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Thread: Anyone remember how primal the "Little House" series is?? page

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    Clymb's Avatar
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    Anyone remember how primal the "Little House" series is??

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    So I was feeling sentimental and picked up my copy of my favorite childhood book--Little House in the Big Woods. I knew it had lots of info about traditional living (that's part of why I always loved it), but I hadn't looked at it again since I became primal. Anyways, just within the first 20 pages is a goldmine of awesome primal stuff! For instance:

    Talking of butchering a deer, salting all the cuts of meat to keep throughout the winter. They also had a hollowed-out tree in the yard, which they hung the salted meat in. Then they lit a smoldering fire with hickory chips in the log to smoke the meat for days.

    They butcher their own pig, and the book talks about how they use every part of it:
    "There were hams and shoulders, side-meat and spare ribs and belly.There was the heart and the liver and the tongue, and the head to be made into headcheese, and the dish-pan full of bits to be made into sausage."
    The girls also play with the hog's bladder--their father blows it up into a balloon and ties it off, and they kick it around like a ball. There are also good details on making lard:
    "Laura and Mary carried wood and watched the fire. It must be hot, but not too hot, or the lard would burn. The big pots simmered and boiled, but they must not smoke. From time to time Ma skimmed out the brown cracklings. She put them in a cloth and squeezed out every bit of lard, and then she put the cracklings away. She would use them to flavor johnny-cake later."

    So anyways, I just thought it was really interesting, the amount of detail given. There is plenty more, about things like churning butter and the specifics of making headcheese and salting fish. Kinda cool, the info about keeping food without refrigeration. Almost makes me wanna sell my fridge or something

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    Is this the same one that became the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" and they had a family friend called Mr Edwards?
    I was going to say it's close, but I would put it more in the Weston A Price territory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omni View Post
    Is this the same one that became the TV series "Little House on the Prairie" and they had a family friend called Mr Edwards?
    I was going to say it's close, but I would put it more in the Weston A Price territory.
    Yeah the TV series is based on the books, though I always found the TV series a bit stupid, really. And I suppose technically it's more in line with WAPF, but I consider that pretty close to primal anyways.

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    Laura was ok,
    Early series were probably closer to the books, got over it in the later series, less primal, not enough (token) Indians.

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    I've reread this series recently, since I have a young daughter. With the exception of growing and milling grains, they had a very "ancestral" way of eating a little over 100 years ago. There were times when wheat was scarce, so they'd butcher a cow. There were times when meat was scarce, so they at greens and eggs and dairy and no meat. They ate what they could source, grew or hunted almost everything they ate (including wheat) and wasted nothing. They were often hungry. The small amount of white sugar in the house was for when company came, or to make a wedding cake. They also did not snack. They worked hard, walked everywhere, slept alot, played often.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    I've reread this series recently, since I have a young daughter. With the exception of growing and milling grains, they had a very "ancestral" way of eating a little over 100 years ago. There were times when wheat was scarce, so they'd butcher a cow. There were times when meat was scarce, so they at greens and eggs and dairy and no meat. They ate what they could source, grew or hunted almost everything they ate (including wheat) and wasted nothing. They were often hungry. The small amount of white sugar in the house was for when company came, or to make a wedding cake. They also did not snack. They worked hard, walked everywhere, slept alot, played often.

    Exactly. Sometimes I wish I had that much work to do...

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    i read all those books when i was a kid & I really loved them! watched the tv show too but even as a kid i knew the books were better.

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    Mr. Edwards was a character in Little House on the Prairie, the second book in the series. Edwards was a bachelor hunter/trapper who traded work with the Ingalls' in Kansas. The TV series was very different from the books, and the books were not entirely true either. For example, Nellie Olson was not a real person. She was a combination of three different girls.

    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.
    5'0" female, 43 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Current weight: skinny-fat 106.5 lbs because of sugar cheating.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I aim for 80-90 g carb/day and advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide View Post
    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.
    We have alot of Little Prairie-ish lifestyle type communities around, and the men stay trim and fit, they plow with horses, etc. I didn't see any overweight children. The women do LOTS of baking. They stay lean until they hit a certain age. I am not sure what age that is because they work hard and they look older than they actually are. The man that built my cabinets, I thought he was well over 60 but he was just mid-40. And I might be stereotyping also. This is just from my observation. But anyways, most of the more mature women fill out.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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    I lived with limited refrigeration till pretty much adult age, in the atmosphere of continuous shortages of fruit and vegetables, and it sucks compared to the alternative. I much prefer having my home-grown berries frozen than made into jams & jellies; my vegetables fresh than pickled and marinated; and my meats cooked rather than salted. And I prefer to eat more than potatoes, pickled cabbage, beets and carrots throughout the winter for veggies, even if I do like pickled cabbage, carrots and beets. Lately I lost my taste for potatoes.

    I still salt my own fish and from time to time make holodetz. That's tasty.
    Last edited by Leida; 08-28-2012 at 06:14 AM.
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