Introducing the “Em and Laura Project”

little House cookbookYou may be familiar with the blog, book, and movie about the “Julie and Julia Project,” in which Julie Powell cooked her way through the first volume of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogging about it.The book was a fun read, and I have even higher hopes for the movie. (Mom, it comes out August 7th…is it a date?)

A couple weeks ago, I was inspired to do my own take on the project. I’m calling it the Em and Laura Project, and I plan to cook my way through most of Barbara Walker’s Little House Cookbook, which collects recipes from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.

I’m not going for 100% here; I’m not sure I can procure a prairie chicken, for one thing. But it will be fun to try to cook simple foods with simple pantry staples. Sometimes, I’ll use the stove and oven. Sometimes, I’ll try to cook in the fireplace (which is very differently-equipped than any of Laura’s fireplaces or cookstoves). Some of the recipes will require scouting or making some ingredients – salt pork, for example. I may just have to use bacon. On the other hand, we’re getting half a hog this year; maybe I’ll cure my own? I’ll try to stay true to the original recipes, though I will probably use my grain mill instead of a coffee mill for Long Winter Bread, and while I’ll try home-ground germ-in cornmeal for some recipes, by the fifteenth cornbread variation, I’ll be using store-bought.

I’m also not sure what I’ll do about beans and dairy yet. I’m allergic to them, but some of the bean recipes are the ones that appeal to me the most. Maybe I’ll have people over to help me eat them, and serve other things alongside. And I think there will be a fair few recipes that we won’t really *eat* much of…hardtack, anyone?

I’m aiming for a one-year timeframe, but I reserve the right to leave off if it just gets to be too much! I’ll probably do 2 days of cooking a month, with one or more recipes on each day.

So, who wants to come over for dinner?



  1. TeacherPatti said,

    July 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    You can feed the beans and dairy to me, Emily!

    I personally hated that Julie and Julia book…I wanted to beat the writer over the head, so I stopped reading after a few chapters. I therefore know that I will enjoy the Em and Laura project so much more!

  2. July 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    This sounds like great fun. I’m going to be interested to see your modern take on things.

  3. July 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    That sounds like a great project, and sounds like it will be a lot of fun. If I lived a little closer, I would invite myself over.

  4. July 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    This sounds like a great project! Totally fun, and I’m looking forward to the updates. (And potentially the food, should I have that fortune!)
    My sister & I tried the maple syrup & snow thing when we were little, as I’m sure you did too, to somewhat messier results than described in the book.

  5. aimee said,

    July 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    What an awesome idea! I love that cookbook! Good luck, we’ll be following over here.

  6. MK said,

    July 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    When you blow up the pigs bladder to play with like a balloon and also raost the pigs tail and eat it like a lollipop, make sure to take pictures. It’s one of my favorite scenes out of LHITBW. (Little House in the Big Woods)

  7. Amanda said,

    July 8, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I LOVED the Julie/Julia Project too, and can’t wait for the movie. I am so excited. I used to read the Laura Ingalls cookbook when I was a little girl, as my mom was a big fan of the books. So I look forward to your project. 🙂

  8. Kat with a K said,

    July 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Oooh, fun! I love that cookbook! One idea for the recipes you can’t eat would be to outsource them to some of us readers and have guest posts.

    (This is Katie who you met at Kate and Andy’s wedding, btw. Kat with a K is my blog name.)

    • Emily said,

      July 11, 2009 at 9:35 pm

      Heya, Katie! Outsourcing recipes is a GREAT idea…you volunteering? *grin*

  9. momster said,

    July 13, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Super! and so much more sophisticated than the Winnie-the-Pooh cookbook that I did!! You are on for the 7th!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: