will have to wait for the next snowfall and pull out my glass bottle of syrup and get to work!

{click on the recipe to be taken to a larger version}