Melissa Gilbert, the actress who played Laura Ingalls on the television series Little House on the Prairie, will be in Iowa City on Tuesday, Sept. 16 to celebrate the release of her new cookbook, which launches in bookstores that same day. She will be speaking at the Iowa City Public Library at 7 p.m., an event co-sponsored by Prairie Lights. In her book, My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours, she shares her own favorite family recipes in addition to anecdotes and photos of memorabilia about the series.
Fans watched Gilbert grow up on the decade-long series; she was nine years old when the show began and was going to prom with Michael Landon, Jr. by the time it ended. Later in her career, she served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Her 2009 memoir Prairie Tale details her career in Hollywood and her efforts to lead the labor union.
For those who can’t wait for the release date to reminisce, two other cookbooks may satisfy that need for a mouthwatering memory. The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories, by Barbara Walker, pairs Garth Williams’s darling drawings with recipes for foods like “Molasses-on-Snow Candy,” a treat where they use snow to immediately cool hot syrup to form candies for Christmas.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s own recipes, meanwhile, can be found in The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook, published in 1995. These recipes hail from the author’s life at Rocky Ridge Farm in Michigan during the 1930s and ‘40s. Both are available at the Iowa City Public Library.
Full disclosure: Melody Dworak is a Librarian at the Iowa City Public Library. She had no role in the organization of this event.