Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Little House in the Big Woods

We're working our way through Laura Ingalls's first book, Little House in the Big Woods. I can't say I remember reading the book as a young girl, so I'm really enjoying this experience.

The book thoroughly describes life in the big woods and we have had so many great discussions about how different our lives would be if we were born in a different era.

making butter

The Butter Ball

In Laura's day, one day was set aside for making butter. Ma would churn the cream and make the butter. What a great activity for our family! So the kids and I bought some whipping cream (believe it or not we didn't milk it directly from the cow) and shook it and shook it until it thickened so much it "outgrew" the container we had it in. We then decided to speed up the process and put the thickened cream in the blender (that's how my mom did it). The thickened cream quickly began to form a ball of butter. We then removed the butter from the blender and squeezed out the extra buttermilk and had our own large ball of BEAUTIFUL butter. What great fun!

This week we also read about "hasty pudding." We made our own hasty pudding yesterday following lunch. We made two types. One type was made with corn meal. That's the type Laura had. The other type we made is one that I enjoyed with my Papa and Grandma in the evenings when I lived with them. My Papa said his mom used to make if for him when he was young.

Laura's hasty pudding was made by boiling water and slowly adding cornmeal until it thickened. We let it set covered until it cooled and then we added a little sweetner to it. For my Papa and Grandma's hasty pudding we heated milk on the stove and added flour until it had a thick pudding type consistency. I then spooned the pudding in bowls and we topped it with a little butter, sugar and cinnamon. We added a little more milk to it also.

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