Laura’s Gingerbread Recipe


It’s gingerbread time which means the countdown to Christmas is officially on! I treated myself to the book The World of Little House a few months back while going through another nostalgia Amazon spree and  this ended up in my cart. More juvenile then I originally intended but my thoughts were a bit impaired with wine that night…anyways… I thought I would try to recreate Laura’s recipe tonight.  The biggest debate being adding the chocolate frosting or not she so loved!  “Chocolate frosting adds to the goodness.” -LIW Comment with your results or Tweet/Instagram photos of the gingerbread on your Christmas tables!

1 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon each: ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
shortening to grease a 9×9 baking pan

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease the baking pan.
  2. Blend the sugar and shortening in the small bowl. Mix the molasses.
  3. Measure out a cup of boiling water in the 2-cup measuring cup and add the baking soda. Mix well.
  4. In the large bowl, sift together the flour and the spices. Add all other ingredients, mix well and pour into the greased pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife/cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Serve this warm or at room temperature.

Collins, Carolyn Strom., Christina Wyss. Eriksson, Deborah Maze, and Garth Williams. The World of Little House. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers, 1996. 131


1796 Honey Gingerbread — Savoring the Past

I have a bone to pick with Jas Townsend of Savoring the Past. I need my time back. Because I have become OBSESSED with his blog and YouTube channel!  My favorite portions of Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy were the food prep paragraphs. Probably explains my slow descent into the foodie label as an adult. Check out his 1796 Honey Gingerbread recipe. I’ll post Laura’s gingerbread recipe in a later post for us to compare the evolution of gingerbread. Take it away Jas!

This honey cake recipe is from Amelia Simmons’ 1796 cookbook, American Cookery. It is probably what we would think of as gingerbread today. 3 ½ cups Flour 1 tbsp. Ginger 1 tbsp. Cinnamon 3 tbsp. Diced Candied Orange Peel 1/3 cup White Sugar 1 Egg well beaten 2/3 cup Honey 1 ¼ cups Sour Milk […]

via 1796 Honey Gingerbread — Savoring the Past

Interview with Robynne Elizabeth Miller: author of “From the Mouth of Ma” — The Cottonwood Tree

I’m am blog crushing on The Cottonwood Tree and their articles on the people surrounding Laura in the Little House Series. Which got me to thinking. Why would I keep their writing to myself? I should be shouting it from the rafters! So, inspired, I’m creating a new segment. Share-days, on Sundays, I share articles from my favorite blogs that share my love for all things Laura. And who better to participate first in sharing but Ma!  Robynne Elizabeth Miller  sat down with The Cottonwood Tree for an interview to talk about her book From the Mouth of Ma. I loved  her approach to discovering Caroline Quiner Ingalls from the written page to the academic and separating out the TV show character from our understanding of Ma.

She has an upcoming book regarding the three people that composited Nellie Oleson which I’m eagerly waiting for! But for now snuggle into this cold December day and check out her interview below with The Cottonwood Tree

We welcome the opportunity to speak with Robynne Elizabeth Miller, who recently wrote a book entitled, From the Mouth of Ma that focuses on Caroline Quiner Ingalls who was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother. TCT: Thanks for joining us, Robynne. Your book is an interesting take on the Little House matriarch. Why did you decide to […]

via Interview with Robynne Elizabeth Miller: author of “From the Mouth of Ma” — The Cottonwood Tree

Pamela Hill Smith

Remember the free course Pamela Hill Smith was offering through Missouri State University? I finished my course in the fall and proudly displayed my certificate in my cubicle but JUST realized that I didn’t share it here. Sorry friends!

I am a huge fan of Pamela Hill Smith and seeing her organize these lectures and her insights only made me a bigger fan.   She started the lecture series with LIW’s biography and then gently eased the students into literary topics surrounding the Little House series such as  truth vs. fiction. Is there a difference between truth and a fact in writing historical events? What are the expectations we place on the series? From there she delves into each book individaully as well as touching on the publishing process and her relationship with her daughter Rose.  I’ve included a video above from the Chicago Humanities Festival to give you an example of her excellent lectures . Please enjoy!

This program was recorded on Nov 6, 2015 as part of the 26th annual Chicago Humanities Festival, Citizens:  Please check them out at and if you are traveling to Chicago look at their calendar for any possible events to attend! If you can’t get to Chicago check out their YouTube channel below:

Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2016 — Sarah’s Notebook

Once you begin dipping your toe into the Laura Ingalls Wilder blogs you will quickly come across Sarah Uthoff. And be glad you did! Check out Sarah’s Notebook through the Trundlebed Tales and become inspired to delve into a new topic surrounding Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m sharing her Christmas Shopping Guide as no person should be without a Laura item under their tree!

A roundup of holiday shopping ideas for your Laura Ingalls Wilder fan in 2016.

via Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2016 — Sarah’s Notebook

Free online course with Pamela Smith Hill


I just discovered over the weekend that Pamela Smith Hill is offering an online course with from June 6- Aug. 29th. While I’m a bit behind in finding out about the class because I’ve done all the required reading previously (the Little House series and Ms. Hill’s Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, I’ve been able to follow all the lectures with ease.

Check out the description below:

“Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novels have inspired generations of readers of all ages. Unlike most fiction for young readers published during the Great Depression, Wilder’s Little House books have never gone out of print. While they are uniquely American, they seem to cross cultural boundaries, and have been translated into dozens of languages, from German and French to Indonesian and Japanese.

Yet Wilder’s work is also at the center of controversy. Who actually wrote the Little House series? How did Wilder’s personal life influence the direction and content of her fiction? Are the books a reliable and sensitive representation of the pioneer experience in the American West?

This course is designed to explore these issues and more. It will expand your understanding of the literary themes, style, and historical underpinnings of Wilder’s Little House series. You’ll gain insight into complex issues at the heart of contemporary Wilder scholarship: the question of authorship; Wilder’s depiction of American Indians and the frontier; the ethical ambiguities underlying autobiographical fiction and memoir.”

Books covered include (Required Material):

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life, Pamela Smith Hill, South Dakota State Historical Society Press (097779556X)
  • Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0060581808)
  • Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0064400034)
  • Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0064400026)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0064400042)
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0064400050)
  • The Long Winter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0644000694)
  • Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0064400077)
  • These Happy Golden Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (0064400085)
  • The First Four Years, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Collins (006440031X)


Coming Soon….The Americanization of the Big Woods in Wisconsin



We all know my slight obsession with when it comes to research. The internet has allowed nonprofit libraries to flourish which are invaluable for blogs such as mine.  I’ve had this book on my backburner for a bit as I was studying for my Canadian citizenship test and I’m now finally ready to give this a go!

The timing could not have been more perfect as this fits seamlessly into the Canadian history I’ve been studying. As an American I was always taught colonial history and westward expansion from a single viewpoint. A viewpoint that did not exist for most colonists as what we deem a border was quite the fluid line. We know Pa’s father, Lansford Ingalls, was born in Lower Canada in British North America while Pa, Charles Ingalls, was later born in New York.  Lansford was born in Lower Canada, an area that was formally known as New France. A culture that would have been familiar to Lansford when he moved to Wisconsin as that territory didn’t start to see British roots take hold until the French and Indian War in 1754; prior to this Wisconsin populated with citizens, priests, explorers and traders of New France with indigenous Native populations.

I’m excited to read Wisconsin. The Americanization of a French Settlement and begin to discuss Wisconsin history in more depth as it pertains to the environment Laura grew up in a little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. I’ve included the link should you want to read along with me and comment with anything that you discovered!