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Ice Cream in Literature: Laura Ingalls Wilder

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In honor of Ice Cream Week, we'll be taking a look at some of ice cream's best cameos in our favorite novels and poems. Missed any? Read all our Ice Cream in Literature quotes.

Today: Unintentional ice cream, from The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder.


We're starting off the week with a classic: today's quote is from The First Four Years, the last book in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Merrill, Peter, and I are all mega-fans of the series and remembering this scene turned into a landslide of memories. What was your favorite Little House book? (Mine is...ahh! Mine is all of them!)

Back to ice cream: today's scene brings us to Laura and Almanzo's farm in the early years of their marriage. Their first wheat crop ever -- in which Almanzo, who Laura calls Manly, has invested a lot of money -- has just been destroyed by a freak hailstorm. Then...


"And now let's make some ice cream," Manly said. "You stir it up, Laura, and I'll gather up the hailstones to freeze it."

Laura turned to Cora where she stood speechless, looking out of the window. "Do you feel like celebrating, Cora?" she asked.

And Cora answered, "No! I want to get home and see what has happened there. Ice cream would choke me!"


She and Cora sat white and silent until Walter drove up to the door, helped Cora into the wagon, and drove away almost forgetting to say good-by in their anxiety to get home and learn how bad the storm had been there.

Manly went out to look at the wheatfield and came in sober enough. "There is no wheat to cut," he said. "It is all threshed and pounded into the ground. Three thousand dollars' worth of wheat planted, and it's the wrong time of the year."

Laura was muttering to herself, "The poor man gets his—"

"What's that?" Manly asked.

"I was only saying," Laura answered, "that the poor man got his ice in the summer this time."

Uplifting? Maybe not. Don't worry, this is the saddest ice cream reference you'll see this week. Til tomorrow!

Tags: Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, Ephemera, Nozlee Samadzadeh