Laura Ingalls Wilder & Cooking Up Some Memories



Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook
Read along as I recreate a memory using Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved cookbook as my guide. I am cooking up her Gingernut cookie recipe today.

Food is always interconnected with my fondest memories.

So many recipes that I have collected and created over the years are synonymous with pleasant times in my life. 
Coming in from school, my grandparents almost always had a pot of soup on the stove. It warmed my heart as much as it warmed my body.
Arriving home after a long day at work, my sweet mother would always cook us a hot supper. Most often she put the dishes we loved on the table. Things like tacos, spaghetti, fried chicken and pot roast were weekly staples.  
Then there were special times, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the list goes on and on. Times where red velvet cake and German chocolate pie were the stars of the show.

Food is such a universal love, it brings families together.  

Such is the case with the little recipe that I want to share with you all today.  It instantly transports me to a time over 11 years ago, when my first three children were very young.  
We were doing a unit study called the Prairie Primer By Margie Gray.  So many wonderful memories were made during this unit study of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s precious books.  

We learned so much rich history of the pioneers and their struggles and joys. We learned to make butter, corn cob dolls, sew miniature quilts and boiled molasses candy. We even dyed our own fabric and made rag dolls, one for each child.
These were some of the most precious times with my children. Times we shut out the evil, old world and got to just “be” together as a family, learning wholesome, happy and interesting things. While learning we became the best of friends.

Our home was filled with giggles and laughter.

Our kitchen always had something wonderful baking in the oven.  My heart aches for those days. Sometimes, all I need is to think about those times and all is right with the world again. 

Making a memory is so important in this life.
Times are ever-changing. Children grow up and somehow things are never really simple any more. They have lives of their own.
But the time spent with your children when they are small is irreplaceable.  It is those times, that live on in memory. They are there to warm us, when life grows older still. 
Laura Ingalls Wilder Quote

We made a pilgrimage during those years to see Laura’s house in Mansfield, Missouri.
It was a trip to remember, and such a peaceful & lovely spot to visit. A place to remember what is most important; faith, family and friends.  
While there, I picked up a copy of The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook
We brought home this sweet little cookbook and it quickly became a favorite friend.  We have used it often and it never fails to bring back memories of those special times, spent with my little ones making memories and baking up an oven full of love.  
The simple little recipe I want to share today is one of our favorites from this treasured & well-loved little cookbook.  The book refers to these as a comfort cookie, and that is just what they are.  The perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or hot tea or cocoa.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
They are simplicity personified just like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories.
So very easy to make, they are crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle.  If you get the chance, purchase this beautiful little cookbook.  It is full of wonderful recipes and stories about Laura’s days in Mansfield, Missouri. Where, she was known as a “gentlewoman” in the same sense that men are known as “gentlemen.”  She led a “gentle” life and is such an inspiration. 

If by chance, you have never read the Little House books by Laura, then you have missed out on something wonderful that brings smiles and warmth to the human heart. Her stories are ageless, the story of human experience.
Get a copy/copies from your local library and read Laura’s stories for yourself. It will forever change you. A must read for all homeschoolers especially!

Tuesday evening I was feeling melancholy and longing for my oldest daughter who is soon to be married.  She is away at college.
Longing in the way only a mother’s heart can, I pulled out this special cookbook and baked up an oven full of love and of course Gingernuts, for my sweet family, the inspiration for this post. The act of baking has a way of warming both the heart & the soul. 
Happy Baking!
                                         Presenting Laura Ingalls Wilder’s: 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup of granulated sugar, extra for rolling
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves & cinnamon
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
2. Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar. Beat in egg.
3. Sift flour with spices, and beat into sugar mixture with cream.  Mixture will be quite stiff. 
4. Form into walnut size balls. rolling in remaining sugar and placing on cookie sheet. 
5. Bake 15 minutes or until firm to the touch. 
Makes approx. 30 Gingernuts
Enjoy this day and in the words of Laura herself remember: 
“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

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