Friday, March 12, 2010

"It's a good one..."

Our daughters both loved Little House on the Prairie, never tiring of re-runs of re-runs. When oldest daughter Stephanie was pregnant with first son Jackson, I’d call her mornings around 9AM. She’d answer the phone sniffling and obviously crying. I’d ask her, “Are you ok, is everything alright???” She’d answer,
“Yes, I’m watching Little House, it’s a good one”… then she would proceed to tell me every single detail about the episode! Little House on the Prairie had that effect on a lot of us. We craved it. We memorized it. We fantasized about living back then when a trip into Walnut Grove was a much anticipated event and the farm provided most of the things you needed to survive. It was a simpler, harder life than most of us can even begin to imagine, but somehow we desire that kind of life.

For my ancestors farming in Arkansas, it was their life; building their own houses, butchering their pigs in the fall, hard work and long days in the fields to provide food for survival. I’ve inherited so much from my own Grandparents who farmed the land that has been in their family since 1860, but how I wish I had recipes from Great Grandmothers. Treasured glimpses into the lives they lived back then.

Daughter Stephanie knows that I love cookbooks so when she came across
The Little House Cookbook at a book sale, she grabbed it for a Christmas present for me! It’s stuffed with recipes and tales of pioneer cooking like candy made from drizzling hot maple syrup onto snow, johnnycakes cooked over the open fire, and Little House doughnuts.
Here’s the recipe from The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker (Harper Collins, 1989)
The only thing I would change is Smart Balance oil to fry the doughnuts.

For 2 dozen doughnuts you will need:
2 pounds lard
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2¼ cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
a shaker full of powdered sugar
quart kettle
quart bowl
rolling pin
candy thermometer
Melt the lard in kettle over low heat. Beat egg, baking soda, and salt into the sour cream in the bowl. Beat in 1 cup of flour until well mixed. Continue to work in flour, ¼ cup at a time, until you have a dough that can be rolled. Roll the dough in a strip about 4 by 16 by ¼ inches. With a floured knife cut into inch strips about five eighth inch wide.
Heat the lard to 375 degrees F. Twist a strip like a corkscrew (it will stretch as you do); bring ends together and pinch them. Drop twisted dough in hot fat. In 2 minutes the dough should be brown on both sides, crisp and cooked through. If browning takes more than 3 minutes, the fat is not hot enough; if browning takes less time, the fat is too hot.
Remove cooked doughnut to brown paper to drain and coat it with powdered sugar. Continue twisting and cooking the remaining dough strips. Serve the doughnuts immediately.
*I think a little roll in some cinnamon sugar would be very good on these!
Printable Recipe


  1. Looks good. Can you even get lard anymore? My mother always used Snowdrift shortening for frying. I don't think I've seen it in years.

  2. L♥VE little house oldest finished the series last summer...thanks for the yummy wishing to you and your this weekend...enjoy! brightest blessings~

  3. I just finished reading Grapes of Wrath...whoa...what a book...what an ordeal...I loved Little House on the Prairie (who didn't) but I think they might have made it look a little easier than it really was..but then again you would always have Michael Landon to look forward to..

  4. We all love that show too and mu one daughter still does watch it! Love the donuts, thanks...YUMMY! Come say hi :D

  5. I loved Little House to...I read the book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder,I just couldn't put them down,after reading them it kept me longing for more...thanks for sharing...and some of the stores here where I live still sell lard...

  6. The doughnuts look divine!

    You asked about the Carole Little dishes. They are stoneware, and I found them on a final clearance aisle at Home Goods at least five years ago!


  7. I just love Little House on the Prarie too. I used to love those TV shows, they were amazing. I just wish that they had that type of programming for children and families today. Thanks so very much for sharing your beautiful post. I am going to try your recipe. It looks fabulous. Hope you have a great weekend. Lia

  8. We love little house on the prairie! I love that my girls can watch it now on TV, too! I had no idea there was a cookbook! This sounds like a delicious recipe!
    Wendy :)

  9. Joy, I had no idea there was a cookbook ... that would be great to have.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day ~
    Have a lovely weekend.
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  10. What? Little House On The Prairie! My goodness, that's my favourite! I can't remember in which year I started watching it. And I can still remember the 2nd daughter of that farmer later became a teacher! Was that right? Oh, there was a cookbook too!!! Thanks for sharing & have a good weekend!


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