Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Long Winter

W and I finished reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have read it so many times, yet reading the full book aloud was a wonderful experience. W took turns reading several chapters to me as well. We have had The Mild Winter here in New Hampshire this year, which was pretty unusual. So we have had to make due with imaginary snowballs and paper snowflakes for the most part (but I'll take that)!

See the flour in the drawer?

Ironically, our book club has been pushed back due to weather (the one day it was freezing rain/hail/snow here), so we will meet this Friday, barring inclement weather. We tried out the activity we had planned anyway last week, as I was not even sure it would work very well. We used an old fashioned coffee mill to grind wheat (using hard white wheat seed). It takes a couple of turns through the mill but it does wind up producing  flour. Next up, grinding enough to actually make bread. This will take a while. It was difficult enough for W to turn the crank so it showed him how hard it would have been for the Ingalls family to endlessly grind wheat to survive during their most difficult winter on the prairies of South Dakota.

Here are some highlights from W, age 6 and 11/12ths :)
"I liked the parts about Pa helping to dig out the train line, and the wheat in the wall that Almanzo had. I liked Merry Christmas when they were all excited, and Christmas in May. The chapters when Almanzo and Cap Garland went to find more wheat were good. And I liked when Almanzo made pancakes for himself and his brother."

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