12.13.2008

Laura Ingalls Wilder

I picked up an old softcover version of Laura Ingalls Wilder's book "Farmer Boy" a few months ago at the thrift store. The book is divided into seasons, and I have been ripping out pages from the winter section to use as the underpinnings for many of my paintings. I loved these books as a child but can barely remember any of the details. I didn't reread this book before I started cutting from it, but now I am skipping around reading it one page at a time. The sentences are like gold and I have reawakened to her beautiful and simple writing all over again. I searched for images of her today and found this picture of her which I thought was beautiful. I also found a gingerbread recipe that I want to try, and this letter that she had written in which she tells of Almanzo dieing (Almanzo is the farmer boy and a prominent figure in the book I am "reading"). I was struck with a wave of sadness when I read it. Then I quickly realized that everyone in the story has passed on. Laura herself passed in 1957.

LAURA'S GINGERBREAD

1 cup brown sugar blended with
1/2 cup lard or other shortening.
1 cup molasses mixed well with this.
2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup boiling water
(Be sure cup is full of water after foam is run off into cake mixture).
Mix all well.

To 3 cups of flour have added one teaspoon each of the following spices:
ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Sift all into cake mixture and mix well.
Add lastly 2 well-beaten eggs.
The mixture should be quite thin.
Bake in a moderate oven for thirty minutes.
Raisins and, or, candied fruit may be added and a chocolate frosting adds to the goodness.

Well I am going to go back to spending the day with Lilikoi, listening to Pandora's holiday stations (So far my favorites are the Ella Fitzgerald holiday and Bare Naked Ladies holiday) and making snowflakes for our windows (in honor of the snow everyone else got!).

4 comments:

Adam said...

Do your snowflakes have six points?

Yesterday I taught my class to make six-pointed snowflakes.

It was supposed to snow here last night, but didn't. Maybe today. Next week we are supposed to have "the coldest weather since December 1990." Yow.

Edibeth said...

I LOVED those books as a kid too. I re-read some of them in my 20's when the kids were little... I just had this wave of nostalia then. I thought about the Little House on the Prairie book recently and wanted to re-read again. You and Lili would have a magical time together when you can read it to her!

Erin said...

Thanks for that little reminder of how great they are! I also re-read them while working in an Elem. school after College. I LoVED them! Almost more than when I was little.

bottomland said...

I can't WAIT to read these books to Clara. Laura Ingalls Wilder is not only on my short-list of heros, but she is probably the single biggest reason I'm living on a farm! I think of her often whenever I do farm "chores" (which isn't that often since we don't have animals yet...) ;)