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Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Little House Holiday Breakfast

My son is now on Christmas vacation. I love our lazy mornings together.

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Earlier this week we worked together to create a hearty breakfast inspired by those enjoyed by the Ingalls and Wilder families in the various “Little House” books .

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For our “Little House” inspired breakfast we enjoyed pancake men, sausage, poached eggs, milk and tea.

All recipes came from The Little House Cookbook written by Barbara M. Walker.

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Pancake Men

"For breakfast there were pancakes, and Ma made a pancake man for each one of the children. Ma called each one in turn to bring her plate, and each could stand by the stove and watch, while with the spoonful of batter Ma put on the arms and the legs and the head. It was exciting to watch her turn the whole little man over, quickly and carefully, on a hot griddle." ~ Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pancake Men from The Little House Cookbook pages 92~93

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg, well beaten

Maple syrup and butter

*While the cookbook suggests using 1/4 pound chunk of salt pork to grease the pan to cook the pancakes I opted to use organic butter.

1. Place the baking soda in a cup along with 1/4 cup boiling water and set aside to dissolve and cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the two flours and salt.

3. Add buttermilk and eggs and beat well.

4. Stir in cooled baking soda solution into the batter with a few quick strokes.

5. Heat 1 Tbsp. of butter in the griddle or pan.

6. Add batter to pan. I used a squeeze bottle from the dollar store (normally used to hold ketchup or mustard) as it was easier to create the shapes of the “men”.

7. Flip with a spatula when bubbles form and burst in the batter. 

8. Remove when cooked on both sides, slather on more butter, add maple syrup, and enjoy!

I found that using a squeeze bottle filled with the batter aided tremendously in creating the pancake men err elves.

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As well as simple snowmen. Blueberries made for perfect buttons and eyes.

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Homemade Sausage

“The little pieces of meat, lean and fat, that had been cut off the large pieces, Ma chopped and chopped until it was all chopped fine. She seasoned it with salt and pepper and with dried sage leaves from the garden. Then with her hands she tossed and turned it until it was well mixed, and she molded it into balls. She put the balls in a pan out in the shed, where they would freeze and be good to eat all winter. That was the sausage.”  ~ Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sausage from The Little House Cookbook pages 149 ~ 150

Makes 6 servings.

Pork, 2 pounds lean and 1 pound fat
Salt, 1 tablespoon
Pepper, 1 teaspoon
Dried sage, 1 tablespoon crumbled

1. Separate the lean and fat pork, using boning knife; cut both into 1-inch cubes. (Use bones for soup stock.) Keeping in mind the old slogan “blade sharp; meat cool,” sharpen your chopper and start to mince the cubes a few at a time. Put chopped fat in smaller bowl and chopped lean in larger one. Keep the bowl you’re not working on and unchopped cubes covered in refrigerator.

2. In the large bowl combine choppings, adding one part fat for every two parts of lean. Add seasoning. With hands that have been washed with unscented soap, blend the sausage and shape it in individual patties to freeze or to fry immediately.

3. To serve for breakfast, thaw frozen sausage in refrigerator overnight. Do not attempt to thaw or to cook by parboiling or you will have hard, flavorless cakes.

4. Brown sausage cakes in skillet for 4 to 6 minutes over medium-high heat. Turn and brown the other side. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook the cakes through for 15 to 20 minutes more. Pork should always be well cooked. Remove cakes to a warm platter.

5. For gravy, beat 2 tablespoons flour into 1 cup milk. Pour into the skillet over low heat and stir until it is thick and bubbly and the pan is scraped clean. Taste and correct seasoning.

*The process to create homemade sausage is quite time consuming. Given the busyness of the season I opted to purchase some homemade sage sausage from our local butcher.

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Poached Fresh Eggs

“It was a happy family, all together again, as they ate of the browned hashed potatoes, poached fresh eggs and delicious biscuit with Ma’s good butter.” ~ These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The recipe for Poached Fresh Eggs can be found on pages 156 ~ 157 from The Little House Cookbook.

Tall glasses of cold milk and mugs of hot tea

“Pa and Ma drank their fragrant tea, but Mary drank milk with the other girls. It’s a treat, she said. We don’t have such good milk at college.” ~ These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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About the artwork featured in this post.

All of the drawings shown in this post were done by the fabulous Garth Williams and are copyrighted. You may use copyrighted images, quotes, recipes and such for your own enjoyment but they must not be sold for profit. In instances such as featuring them in a post all work must be attributed to the creator, which I have carefully done.

Legalities aside, here is a fun fact: Laura Ingalls Wilder actually preferred the simpler drawings done by Helen Sewel for the first editions of the “Little House” books.

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My great ~ great grandfather, Lansford “James” Ingalls, brother of Charles, was named for his Uncle James that is mentioned in the story “Sundays”.

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I hope you have enjoyed this “Little House” Holiday Breakfast post.

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Stay snug!


Please enjoy all of the other posts in the “Little House” series.


Little House ~ Laura’s Patchwork Napkins


Little House ~ DIY Throw Pillows


Little House ~ Christmas Tree and Decor

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Laura’s Log Cabin Tablecloth DIY

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Laura’s Gingerbread Log Cabin

Gingerbread Log Cabin 107

Laura’s Red Mitten Garland

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Little House Christmas Dinner

The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, ill. by Garth Williams:

A Little Gift For You


Becoming Laura Costume Challenge

Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder 246

Little House Pillowcases

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The Homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder



GSGreatEscaper said...

The Garth Williams illustrations are those I remember, but the Sewel drawings do have their own charm. They are similar in style to those of Lois Lenski, who illustrated many books of the same period, including the first books of the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. Laura, if you haven't read the Betsy-Tacy, books, you should! They are also based on the author's childhood and take place in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area about 30 years later - but what a difference in landscape, life and customs!

Simply LKJ said...

What a fun way to spend a morning. Love seeing all the illustrations too.

Mildred said...

Hi Laura, I was fortunate enough to obtain one of these cookbooks from a local "Little Free Library!" I love it! Your breakfast looks delicious and how fun it must have been to create. Wishing you guys a Merry Christmas. Mildred

Daniela said...

Dearest Laura
thanks most sincerely for another so inspiring post, this series is simply stunning !

Wishing you all my best for your coming days,
may your Christmas be the Merriest and the Brightest ever


Xx Dany

Jeanie said...

I love those sweet pancakes! It all looks delicious!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Laura, what fun you've created for beautiful mornings with your son out of school now for Christmas. Love the pancake men and snowman. Making Memories like this are so special.
Wishing you and your dear family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year. xo