September 16, 2014,was the day Melissa Gilbert’s second book based on her connection to the Little House on the Prairie (TV Show) was released her My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours. It’s a combination of 80 recipes from Gilbert’s personal collection and a series of short scrapbooks of behind the scenes stories and personal photos. She spent this day in Iowa, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library at 2 pm and at the Iowa City Public Library at 7 pm, with taking time for an hour long radio interview. I attended the Cedar Rapids Public Library show and roughly 250 people attended including some 30 who watched from a remote room. They sold out of the 95 cookbooks in 20 minutes.
From Iowa City Public Library
— Prairie Lights Books (@Prairie_Lights) September 16, 2014
— Prairie Lights Books (@Prairie_Lights) September 17, 2014
In Iowa City they had to use an overflow room too.
I saw the presentation at the Cedar Rapids Public Library live and got a copy of the recording from the Iowa City Public Library. Catch the repeats of her Iowa City visit on the local library’s public access television channel. I put together a news report on Gilbert’s visit to Cedar Rapids below.
I watched a version of her presentation the US National Archives recently uploaded about Melissa Gilbert about her new Prairie Cookbook. Unfortunately both the host and Gilbert have some factual trouble near the beginning when talking about the real Laura and history. Then she steers into her own life and producing the show which is much more interesting. I especially like that she now refuses to sign copies of Laura’s books because as an author she thinks that is inappropriate, which I totally support. Gilbert also talks about her experience on Dancing With the Stars (which I hadn’t heard her do anywhere else). She talks a little bit about how the studio school was like a one-room school and how the other school children were mostly relatives of the cast and crew. Sean Penn and his brother were two of them because their father sometimes directed the show. She also answers what happened with Melissa and her brother Jonathan. She was asked about the Walnut Grove 40th Anniversary. Check out their press release which talks about the many Laura Ingalls Wilder connections with the National Archives including links and check out the video below:
In the US National Archives interview she mentions her appearance in Parade Magazine, here’s the link which includes one of her recipes:
Gilbert was also interviewed on Talk of Iowa by Charity Nebbe. There is some repetition from the US National Archives video above, but also some great original stuff. My favorite bit is when she talks about the food on the show including KFC fried chicken and Dinty Moore Beef Stew.
UPDATE: If you couldn’t come to either of the shows in Iowa, check out this listing of her other stops around the country.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.