Around here, our favorite of all the Little House books is Farmer Boy simply because of the astonishing amount of food Laura’s husband to be, Almanzo, consumed every day. We read it out loud at night a couple of years ago and I found myself down in the kitchen every night after everyone was asleep, rooting around for provisions. Our cellar, alas, did not look like Almanzo’s, so I had to make do, most nights with left- over pudding cups and the occasional stash of pretzels at the back of the cupboard.
Here are the sorts of food descriptions that led directly to the consumption of pudding cups and pretzels:
“Almanzo ate the sweet, mellow baked beans. He ate the bit of salt pork that melted like cream in his mouth. He ate mealy-boiled potatoes, with brown ham-gravy. He ate the ham. He bit deep into velvety bread spread with sleek butter, and he ate the crisp, golden crust.”
“Mother was frying doughnuts. The place was full of their hot, brown smell, and the wheaty smell of new bread, the spicy smell of cakes, and the syrupy smell of pies.”
(With thanks to the Bookbag for those quotes.)
And that’s why the one thing we’ve decided to spend money on during Little House on the Prairie Month is food. The idea here is not to bring any more material goods into our house, thereby enriching our sense of plenty by sharpening our appreciation for material things. We can do that, as long as we can get somebody to make some of those spicy cakes and syrupy pies, and as long as we have some other pleasures stored up for the long winter that will be November.
Today’s Little House on the Prairie Month Report:
We went into San Francisco today, having long ago bought tickets to see Jack perform in a matinee of The Magic Flute at the San Francisco Opera. That was one thing we’d stored up for November. He was a sort of helper/spirit, with an awfully high voice. Good for him. I left everyone milling around the Opera trying to decide what to do next and came over to my office to work (blogging about it kind of counts as work), which is not only free, but actually brings money in. As far as I know they were going to go to Crissy Field, with skateboards and kite in tow. It’s a beautiful day here in San Francisco. Beautiful days are completely free. In a few hours, after they’ve tired themselves out, our plan is to …. EAT! I’m having the biscuits and gravy, please. And a big piece of apple pie.