Little House on Rocky Ridge

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's the end of week 10 so it's time for the chapter and page count:

For the week so far:


PAGES - 1,738

For the whole year so far:

CHAPTERS - 1,354

PAGES - 18,223

Today I was in the mood to read a Little House book, but I didn't want to drive all of you dear readers insane with Little House books, so I decided instead to read a book about Laura's daughter Rose (which is kind of the same thing as a Little House book, but I'm pretending like it's not). I figured that some of you who enjoy the Little House books, but who aren't obsessed with them to the point that I am, might not be aware that there is are spin-off books series from the Little House books; the Martha years (featuring Laura's great-grandmother), the Charlotte years (Laura's grandmother), the Caroline years (Laura's mother) and the Rose years (Laura's daughter). It's a good thing that Rose didn't have any children or the series would never end, and they would just go write on milking this dead cow for the next hundred years or so. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that series extended to Rose, and I can even understand Caroline - but when they start reaching all the way back to Laura's great-grandmother it just starts to feel like overkill.

Today's book; "MacBride, the sole heir of Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter Rose Wilder Lane, delivers the first installment of his faithfully minded series sequel to the hallowed Little House books. As it opens, Laura, husband Almanzo and seven-year-old Rose embark on what will be a final migration, from South Dakota to Missouri. Pieced in part from Rose's written account of that trip, interviews with contemporaries and historians, and other research, the story centers on Rose's adventures and scrapes, and, like its models, pays tribute to the strength and security of a close family."

I wish the Rose books had been around when I was in the throws of my childhood Little House obsession, because I always felt so sad when I would come to the end of The First Four Years - and it would have been nice to be able to continue reading about Laura's life in novel form. I, of course, read every other book about Laura's life that I could find, but it just wasn't the same. I have read the Caroline years books, but I have never gotten around to reading the Rose books yet (I've been a negligent Little House fan), so I decided to remedy the situation today.

I've always wanted to know more about Rose because of the controversy that surrounds her and her claim to have been the real author of the Little House books. Maybe the word controversy is too strong since most people who aren't die-hard fans probably don't even know about that claim. I have done some investigative (read: half-baked and poorly executed) research on that subject and have come to the conclusion that Rose was full of crap (and was just the tiniest bit unbalanced). I've read several books written by Rose, as well as some other things that Laura wrote (mostly newspaper columns that she wrote before she wrote the Little House books) to compare the writing styles. And Rose's writing style just doesn't match up to the Little House books, and the writing style of Laura's columns (which Rose acknowledges were written completely by Laura) do match up to the Little House books - so I think the truth was probably closes to Rose helping edit the books and then being a great bit glory hog who was bitter that her mother was always more famous than she was.

This book was filled with references to different foods that are often mentioned in the original Little House books - foods that I have always wondered about but never taken the time to figure out just what they were. So I decided to look some of those things up.
  • Bread-and-butter pickles - The Ingalls and Wilder families seem to have eaten a lot of bread-and-butter pickles - and I know so little about pickles (oh the shame of not being knowledgeable about pickles, how will I ever show my face in public again) - so I looked it up, and tons of recipes for pickles popped up. Huh? People actually make their own pickles in the present day? I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around that one. Is it because homemade pickles are healthier than store bought, or do they just taste a lot better, or is it because they enjoy being able to say "homemade pickles" a lot (well it is kind of a fun expression to say, just try it dear readers - try to work the words homemade pickles into the next conversation you have and you'll see how fun it is)? I want to know more? But I don't know anyone who makes their own pickles so I have to one to ask these pertinent questions.
  • Fried Salt pork - I've always just assumed salt pork was a pioneer version of bacon, but I wanted to be sure. For those of you who won't be able to sleep tonight unless you know for sure what salt pork is: It's like bacon (it comes from the same cut as bacon) but it's not smoked and it's saltier.
  • Vanity Cakes - I looked this one up in the Little House Cookbook that I didn't even know I had until I did some spring cleaning (this would come in so handy during that whole ginger water debacle from January) - and discovered that Vanity Cakes are made by mixing egg, flour, salt, and lard (ewww) and deep frying the dough. I'm trying to imagine that tasting good without the sugar in it, but I just can't - it would be like eating an Oreo without the filling, a grilled cheese sandwich without the cheese, cake without the frosting - it's too horrifying to even imagine.

P.S. - I wanted to thank Loree over at Stories & Scribbles for the blogging award and for mentioning my blog so much on your blog. Thanks. Here's a link to Loree's blog in case you guys want to check it out: