October 4, 2018

Apple Pie Recipe

As soon as Mother finished straining the milk, they all sat down and Father asked the blessing for breakfast.
There was oatmeal with plenty of thick cream and maple sugar. There were fried potatoes, and the golden buckwheat cakes, as many as Almanzo wanted to eat, with sausages and gravy or with butter and maple syrup. There were preserves and jams and jellies and doughnuts. But best of all Almanzo liked the spicey apple pie, with its thick, rich juice and its crumbly crust. He ate two wedges of the pie.  
                                                                                                ~ Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder 
 Apple pie for breakfast? Why not? It certainly has more fruit in it than most pastries and muffins. But it's a nice treat for dessert, too.

Some families continue the tradition of having a large Sunday dinner after church. My husband's family is one of them. Grandma may be 92, but she still makes a delicious pie each week. My favorite is her apple pie. Like many women of her generation, Grandma doesn't use a recipe to make apple pie. However, after watching her prepare the pie, this is my attempt at her apple pie recipe

Apple Pie Recipe

5-6 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced thinly
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
Prepared double pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Place bottom pie crust in pie pan. Sprinkle half of the flour in the bottom pie crust.
3. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Mix the apples with the sugar and remaining flour. Pour into the pie crust. (It's okay if the apple slices heap above the top of the pie pan.)
4. Sprinkle the apple slices with the cinnamon.
5. Place dots of butter all around the sliced apples.
6. Top with second pie crust. Seal and flute edges, as desired. Cut slits into the top crust for ventilation.
7. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 350°. Continue baking for 40-50 additional minutes. The pie is done when a knife slides into the apple filling easily.

If you haven't found a good recipe for pie crust, try this pie crust recipe. It explains how to make pie crust in detail.

What's your favorite kind of pie? Do you eat it for breakfast or dessert?

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Happy trails!
~ Annette Whipple


September 10, 2018

Almanzo Wilder Homestead Tour

This past weekend I visited the Almanzo Wilder Homestead in Burke, New York, just five miles from Malone and near the Canadian border. The tour (and tour guide) delighted me. I walked the floors and soil Almanzo walked and learned to appreciate Laura Ingalls Wilder's book, Farmer Boy, in a new way. It was my first research trip for my upcoming book related to the Little House books.
Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

I had already spoken to Jim Lusk on the telephone, questioning him about the ice house and other information. It was that conversation that convinced me I needed to hop in the car and make my way to the farm. I'm so grateful I did.

We began the tour outside the store, visible here with the open door. This building includes the store and museum displays. Notice the replica schoolhouse in the background.

June 24, 2018

A Book Announcement

Back in 2014 I had an idea for a book. I studied the publishing industry and wrote a sample manuscript and book proposal.

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

Since then I've written five nonfiction books for children. (Two of them will be released next week! You can learn more about them here.) And now I've signed a contract with Chicago Review Press for a book related to this blog!
The book will be published in 2020. During the next year I have lots to research, write, and revise. I hope to continue to share bits of research and insight with you here on this blog, though most of my writing time must be devoted to the manuscript.

If you're interested, you can keep up with my writing news through my author newsletter and social media. (I'm most active on Facebook.)

Happy Trails! ~ Annette Whipple Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

June 7, 2018

Little House Locations

We know Laura Ingalls Wilder moved throughout her childhood. Her family finally settled in Dakota Territory. That's also where she met and married Almanzo Wilder, though they didn't stay in De Smet.

So where do the Little House books take place? Below are the names of the books, the name of the current town and state, and a link to the museum site you can visit at each Little House site.

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

Little House in the Big Woods: Pepin, Wisconsin. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
Farmer Boy: Malone, New York. Wilder Homestead.
Little House on the Prairie: Independence, Kansas. Little House on the Prairie Museum.
On the Banks of Plum Creek: Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
By the Shores of Silver Lake: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
The Long Winter: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
Little Town on the Prairie: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
These Happy Golden Years: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
The First Four Years: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.



Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote all of the Little House books in Mansfield, Missouri. You can visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum there. And if you're interested in a part of Laura's life she didn't write about, you can visit the The Masters Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa.

If you're interested in learning more about Laura's adult life, I highly recommend Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hilland the Pulitzer Prize winner Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (affiliate links). 


Happy Trails! ~ Annette Whipple Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

May 24, 2018

Updated Privacy Policy

Dear Readers,

This note is to update you on Little House Companion's Privacy Policy and Disclosures. You can read the complete policy here. You can find it linked in the menu of Little House Companion. Please contact me if you have any questions at annettemwhipple@gmail.com.

I take your privacy very seriously. I never share your personal information with others without your permission. Subscribers, if you would no longer like to receive emails, please unsubscribe. If you are interested in subscribing to my author newsletter or this blog, please subscribe here. As always, unsubscribe at any time.

Happy Trails! ~ Annette Whipple

Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at AnnetteWhipple.com.

May 11, 2018

List of Little House Books

What order should you read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Many people choose to read them in the order they were published. However, Farmer Boy can be read at any time in the series because it focuses only on a year in the life of Almanzo Wilder, the boy.

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

This is the list of Little House books by publishing date.

Little House in the Big Woods (1932)
Farmer Boy (1933)
Little House on the Prairie (1935)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937)
By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939)
The Long Winter (1940)
Little Town on the Prairie (1941)
These Happy Golden Years (1943)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The First Four Years* (1971)

* These Happy Golden Years was the final book in the Little House series. When Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote The First Four Years, from letters we know she wrote it for adults instead of the Little House series. However she never submitted it to her publisher or even revised the book. It was not published until after her and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane's deaths.

When Laura Ingalls Wilder first dreamed of publishing her story, she wrote her memoir for adults. She was not able to find a publisher for that story, so she rewrote portions and sold Little House in the Big Woods as a children's book. Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiography was finally published by South Dakota Historical Society Press in 2014 and titled Pioneer Girl (linked to my review). The annotations by editor Pamela Hill Smith make this a bit of a encyclopedia--perfect for adult fans of the Little House books who want to understand more of the story.

Happy trails!
 ~ Annette Whipple
 Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

April 17, 2018

Pioneer and Little House Word Searches

With an upcoming pioneer life program, I wanted to share something for the participants to use that my Little House Companion readers might also appreciate. Here are three pioneer and Little House word searches for you.

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The words in these pioneer and Little House word searches go across, down, and diagonally. No words are backwards! I wanted these to be easy enough for elementary students to complete without too much frustration. 
A big thanks goes out to those of you who helped me come up with pioneer and Little House words to include in the word searches! I asked for help on the Little House Companion Facebook page and was so excited about the responses. The word search creator limits how many words can be used so I had to be quite selective. But as you can see, I still made two Pioneer Living word searches. I couldn't stop at just one.

These word searches are for personal and educational use, including classroom use. The answer keys are included.
HERE, HERE, and HERE

Enjoy the pioneer and Little House word searches! If you

~ Annette Whipple Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.