Little Helpers: Getting Your Kids Involved

Little Helpers

Laura helps Ma make cheese in “Little House in the Big Woods.”
Sketch by Garth Williams.

One of the best ways I know to build a solid, loving relationship with your kiddo and teach good, strong, pioneer/ old-fashioned values and work ethic is to have him or her help you around the house. My munchkin enjoys most chores we do together. Of course, he’s only 5 … I’m sure his enthusiasm may wane as he ages, but the foundation has been laid.  Continue reading


The Simple Life: Technology

The Simple Life: Technology

Can we talk for a minute? I mean really talk? A person-to-person, face-to-face conversation? Not a tweet, not an email, not an IM, not a text … a REAL, human interaction. Or at least a phone call! Call me old-fashioned, but I miss those days! Of course, I’m the kind of gal who, thanks to lessons from my grandmother, still writes hand-written thank-you notes. Continue reading

We Bought A Zoo!

We Bought A Zoo!

Well, not really. Although we did love the movie!

But we did buy chickens. Tiny, fuzzy, cute, peeping little baby chickens. Three of them. That was about four months ago.

Left to right: Honey, Starr, Dorie

Now they are somewhat moody, broody, squawking, anxious pooping machines who are (I think!) getting ready to start laying eggs. Continue reading

Processed Foods History: 1910s to 1950s

Processed Foods History:

1910s to 1950s

Let’s step back in time and see exactly how we became a society where fast, high-fat, processed food is so popular.


Nathan’s original restaurant, circa 1920
Coney Island, New York

Trans fats were invented in the 1890s and entered the food supply in the 1910s. Some processed foods became available as early as the 1910s:

  • Nathan’s hot dogs
  • Aunt Jemima syrup
  • Hellmann’s mayonnaise
  • Oreo cookies
  • Crisco
  • Marshmallow Fluff Continue reading

Processed Foods History: 1960s to Today

Processed Foods History:

1960s to Today

Let’s continue exploring our journey from real food to processed food and (hopefully) back to real food!



The ’60s focused on radical change and experimentation, even in the culinary arena: Julia Child taught us how to make the perfect French omelet; ethnic foods were hot; vegetarianism was catching on; fondue parties were all the rage; and we returned to the outdoor cooking of our ancestors – on the backyard barbecue grill. Continue reading

Get Your Grill On: Turkey Burgers!

Get Your Grill On:

Fast, Fresh Turkey Burgers

Just in time for the 4th of July celebration, here’s my infamous Turkey Burger recipe.

I should probably call them Poultry Burgers, because they are half ground turkey, half ground chicken. The chicken does something to the flavor that’s spectacular, along with the parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Continue reading

Modern Family

Modern Family

Laura & Mary help with the dishes in
“Little House on the Prairie.”
Illustration by Garth Williams.

I love how family was the main thing in the life of a pioneer. Often, the children were each other’s only playmates, and they were big helpers … on the family farm or on the road living in a covered wagon. They offered lots of assistance to their parents … probably one of the reasons families tended to be large back then!!

My son loves doing “pioneer-style” chores … Continue reading