Wilder Travels, Part 4

What do you want to do today, kids?

"Make butter!"  The description of butter-making in Little House in the Big Woods still stands tall in Big Sis's memory.

You know we don't have an actual butter churn, right?

(This spring, the girls got to try a real, old-time butter churn.  This was a very exciting thing.)

"We know, Mom.  But we can use a baby food jar, like we did at school."

When I was in grade school, I think we did the shake-some-cream-in-a-baby-food-jar method of butter making every year for Kansas Day.  (January 29th!)  It's nice to know some traditions continue.

We no longer have baby food jars lying around the house, but we have mason jars aplenty.  Let's make butter!  Some whipping cream, a pinch of salt...

Start shaking, baby!

"Come here, sweet pea.  Let Daddy do it.  Mommy put too much cream in the jar."

Um, fine.

 Okay, sweetie, how is it?


"It tastes like whipped cream!  Only it isn't sweet."

It isn't supposed to be sweet.


"I kno-o-w."

"Mom, can we make some bread for our butter?"

Sure, we haven't done that in a while.  Oh.  We're out of yeast.

I found this little book on the cookbook shelf.  Big Sis begged for it at one of our trips to the historical museum.

Pioneer Recipes (from the "Historic Communities" series) by Bobbie Kalman and Linda Hale, illustrated by Barbara Bedell.  Crabtree Publishing Co., 2000.

Hmmm...  there's a different version of Irish soda bread in this book.  It isn't like mine, but I have all the ingredients.  We can try making that.


Cream of tartar?  Butter?  This isn't my usual soda bread recipe.  (I love making bread.)  I wonder what they would have to say about it here...

Let's try it anyway.

Our pizza peel makes a nice bread board.

A pizza pan makes a nice cookie sheet.  (It's what the kiddo brought me when she went to get the cookie sheet.  It seemed fitting.)

"Mommy, may I eat the dough?"

It's eggless.  Sure.

Out of the oven!

By the way, Laura Ingalls Wilder hated breadmaking.  She hated it so much that she had Almanzo put in special windows above her counter, eye-level, so she could look out the window at her beautiful Ozarks, while she kneaded and kneaded, every morning.

I need to buy some yeast.  I think I like soda bread, but only in the winter.

Related posts:  Wilder Travels, Part One, Wilder Travels, Part Two, Wilder Travels, Part 3

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  1. What a fantastic read this was! And those pictures of your girls stirring and adding ingredients are adorable! That looks like it all took a lot of time :) What a great mama! And I LOVED the progression of events as they unfolded! fantastic!

    I don't have any yeast either and I don't even really know how to make bread... I'm lame.

    1. Thanks, Robyn. :o) It only took about half an hour to make, another 30 to bake. Soda bread is pretty fast. (And if you have a stand mixer with a bread hook, it takes very little time at all.) I started making yeast breads because of my mixer. You don't have to knead by hand, and if you follow the recipes well, it isn't that hard. I prefer to bake when it's cold, though, and we had a terribly mild winter this year. I hadn't made bread in a very long while. (I don't really need the extra carbs, either.)

  2. SO ADORABLE!!! Oh my gosh this is cuter than cute. I want some of that bread!

    All of this has convinced me that I need to go back and read the entire 'Little House' series again on my own....gotta wait a bit for J to be ready...:0

    1. Try the picture books or chapter books! The stories and most of the text are taken from the first four Little House books (Big Woods, Prairie, Farmer Boys, and Plum Creek), but simplified. The four-year-old loves them, although she's finally listening to me read longer books now.

      The bread was okay. I like soda bread when I have a hot bowl of potato soup to go with it. I only like hot potato soup when it's really, really cold out. I'm picky. ;o)

  3. What a great idea!! This looks like so much fun :) I've been to the Little House on the Prairie site about 3 times now....I love it. It feels so authentic. I look forward to reading through these travels!

    1. I think the Little House on the Prairie site is lovely and simple. Someday I'd love to explore the sites further north, especially DeSmet.


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