I totally remember that image of them kicking the bladder ball around. I really liked those books when I was a kid, too. I liked the description of their sod house in Little House on the Prairie. I really wished I could have lived back then and seen the prairie. Her description of it was like an amazing other world totally different from what I knew, and now it's gone. I was about the same age as the actress who played Laura on the show when the show came out so I just loved the show, too. I totally wished it was me living back then.
Little House in the Big Woods may have been primal, because, surprise suprise, they lived in the woods in Wisconsin. The rest of the series is wheat-based. The minute Laura moved to some clear land in Kansas (and later Iowa, and Minnesota, and South Dakota, and finally Missouri), they plowed up the prairie for wheat because wheat was a major cash crop, and of course they wanted their own cakes and cookies. In housekeeping lore, an entire day (Saturday) was devoted to baking. During the Long Winter, bread was ALL they ate, including some seed wheat from Almanzo Wilder. At least all the veggies were organic and the meat was grass fed.[/QUOTE]
And it wasn't modern Frankenwheat :)
I don't recall them eating a lot of fruit except what grew wild and was in season. Preserved peaches were a decadent dessert (1/2 a peach each!)
I loved those books when I was a little girl. Their candy treats sounded so wonderful. I remember being excited about them making things like maple syrup (I think they did?) because I got to see my grandpa make it too. The building of the sod house was awesome, would be so cool to make one of my own on my grand mother's 50 acre wooded lot in Maine.
[QUOTE=gopintos;939439]We have alot of Little Prairie-ish lifestyle type communities around, and the men stay trim and fit, they plow with horses, etc. ...The man that built my cabinets...[/QUOTE]
Sounds Amish? A long time ago an editor for Men's Health followed an Amish man around in order to find the "Amish secret to fitness." Simple answer: they walked everywhere. This is one of the main reasons that people still stick with CW -- because it [i]does[/i] keep your weight down if you're a chronic cardio. You stay fit because you use up all those carb grams (i.e. blood sugar) just doing farm work, to heck with the inflammation. It only catches up when you get old and less active. I wonder if the Amish plant Frankenwheat now?
When I think about the growth in obesity, I only look back to post-WWII. That's right about when abundant food and sedentary lifestyles started.
And yup, they made maple syrup and molasses candy. I once tried the molasses-on-snow candy, and it worked fine, but you need a lot of snow.
[QUOTE=sbhikes;939588]I totally remember that image of them kicking the bladder ball around. I really liked those books when I was a kid, too. I liked the description of their sod house in Little House on the Prairie. I really wished I could have lived back then and seen the prairie. Her description of it was like an amazing other world totally different from what I knew, and now it's gone. I was about the same age as the actress who played Laura on the show when the show came out so I just loved the show, too. I totally wished it was me living back then.[/QUOTE]
This was so me when I was younger! I grew up in a small town in Oregon, and we had a huge yard with a garden, lots of trees, an old shed, fields with horses and a little butcher shop down the road. I would always play pretend that I was Laura :)
And to Oxide--I'm so jealous you had the molasses-snow candy! I always wanted that when I read the books. And I agree, Little House in the Big Woods is more primal than the others in the series. It's actually the only one I own, I always liked the others but never thought they were as good...On the Banks of Plum Creek was good though, I remember a lot with milking cows in that one.
Ah, to be sentimental for the olden days! Haha I want to try and live that way as much as possible--my bf and I are looking for a place where we can keep chickens, so that's a start at least!
Clymb.. I bet you can try the molasses-on-snow trick if you use shaved ice instead of snow.
For those interested, [i]The Little House Cookbook[/i] (Barbara M. Walker, hey look it's on Amazon) adapted ALL of the recipes in the Little House series for modern cooking, with lots of frontier food history in between. Excellent book. Here's a quick version of molasses-on-snow:
1 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
Prepare the pans of snow (or shaved ice). Keet them cold. Combine molasses and brown sugar in a large saucepan so the candy has room to boil up. Boil for 5 minutes or longer, until the candy reaches firm-ball stage (245°F). Rapidly pour the candy into squiggles over the snow and let cool.
just stumbled on this...I read somewhere (will try to find tomorrow...headed to bed soon) that Laura and one or two of the sisters died of diabetes.
here it is....was reading this a few weeks ago
[url=http://tesspaleojourney.blogspot.com/2012/06/off-beaten-track-but-interesting.html]tess's paleo journey: off-the-beaten-track, but interesting....[/url]
[URL="http://www.amazon.com/The-American-Womans-Cook-Book/dp/B000EHW6DS"]The American Woman's Cookbook[/URL] Not the same era but still has a lot of recipes and information. This post immediately made me think of this. It's the cookbook my mother used to learn to cook. She had two copies, one quite tattered that she gave to me. I need to pick up a copy in better condition. The original was published in 1939, and while it has plenty of baking it also has sections on how to render fats, which fats are best for what, how to prepare offal, head cheese and scrapple, larded grouse.
Just checking out the preview of the cook book on Amazon, I saw a snippet about how a "johnny-cake" is actually a misunderstood version of "journey cake", heard spoken by New Englanders. It made me chuckle.