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The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories Paperback – September 7, 1989

4.6 out of 5 stars 236 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Over 100 authentic recipes of pioneer food from the pages of Laura Ingalls Wilder's series are included in this book. All ages.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"More than a cookbook, this social history is an extension of the Wilder books done with the same spirit of care and love."---"School Library Journal"A Culinary and literacy Feast."---"The Horn Book
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 3 edition (September 7, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064460908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064460903
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly VINE VOICE on January 10, 2003
Verified Purchase
I've been a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan for practically my whole life and am now delighted to be reading the whole series aloud to my young daughter who loves the books as much as I. My friend told me about this cookbook and we purchased it - it is WONDERFUL!
I read the whole thing cover to cover - it is just fascinating. The author writes in a very readable, extremely interesting style. I love having all the recipes for the meals mentioned throughout the Little House books and I *love* reading the history included in this cookbook. It adds such depth and perspective to our readings of the LIW books. [This book is as much a history text as it is a cookbook - and it does great justice to both genres!]
My daughter and I have made several of the recipes from the book so far and they have all been delicious, if not exactly health conscious. :) I haven't been able to bring myself to buy Lard, but we have delighted in making some of the same foods Laura ate. My daughter is learning a HUGE amount about history through these experiences.
Buying this book is the best money I've spent in years!
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You can dip randomly into this book, and any page you land on will take you back to a simpler time. It is far from just a cookbook, it's about a way of life that was a hard existence, but one that many of us dream of. Whether you are already a "Little House" fan, or are new to the series, this book can be enjoyed by all "wanna-be 1800's pioneer women." Every time I start spending time with this book my family gets bombarded with home-made, "stick to your ribs" meals. Fast food becomes a nasty word during these times, and my home cooking reigns supreme! Be warned ~ you will always be hungry after reading this book! It is full of excerpts from different "Little House" books, and Laura Ingalls Wilder had a way of describing food that could make the best of us break down and drool! This book has become a dear keepsake to me. Cooking along with the recipes warms my kitchen, but most of all, this book warms my soul!
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This is not just a cookbook, it's an interactive history book, and an in-depth analysis of Laura Wilder's Little House books. Here we see the abundant, lush supply of high-quality food available on the dairy farm where Almanzo grew up contrasted with the catch-as-catch-can meals Laura's mother was forced to cobble together (starling pie, anyone?). We are reminded of the heroism of two teenagers - Almanzo and his brother - that saved dozens of families from starvation, and see clearly in her loving detail of food, how much Laura valued having enough of it.
I grew up in a rural area in the 1960's. How we prepared food then was often not far off from how it was done in the Little House cookbook, believe it or not. So I've used the recipes - like that for mincemeat pie - to inform my own cooking.
The soft pencil illustrations by Garth Williams - reproduced from the Little House books - are radiant and exquisitely simple. Their little details point out Williams' depth of research for source material for these pictures.
The Little House Cookbook was an inspiration to read the Little House books again, through adult eyes this time. Prepare to be surprised and amazed when you read them again.
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I loved reading this book after reading all Ingalls-Wilder's books this summer. The history behind each recipe and the obvious attention to detail make this an excellent book for any Little House fan. I've made about 8 recipes so far with great results.

I was really looking forward to "Fried Apples and Onions" from Farmer Boy and was expecting something different than what the final outcome was (more of a steamed dish than a fried one). The Light Bread and Light Biscuits were raved about as well as Bird's Nest Pudding (a new favorite for us). The fried salt pork with gravy was an unexpected triumph, even if too salty. The corn dodgers were okay, something my family is not accustomed to. The Rye 'n' Injun bread was very different than anything we've ever had-surprisingly sweet and the rye flavor packs a punch. The doughnuts were excellent-something I'll probably be expected to repeat soon. Really looking forward to trying the molasses on snow candy-just waiting for the snow!

I was looking forward to trying my hand at cheese making but found that the instructions were incomplete. Three entire paragraphs for this recipe ended without finishing sentences-maybe an issue I should bring up with the publisher. Otherwise, this review would be a solid 5 stars. (Update on the Hard Cheese recipe that was incomplete-I have gone back and forth with the publisher on this and it comes down to the fact that the 3rd edition of this cookbook-whether hardback or paperback-was edited poorly. They have sent me 2 'replacements', and both had the same problem as the book I received as a gift. They were very nice about it and told me to donate the books to the local library, but I'm still missing a complete recipe. Very disappointing!
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Oftentimes, off-shoot books like these are dismal failures as others attempt to capitalize upon the popularity of successful publications. The Little House Cookbook is most definitely an exception; the author obviously put a lot of thought, effort and research into creating this book, which provides detailed background and historical information in addition to recreations of foods from the Little House Series. My mom first gave me this book when I was a little girl and I still pull it of the shelf 15 years later to read.
Chapters cover a wide variety of categories, from staples from the country store, to foods from the wild, to foods from the barnyard and sweets. Learn how to make cheese (from the Big Woods), butter, sourdough bread, cracklings, blackbird pie and vinegar pie. I honestly don't think any foods from the LH series have been left out. The author almost always includes a passage from the series for each recipe. Illustrations from the original series are also included. Highly, highly recommended, particularly if you're interested in foods from the frontier area or are just an avid LH fan.
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