Little House On The Prairie was one of my favorite childhood tv shows. I loved all the characters, the adventures, dramas and moral lessons in every episode. Later, I would enjoy the books.
When they began playing re-runs, I shared them with my own children. Later in life and then a grandmother, I had a horrible accident that left me house bound for many months. I happened upon a channel running the series and again I spent my days watching them and The Waltons.
It stuck me with sadness, the rarity of it’s wholesomeness, bereft of adult humor and innuendo and I wished to return to those gentler times. I wished to share them with my grandkids.
I first saw Laura’s home while traveling, passing through Missouri, but it was late at night. I pulled up to it nonetheless, delighted to spy it even in the dark. The next time would be with absolute purpose, to visit the home of not only the character but author of the stories I so loved and who shared her childhood with us all, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Via the website: laura ingalls wilder home
As visitors make their trek to the historic Rocky Ridge Farm, the first sight they’ll see is Laura’s and Almanzo’s beloved farmhouse. It remains as it was in 1957 and stands as an official project of the Save America’s Treasures National Trust for Historical Preservation.
As the story goes, Laura, Almanzo and Rose moved to Mansfield, Missouri in 1894. They had saved $100 to buy land just outside of town. The two worked side-by-side for nearly twenty years in seeing the rocky land transform into a sprawling 200 acres of farmland, which included an apple orchard and space for Almanzo’s Morgan horses. During this time, they lived in the town of Mansfield while Alamanzo commuted to and from the farm. Eventually the family moved into a one room log cabin on the farm until 1913, when the farmhouse was finally complete.
The home was always a central theme to Laura’s life. The farmhouse held a very special place in both Laura’s and Almanzo’s hearts as they chose to live the last of their days here. It is only fitting that the Little House books were written by hand on tablets of paper at both homes on Rocky Ridge Farm. Visitors can tour the home and see her study and writing desk, as well as the many treasures that remain exactly how Laura left them
Laura & Almanzo
Laura Ingalls Wilder Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup unsweetened grated or flaked coconut (fresh or dried)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp orange extract or grated orange zest (or sub 1 tsp vanilla)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease two cookie sheets with unsalted butter. If you’re using fresh grated coconut, grate it into a bowl and reserve. If using dried coconut, pour the coconut into a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let the coconut soak to rehydrate while you’re working with the other ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. You can cream them by hand (the way Laura would have) or with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg. Beat in the molasses. Drain the water from the coconut and squeeze dry (if you used fresh coconut, skip this step).
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, including the shredded coconut, along with the orange extract/zest and the coconut. Stir together until a batter forms. Note: If you’re not a fan of orange flavoring, sub 1 tsp of vanilla for the orange. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet. The cookies spread quite a bit, so make sure you leave enough space between them. I was able to fit 12 cookies per sheet. Place the cookie sheets in the oven, one on the top rack and one below. Let them bake for 8 minutes. Switch the sheets, lower to upper and upper to lower, and let them bake for 7-10 minutes longer. Cookies are done when an impression made by lightly touching the center of the cookie does not remain. Begin checking at 7 minutes, and test them frequently until they are done– don’t overbake, or the cookies will dry out. Remove the cookies from the sheets and cool them on a wire rack. Serve. Store them in a sealed container like a plastic zipper bag or sealed Tupperware; this will help them stay fresh.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Historic Home & Museum
3060 Highway A
Mansfield, Missouri 65704