I became interested in the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was a kid but when the TV show Little House on the Prairie hit the airwaves that interest soared to a whole new level. Even though the TV show quickly moved away from the book storylines, I loved the show and watched every single week. My Laura stepped out of the books right onto my TV screen and I couldn't get enough of it. Many other people must have felt the same way because suddenly there were all sorts of new books about Laura in the bookstore, from the first biography to a wonderful, well-researched cookbook by Barbara Walker. My first edition of that cookbook has been one of my favorites for years and I was thrilled to meet Barbara Walker a few years ago and get it autographed. It's still in print, you can buy your copy here.
As a teen, I spent countless hours making recipes from the cookbook such as bread, strawberry jam, , pies, fried chicken and even Laura's "wedding' cake which required an obnoxious amount of whipping egg whites by hand. I was fascinated by the idea of cooking like a pioneer using no electrical appliances (except for the stove...mom and dad wouldn't let me have a wood stove), doing everything by hand. There are food stains on many of the pages, it was a well-loved cookbook for many years. Eventually I moved on to other forms of cooking and the LH cookbook spent more time on the shelf.
It's been fun to rediscover this cookbook after several years. This time I wanted to try a completely new, never before attempted recipe.
Maybe that was my first mistake.
Then, after it's "clabbered" (that's a funny word, I like saying it) you heat it up in a double boiler.
I heated it up and waited...and waited...and waited.
I'm pretty sure Ma Ingalls is up in heaven shaking her head right now at the ignorance of this modern age but after 2 1/2 hours of cooking, my "cottage cheese" still looked like the above picture, not a curd in sight. I don't know what happened, well, actually nothing happened. I made a whole lot of sour milk and nothing else. If I was a pioneer, my little family would have gone hungry that night. Big ol' pioneer fail.
There are tons of cottage cheese recipes on the internet that are different from the one in my Little House cookbook. I will try one of those and report back. I'm determined to make my own cottage cheese even if I have to do things that Ma would never do.