But in the Steele house, it's all about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now we've talked about Laura and her books here on Yankee Belle. Jan reminded us there are still devastating Long Winters in her October Blizzard Macgyver That Sauce post . I followed up with a discussion on all the food featured in Little House books in Book Food: The Little House Connection .
|My two favorite Little House books: The Long Winter and These Happy Golden Years.|
YES, we do!!!!!! And yes, I'm jumping up and down because Laura Ingalls Wilder is a blockbuster hit yet again, thanks to the South Dakota Historical Society's runaway best-seller, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Biography, edited by Pamela Smith Hill. A book fans have anticipated for years is finally out.
|The book is coffee table sized: 9 inches by 11 and 1.5 inches thick.|
But there's a problem. The buzz has exploded for a book with an original printing of only 15,000 copies, 4000 already earmarked. I despaired. Then second printing of 15,000 and the book I ordered in August showed up last week. The buzz is humming like an upset hive of bees (yep, a little boy tangles with one of the Little House books). The third March printing of 45,000 copies and a fourth printing is on the horizon. Folks are in a frenzy waiting for their book to show up.
A once in a life time book and we are either waiting for or celebrating its arrival. Ack!
How to celebrate now that it's here? and for my friends who are waiting, How to survive until the book arrives? You can go back and read the original series but the best survival manual for those who cook is the Little House Cookbook. Not only does it has a lot of beloved snippets from the Little House book series, but it is the perfect cookbook for those who need to feed their families food that is as fresh and natural as possible. Remember, this was plain food in the days before icky chemical preservatives and food additives no one can pronounce.
|Such a fun book even if you don't like to cook.|
I picked up some bison, thanks to a coupon. I figured since Little House on the Prairie talks about Pa living on the land belonging to Osage Indians and Pioneer Girl details the reality of the situation, it would be a nod to the real life and times of both the Ingalls and the Native Americans who added drama to Laura's books.
|Why yes, we have bison in North Carolina.|
Since bison is very lean, I added a third of a pound of ground pork (a nod to the pig butchering in Little House in the Big Woods) to the pound of bison, one egg to bind the meatballs and keep them gluten-free. I also didn't add seasoning to keep them "neutral" so I could freeze some and pop them into spaghetti sauce and such.
I formed the balls and baked them at 400 degrees in a pan lined with foil to keep mess to a minimum and cooked until brown, about 12-15 minutes.
After putting them in the fridge overnight to cool down, I went off to read more Pioneer Girl and my cookbook to see what sauce Laura might whip up.
Lots of meatball sauces contain ketchup and mustard. Pioneers ate tomatoes but most likely they were cooked. So I was good there. Same with spices like mustard. I added maple syrup, imagining they may have carried a jug as they left the Big Woods.
I used equal amounts of all three but no more ingredients. The real Ingalls were far more strapped financially than the fictional books let on, even though we readers knew they had their struggles. I heated the combined ingredients, stirring until blended.
After reheating the meatballs, I poured the warm sauce over the hot meatballs, stirring until coated. Voila.
|Oops, someone has been snitching the meatballs.|
So are you waiting to get Pioneer Girl in your hands? Are you surprised by Pioneer Girl's place on the top of the best seller lists? Have you eaten bison meat or tried other pioneer themed foods? Let's talk.