Mrs. Wilder’s Donuts and Pumpkin Pie

We’ve been reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s our first Little House book, and it’s always been my favorite. I don’t think it’s a secret that I am a little bit obsessed with food: making it, eating it, reading about it! And Farmer Boy is all about the food.

And hard work. It’s inspiring, and makes you feel a bit lazy. Their everyday chores (morning and evening) are more work than I do some whole days, not to mention their work for the day: hoeing, planting, harvesting…

But really it’s all about the food. When we read about baking day, and Almanzo’s mother making donuts, my son was licking his chops. Caleb has also been listening to Homer Price, and Homer is always getting donuts at his Uncle Ulysses lunch counter.

So we had to make some donuts. Real Donuts. Which meant a big bowl of hot fat (Canola Oil in this case, because it’s all I had). I used this recipe, more or less. I didn’t have any eggs, so I left that out. And I used white whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour.


It made a bowl full of donuts, and they were gone by the end of the day. Next time, I think I would add some sweetness to the dough, but they were pretty good. And my first time deep-frying was uneventful.


We got back from visiting my family last week, and as soon as morning broke, I was out checking the garden. What I found was these beauties that came up from seeds in the compost I spread:


I was thrilled that they were pie pumpkin seeds, because pumpkin pie is my favorite kind of pie. This was also inspired by Farmer Boy. Almanzo grows a huge prize winning pumpkin, and takes it home for his mother to make pumpkin pies out of.

First we cut the pumpkin (okay I cut the pumpkin).


Then we scooped out the seeds into the compost (hopefully to grow me new pumpkin in a couple of years), and cut it up so it would fit in my pot to steam it.


After it’s steamed for 20 minutes or so, it comes out of the skin pretty easily. I scooped it into the blender and made pie. We use a variation of Bryanna’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie.

Pie Filling (with my variations)

One Pie Pumpkin, steamed until soft
1 cup of soy milk (for this month, we used the local cow milk we have)
1/2 cup of maple syrup (Ohio maple syrup!)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 T. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. EACH ground ginger, nutmeg and salt
1/4 tsp. cloves

Just whiz all this up in the blender, and pore it into your pie shell. I used this recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen, because olive oil was the only fat I had in the house, but I used white whole wheat flour for the flour. I also cut the recipe in half.

The recipe says to bake the pie at 350 for 60 minutes, but mine was in way longer than that. You are also supposed to let it set up overnight in the fridge, we settled for the afternoon on the counter (no fridge).


It was amazing. In true Farmer Boy fashion, we even ate it for breakfast the next morning.


2 thoughts on “Mrs. Wilder’s Donuts and Pumpkin Pie

  1. You doughnuts turned out awesome! My sis says they need sugar in the dough, too. My kids just can’t believe their mom put powdered sugar on the, LOL. That is a huge treat for them. Your pumpkin pie filling looks amazing 🙂 And YES, Farmer Boy is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD ;)!!!. My favorite book as far as food goes for sure. Such a contrast to what Laura had to eat growing up.

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