Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Farmer Boy=Doughnuts

One of the free reads we've been working through is Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We've sort of skipped over the beginning in the Little House series as I wanted them to connect to the stories and I thought starting with Almanzo's story (being a boy) would foster that.

Tigger absolutely loves this book. It's his favorite. Pooh on the other hand suffers through it waiting for Peter Pan's turn to come up. He says Farmer Boy is "boring".

Weeeelllll, about 2 weeks ago we got to chapter 7 entitled 'Saturday Night'. In this chapter Mother makes doughnuts. We were just drooling with the thought of those doughnuts! Hot, crisp and sweet! Oh wow, I think I'm drooling again!!! Anyway, by the time we were done with that chapter I was looking up doughnut recipes on Google. (Who can live without google? Not me!) I tried looking for a recipe that would tell me how Mother did it. The book describes hers as twisted doughnuts that were twisted just right so that they would roll themselves over while frying. I did find that there is a book published with loads of recipes from the Little House series. You can find it at Amazon (another place I wouldn't want to live without.) However, I decided I wanted a recipe where I could throw the dough into the bread machine. I looked around and found one I thought looked easy enough (I'm not going to recommend it for doughnuts though because it just wasn't sweet enough.)

From the different descriptions I found while googling, this is what I came up with as far as making our doughnuts:

Once the dough is ready (remember! i used a machine), roll it out about a half inch thick. Cut into strips of half an inch thick...

Fold the strip in half and twist it like you would with two pieces of yarn.

Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise.

Fry, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!!!

Mine didn't come out like Mother's. LOL First, as I mentioned, the dough wasn't a sweet dough. I plan to find another dough recipe I can use next time. Also, when I had mine frying they didn't turn over by themselves. However, the texture was really good and they rose well, so I'm not complaining. The heavy dose of powdered sugar compensated for the lack of sugar in the dough. I was really surprised by how dark they came out but a friend who just recently made her own doughnuts said hers were dark as well. I'm guessing that's normal? It would be fun to see if any of you try it how yours come out. Let me know if you do!!!

I don't have any photos of Chapter 8 but let me tell you, it was another chapter that had us drooling. It started out with a big stack of fluffy pancakes with syrup and everything. Then it moved onto chicken pies and hop n john. Oh My!!! I didn't make my own chicken pie. I cheated and instead got 4 of those little chicken pot pies from the store. Those were a big hit with Pooh. He ate his and asked for another. LOL I didn't have any more that day but I now have 4 more sitting in my freezer.

I know Farmer Boy isn't supposed to be about the food but we sure are having fun with that aspect! It's a great book for seeing how hard children used to work for their families. Life lessons in an enjoyable format. For those that may be like me and have never read any of the series, you're in for a great education and great treats by delving into this book!


Julie said...

Farmer Boy is SO about the food! I remember being abou 8 when I read it the first time and me and my G'ma made food like that. Whenever I make something now that is old fashioned or "putting food up " I think of the life described on Farmer Boy!

argsmommy said...

We are reading Farmer Boy too (we're on the Cobbler chapter), and my son thinks it's boring too (my daughter loves it). I'll have to search the remaining chapters for food ideas to see if I can capture his interest a little more -- great idea!

Laura said...

Haha, yes, I have to agree that Farmer Boy *is* about the food. I just finished reading it, and I was always hungry after I put it down! I think I only found one chapter where food isn't at least mentioned, if not central. Your doughnuts look yummy -- hope you and your kids enjoy the rest of the book!

The Glasers said...

I seem to recall drooling every time I read this book! I forget . . . are y'all gluten free?

Dawn said...

Farmer Boy made us hungry all the way through it too. I should have made them some of the dishes. That would have been fun. You are a fun mom!

HornGullyFarm said...

Remember, it was Laura who wrote the book and she had a hard childhood. For her food was often scarce and what they had was hard won. The Wilder family was more well to do and Laura often showed that through the abundance of food. So, yes, the book IS "about the food".

Jill said...

It is quite an eye opener to start out reading little House in the Big Woods and then Little House on the Prairie and THEN read Farmer Boy. After reading about the scarcity of food in LHOP it's like attending a lavish feast to read Farmer Boy! I really enjoyed all the discussion of foods and weaving and such in Farmer Boy. Such wonderful books.