Books and articles by and about the actors who starred in the Little House on the Prairie TV series provide a behind-the-scenes look at the show and how it affected the lives of the people making it. Here is a brief overview of My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours.
Author: Melissa Gilbert
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori, and Chang (September 16, 2014)
In My Prairie Cookbook, Melissa Gilbert, star of Little House on the Prairie, offers fans comforting family recipes and childhood favorites. From prairie breakfasts and picnic lunches to treats inspired by Nellie’s restaurant, the 80 simple and delicious dishes—crispy fried chicken, pot roasts, corn bread, apple pie, and more—present Bonnet Heads (die-hard Little House fans) with the chance to eat like the Ingalls family.
Gilbert’s personal recollections and memorabilia, including behind-the-scenes stories, anecdotes, and more than 75 treasured scrapbook images, accompany the recipes. With answers to the most-asked questions from fans—on topics including the biggest bloopers, on-set romances, and what Michael Landon was really like—My Prairie Cookbook is a cherished memento for Little House fans and fans of simple prairie cooking alike.
About the Author: Melissa Gilbert
On May 8, 1964, Melissa Ellen Gilbert was born in Los Angeles, California. Adopted when she was only one day old, she was an irrepressible light of energy since infancy, getting her start in show business by walking uninvited on stage and stealing the show from one of her parent’s productions with her singing and acting, blowing kisses at the audience that she wasn’t afraid of, assuming a star position even before her fifth birthday.
Her parents, concerned and cautious, did not want to stop Melissa’s opportunities to share her talent with the world. Her mother let her go out on auditions for commercials only, as a bonus for her and her brother, Jonathan (who would later play nemesis Willy Oleson on Little House on the Prairie). The two were allowed to go out on auditions for commercials as an extra as long as they behaved and kept their schoolwork up.
That kind of down-to-earth approach to show business seems to have stayed with Melissa to this day. Her father, who died when she was only eleven, was also helpful in her young career. He advised her when she lost a part on Miracle on 34th Street that something better would come along. True to his words of fate, she landed the role of a lifetime of Laura Ingalls within two weeks. As it turned out, although she missed that role of a Natalie Wood remake, she would later get the much meatier role of Deenie in a remake of Splendor In The Grass, which was Natalie Wood’s most loved movie.
The first time she learned she had gotten the part of Laura Ingalls happened when she was in her school cafeteria. Leslie Landon (Michael Landon’s daughter) broke the news, and Melissa jumped up screaming in excitement. She never let that enthusiasm for her role go. When many child stars become angry at being trapped inside a stereotype, Melissa embraced the way people saw her and changed it through good performances, never being locked into one particular type of role. She has played it all.
As she grew up right along with Laura Ingalls, she maintained a somewhat normal life, grounded by the support of people on Little House history by being the youngest person to get a Hollywood star, being the most successful television actress of her time, and touching the hearts of millions, a pattern which continues to this day.
As Little House wound down its run, Laura eased into many other roles, gaining acclaim as someone who could do material as varied from Laura as she could get. When she moved to Manhattan to strike out on her own in the 1980s, she met and fell in love with Bo Brinkman. They were married within eight weeks of knowing each other. They had a son, Dakota, but divorced after only a few years of marriage. The two remain friends for the sake of their son.
Melissa married Bruce Boxleitner and they have a son named Michael Garrett (named after both Michael Landon and a friend’s son that died). They were divorced in 2011 and in 2013 Melissa married Timothy Busfield.
Melissa is now in top form, both personally and professionally. With irrepressible determination, all of us are looking forward in awe to seeing which leap she will take next, whether it be acting or directing.
Pick up your own copy of My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours here.