Been busy around here.. as usual.. School is just taking over our life!  yikes!

I forgot to mention that we had also tried the

molasses candy in the snow..


Let’s just say.. I flopped.. lol.  I have never been good with candy.. and this was  no different.  At first it looked great!  We got the snow (shaved ice) all ready and dripped different shapes.. kids tried and didn’t like the flavor.. but you had to eat it right away.. or the candy just literally melted away.. literally.. just like water.. weird.

Cracklings, Lard and Cornbread


In previous pics you can see us cooking pork fat, which is what Ma did to make lard.  Above is our jar of lard and a jar of crackling (which is the pork fat left over).  Ma let Laura and Mary have a taste.. but only one because it was too rich for little girls.  So Ma put the rest of the crackling away for her johnny cakes.


We decided to do what Almanzo’s family did and made cornbread instead.. with the cracklings.


Anna was hard at work.



Here is the outcome.. does it look good?  Well it wasn’t!  I don’t know if I messed up or if we are just not used to the taste..

A funny was when angel decided that I was crazy and he poured himself some milk, cut a slice of cornbread and sat down to enjoy.. after I had warned him.. Very soon after I heard.. “That was the worse cornbread I have ever tasted!”  LOL

Pa Harvested Oats! (Little House in the Big Woods)


and we made oatmeal cookies.. at least everyone enjoyed that…


Ma’s soft soap


which was really easy.. just soap shavings (we used leftovers from our carving) and a bit of boiling water in a jar.  Ma had to save every bit of soap.. must not waste even a sliver.


Homemade Cheese

Ma made cheese, using the stomach from a very young calf as rennet.  We didn’t use rennet and made a basic cheese.


Anna is stirring the milk..


beating eggs (I think this was for color)


Pouring the eggs..


pouring the buttermilk, our homemade buttermilk from making butter (which I think was a mistake).. it would not curdle after a long time.. so I had to add some vinegar.


That is better..


draining curds


whey left behind


sqeeze it good!


still squeezing..


now trying to figure out how to press it..


upside down plate


and a huge container of water..


wait a few hours..


funny looking  didn’t taste bad.. and because of how I pressed it. it was more crumbly.. I saw a guy on You Tube put it in yogurt containers for pressing.. He had put holes into the container first to allow the curds to drain.. I think that would be a better idea for anyone attempting this.  Also without rennet it would not melt.

Warning!  Following Post not for the sensitive! 

Hog’s Bladder -From Chapter one, Laura and Mary played with a hog’s bladder that Pa blew up for them.


My friend found a butcher who sold her 2 hog’s bladder.


Poor Steph had to be the one to blow it up.. (I got to take pictures..lucky me).. she attempted about 3 times (maybe more) it kept deflating as she was blowing.  We finally realized that we could not put alot of air into it.


Tying it up..


struggling not to lose the air..





the second one was cut open to see what it looked like and how it felt inside.  Very thick.




The kids had a blast tossing it around outside.. We had to send them out after they were tossing it in my kitchen and anna got hit in the face with it.  I casually looked at Bri and said.. “Remember, Bri, you are playing with a bladder…. (I wanted to say, not a ball.. I don’t want the bladder hitting my floor and appliances.)  but I never got to finish cause Steph thought what I said was hilarious.. it is something you never expect to hear out of someone’s mouth.. lol



The game ended when it got stuck in a tree the second time!  This time it did not want to come down.. I did hear if you keep it longer it will start to get more leathery (it did sound like a kickball when they were playing with it) but we decided the bladder was ready for the trash.. Who knew the kids would have a blast!