Laura Ingalls Wilder always brings to my mind the words of Bilbo Baggins, “… it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.” To say our family is keen on the classic writings of Wilder would be a gross understatement. Right now we’re almost half way through On the Banks of Plum Creek and our rascal of boys can’t get enough of the Ingalls family’s adventures. They are especially excited about the audiobook versions, narrated by the incomparable Cherry Jones, coming out today from Audible.
In honor of Wilder’s birthday, we’re having a simple pioneer supper of lemonade, fried ham, applesauce from the blender, and cornbread. If you’re not into scratch cooking or in a pinch, just go grab a .50 cent box of Jiffy cornbread mix – I won’t tell. 😉 Just be sure to add an extra egg.
I’ll even let you in on my Gran-Gran’s secret method for scrumptious cornbread…
cast iron and bacon grease
If you’re using a larger 8-10″ cast iron skillet, put a rounded teaspoon of bacon grease in the bottom of the skillet and place it in the oven as it preheats. It is likely a doubled up recipe for most. The grease is what will make that crispy, flavorful crust. Mix your batter during this time. When the oven finally preheats, remove the skillet and coat the now liquid grease all around the pan, including the sides. Pour out any excess, but save it to be used again. Then, add your batter to the skillet and bake. You won’t even need a whole meal to enjoy cornbread like this, just a little bit of butter or a mug of frosty milk.
Now on to the music…
For our family’s free listening time and dancing party today, I’ve pulled together some old-timey and fiddle music reminiscent of Charles “Pa” Ingalls’ serenades in the Little House Books. I hope your family enjoys them as well.
Does your family have any plans for Laura’s birthday? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!