The photos of views around Rocky Ridge Farm, dishes made from Laura’s recipes and rooms in Laura’s home are of the clearest quality in a favorite cookbook — The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. These recipes are indeed those of the ‘country’ — farm folks eating well from the efforts of their own labor.
As I enjoy these pages, presented on high quality polished paper, I just automatically drift away to the ‘good old days’ when dishes similar to these were served in neighborhoods of my childhood.
I got the book out again recently to try Laura’s famous Gingerbread recipe. It isn’t a huge recipe, but made 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. Laura had recommended chocolate frosting, which I admit didn’t really sound right to me. I’ve never been able to claim cooking frosting to be my ‘long suit’! My white vanilla/butter frosting was pretty much a fiasco, but I was able to get a little frosting lid on most of the cupcakes so I could count on some photos. When they baked, their pretty tops cracked in an image of a good old-fashioned gingersnap — I knew that I wanted to leave some of the cupcakes ‘naked’ (That’s for you, Sherry V.) so I could photograph the tops.
- I wanted to make the gingerbread this month to have the photos and story ready to commemorate significant dates for Laura and Almanzo.
- Laura February 7 (1867)
- Almanzo February 13 (1857)
Birthdays in Laura’s youth would probably have been quiet, family affairs. We know from the Little House books that there would have been birthdays when family would have been the only people around to celebrate. A Victorian birthday cake might have had ‘treasures’ baked in the cake to turn up in special, fortunate slices. Coins were the common treasure, but sometimes a precious item such as a thimble.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook has recipes with related stories and photos for every course of a fine country meal, PLUS a section featuring household hints that were used in Laura’s house. The cookbook is available only at the book/gift shop at Rocky Ridge Farm or online at this link. LAURA’S Website (http://lauraingallswilderhome.com)