If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.William Morris.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Gingerbread

 I am going to make another true confession here and that is I'm a Laura fan and have been since I was a young  teenager. My first introduction to her story was through the TV show but once I read the books that was it. I wanted from then on to live off of the earth. Now being that this was the early 70's and I did live in northern California it wasn't a big leap to take. To give you an idea of how much I loved Laura's story, my middle daughter is named after her
I grew up some in downtown Sacramento and then the suburbs of Sac., so I did all my learning and growing of  my own food in small spaces. Which, by the way,  has turned out to be a benefit. That was about all I could do besides raise a few chickens, until now.
So when it was Laura's turn to be the person of interest in our 30's group/club, I can say I have just been elated. Learning about her (more) is just pure heaven for me.
Last year "the man of the place" and I went to Mansfleid Mo. to her home. Laura and Almonzo lived for over 60 years there, and I was just ga-ga. Now this was the first time I had to gone to see any of her home sites and I hope to someday see them all. PATHETIC  I know, remember I have a daughter named Laura

While I was at her home, they have a museum there where I purchase this cookbook. So I figure as part of my Laura presentation  I would make one of her recipes for the group and this is the one I picked. It comes out of "The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook", and let me tell you while it's baking, it is most most yummy, homey smell. And taste better than it smell, if you can beleive that.
The cookbook is from a collection of recipes Laura had collected during the 30's and 40's from newspapers and magazine clippings and had taped them inside a notebook, like a scrapbook. The best thing about the cookbook is the collections of pictures of the inside their home. You are not allowed to take pictures inside, only outside the house. Just wonderful pictures and stories, along with the recipes.
This recipe has been published many times so I do not think I will get in trouble for sharing it with you, but I would suggest  if you or someone you know loves Laura too, this is a must get gift. Just go to the link I provided.

Now I made it just like the recipe, shortening and all. And I use a 11 x 7-inch pan instead because I broke my 9 x 9-inch glass pan.

1 cup brown sugar                             3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening                             1 teaspoon each ginger, cinnamon,
1 cup molasses                                      allspice, nutmeg, and ground
2 teaspoons baking soda                       cloves
1 cup boiling water, measured in a    1/2 teaspoon salt
   2 cup (or larger) measuring cup

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.

2. Blend the sugar and the shortening and mix in the molasses.

3. Add the baking soda to the boiling water and mix well.

4. Combine the flour and the spices and sift. Combine the sugar-molasses mixture with the flour mixture and the baking soda-water liquid. Add the well-beaten eggs. Mix ingredients well and pour into prepared pan.

5. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center of the gingerbread comes out clean.

It is delicious served with applesauce or with whipped cream.

 I've posted this through a link on the homestead barn hop.

Yill next time,


  1. Kat, The Ingalls site in DeSmet is well worth the trip. If you come on the right weekend during the summer they also have an open air production which starts at dusk-on the prairie, really lovely. close to the surveyors shack, the town house,the cemetary, and the store Mr. Ingalls ran, is the tree claim Laura and Almanzo lived on, where they had the fire. Not far away in Minnesota is Walnut Grove which has the soddy and their own celebration. Across the state on Lake Pepin is the site of the original Little House in the woods. You could take in a lot of Laura in a few days. The good thing out here is things haven't changed so much that you can't imagine it as it was. When I first moved to south Dakota, there were people living who had known members of the family. It does make the stories richer to see the landscapes. I enjoy your blog, thanks for writing.

  2. Aw Kat - what a wonderful post! I too loved the show when I was a little girl, and read some of the books! I live in MO - so I totally have to go visit :)!! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

  3. Kat, it is NOT pathetic that you love her books so much. Every time we have a really hot spell of weather, I get out "The Long Winter" and read it. (Helps cool me down.) I have her cookbook too. I made wild plum jelly using her recipe and it was amazing. (And I think I'll add visiting her homes to my list of things to do before I die.LOL )
    Thanks for sharing.


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