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Little House in the Big Woods

Once upon a time, twenty five or so years ago, my auntie gave me my very first chapter book.


Curling up on the old brown couch down in the cool lower level of my air conditioned 1980’s ranch-style house, I soon became absolutely lost in the life of little Laura Ingalls Wilder, who lived not so far from me, but removed by roughly a century, in 1867.

Throughout my childhood, I probably read through the entire series at least four times, so I am absolutely thrilled to begin reading LHitBW with my sons now. I remember being fascinated with with the food that Laura and her family worked so hard to grow or hunt, prepare and store for the winter. So far, that is what has caught my 5 year old’s attention too.

He is particularly interested in the beginning description of the deer smoking in the little smokehouse. So, being the ever adventurous mother and not having any hunters in the family, I tracked down a local game store. <ahref="Czimer’s

Czimer’s was a treat unto itself, as they had lots of interesting animal skulls and pelts to teach the kids about (alligator skulls, bear skins, etc…). I was able to purchase a pound of ground venison and a packet of hickory jerky cure.


Today, my eldest is feeling under the weather, so I prepped the marinade on my own. I was going to use the cure, but discovered it’s full of msg (should have checked that at the store, but I think I was too busy explaining to my youngest that the antlers mounted to the wall did not, in fact, belong to dinosaurs).

So, after a quick consultation with Google (seriously, what did we do before Google?), I magicked up my own marinade from liquid hickory smoke, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic, and a multitude of various and sundry spices.

Our “smoked” venison turned out just fine in the dehydrator, and I see plenty of projects related to our future literary adventures with Laura!

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