When I was a kid, my parents bought me The Little House Cookbook, featuring recipes inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. As a child, I was a die-hard home cook and I came up with a plan: for the next 10 weeks I would cook a meal inspired by each of Laura’s 10 books, starting with Little House in the Big Woods. The challenge was short-lived. While I was successful in making some johnnycakes, my parents put their foot down on the recipe for Blackbird Pie after they learned it contained a pound each of lard and blackbirds. Where were we going to hunt down blackbirds in Las Vegas?
As an adult, my sister is really into the Little House series. She’s recently completed all of the books on audio and for over a year she’s been trying to get me to go with her on a Little House-themed road trip to South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Our husbands were both out-of-town last weekend for work, so she invited me to spend the weekend with her in Seattle. Should I have been suprised when she suggested we make some Little House-inspired recipes? She’d stumbled across this website with 15 recipes of foods Laura and her family might have ate, but updated for the modern kitchen. We decided to try to recipes for apple butter and chicken pot pie.
I suggested we make the recipes the way Laura might have prepared them, harvesting all of the ingredients from scratch and cooking them up without the use of electricity. In the end, laziness won.
We whipped up the apple butter in a food processor.
By the time the apple butter was on the stovetop cooking, we felt tired and contemplated ordering a pizza. But perseverance paid off in preparing the chicken pot pie recipe. We did a few of the recipe steps the old-school way — cutting the kernels off corn on the cob, rather than using a frozen blend as the recipe suggested, and using homemade chicken stock. Super.Hardcore.
The chicken pot pie recipe turned out great, except I butchered the crust topping a bit before setting it in the oven. It’s probably the best pot pie I’ve ever had.
Naturally, we served it with a side of pickled green tomatoes, like Laura might have done.
The apple butter tasted remarkably like apple sauce, but with a chunkier consistency. It was great atop a slice of homemade bread and on pancakes.
If you are dying to try out old-school recipes inspired from Little House you can still buy the retro cookbook here.