alcott’s little women: a pair of poems and yummy gingerbread (+ a holiday blog break)

“I do think that families are the most beautiful things in all the world!” ~ Jo March

 

Season’s Greetings!

Are you excited about the Little Women movie opening on Christmas Day?

To get us in the mood for all things Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Marmee and Laurie, I’m sharing two poems from the novel and a recipe from the new Little Women Cookbook by Wini Moranville (Harvard Common Press, 2019).

 

 

I think most of us can remember when we first read Louisa May Alcott’s classic — I was nine, staying with two older girl cousins downtown for about a week during the summer. We spent most of our time playing “school,” and during one of our “classes,” I began reading Little Women.

 

 

Since I wasn’t able to finish before it was time to return home, my cousin Judy let me take her copy with me (it was an abridged edition published by Whitman in 1955). I can’t remember if it was a loan or a gift, but I do remember her telling me how much she loved the book and that I should definitely read it.

Fast forward to 6th grade, when we acted out the opening scene in English class. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” was my Jo March ‘stage debut,’ marking the first time I would read the entire novel. Like so many others, generation after generation, I was hooked for life.

 

 

I so wanted to belong to the March family, to experience that deep bond of sisterhood. I had a huge crush on Laurie, and loved Mr. Laurence because just like Beth, I loved music and playing the piano. Of course I identified with Jo, because she was a writer, only wishing I could be as feisty and forthright. And wasn’t Marmee the best mother anyone could ever ask for? As the child of a working mother, I envied children whose moms had the time and patience to listen to all their concerns.

Just like The Secret Garden made me fall in love with England, Little Women made me long to visit New England — the gorgeous autumn colors and beautiful winter vistas! the rich history and Colonial architecture! the lobstah rolls, fish chowdah, maple syrup, brown bread, baked beans, boiled dinners, Indian pudding, Yankee pot roast . . . *drools* . . .  “licks chops”. . . oh wait, where was I?

 

 

With the new movie coming, I decided to reread the book, since it had been about a decade since I last gave it my full attention. When I scanned my bookshelves, I found Judy’s copy alongside my Little, Brown edition. Didn’t realize I still had it! It’s probably the only book that survived my childhood. My mother gave away my entire Golden Books collection (still grieving), and though I read voraciously, I didn’t own many novels — mostly everything came from the library.

 

 

One of the things I especially enjoyed this time around was taking a closer look at the poems Alcott included in the story. There was the elegaic “My Beth” of course, as well as the incantations in Jo’s play featuring Hagar, Roderigo, and Zara. In a letter Jo sent to Marmee, she included “a silly little thing” for her to pass on to Father about helping Hannah with the wash, the delightful “A Song from the Suds.” And who can forget that splendid Christmas when Jo and Laurie made a snow-maiden,  complete with a crown of holly, a basket of fruit and flowers, and a carol, “The Jungfrau to Beth,” to cheer up the convalescent?

 

 

But the two poems I like most contain Jo’s descriptions of all four sisters. As one appears near the beginning of the story, and the other, near the end, they nicely frame the entire narrative, providing a contrast between youthful optimism and reflective melancholy.

 

 

“Anniversary Ode” is Jo’s contribution to The Pickwick Portfolio, the weekly newspaper of their secret society, The Pickwick Club. The P.C., indicative of the March sisters’ love of Dickens, met at 7 p.m. every Saturday up in the garret. They each assumed the persona of a major character:

Meg, as the eldest, was Samuel Pickwick, Jo, being of literary turn, Augustus Snodgrass, Beth, because she was round and rosy, Tracy Tupman, and Amy, who was always trying to do what she couldn’t, was Nathaniel Winkle.

Donning a pair of spectacles without any glass, “Mr. Pickwick” rapped upon the table and read aloud:

 

 

“The Pickwick Portfolio”

May 20, 18 —

Poet’s Corner

ANNIVERSARY ODE

Again we meet to celebrate
With badge and solemn rite,
Our fifty-second anniversary,
In Pickwick Hall, tonight.

We all are here to perfect health,
None gone from our small band:
Again we see each well-known face,
And press each friendly hand.

Our Pickwick, always at his post,
With reverence we greet,
As, spectacles on nose, he reads
Our well-filled weekly sheet.

Although he suffers from a cold,
We joy to hear him speak,
For words of wisdom from him fall,
In spite of croak and squeak.

Old six-foot Snodgrass looms on high,
With elephantine grace,
And beams upon the company,
With brown and jovial face.

Poetic fire lights up his eye,
He struggles ‘gainst his lot.
Behold ambition on his brow,
And on his nose, a blot.

Next our peaceful Tupman comes,
So rosy, plump, and sweet,
Who chokes with laughter at the puns,
And tumbles off his seat.

Prim little Winkle too is here,
With every hair in place,
A model of propriety,
Though he hates to wash his face.

The year is gone, we still unite
To joke and laugh and read,
And treat the path of literature
That doth to glory lead.

Long may our paper prosper well,
Our club unbroken be,
And coming years their blessings pour
On the useful, gay ‘P.C.’.

~ A. Snodgrass

*

With its sparkling wit and playful spirit, this lighthearted poem is sheer delight. We sense how much fun the girls have together as they immerse themselves in a rainy day diversion.

By contrast, “In the Garret” reveals a more mature and somewhat regretful Jo. The poem had appeared in a newspaper, and she would later learn that Professor Bhaer had seen it by chance, recognized her writing, and then carried it around in his pocket for awhile. He pondered his love for her, wondering if they had a future together.

I read that, and I think to myself, She has a sorrow, she is lonely, she would find comfort in true love. I haf a heart full, full for her.

When they finally meet again, Jo tells Mr. Bhaer she considers it “very bad poetry.” Still, Mr. Bhaer had treasured her poem; it had compelled him to go to her.

*

 

 

IN THE GARRET

Four little chests all in a row,
Dim with dust, and worn by time,
All fashioned and filled, long ago,
By children now in their prime.
Four little keys hung side by side,
With faded ribbons, brave and gay
When fastened there, with childish pride,
Long ago, on a rainy day.
Four little names, one on each lid,
Carved out by a boyish hand,
And underneath there lieth hid
Histories of the happy band
Once playing here, and pausing oft
To hear the sweet refrain,
That came and went on the roof aloft,
In the falling summer rain.

‘Meg’ on the first lid, smooth and fair.
I look in with loving eyes,
For folded here, with well-known care,
A goodly gathering lies,
The record of a peaceful life —
Gifts to gentle child and girl,
A bridal gown, lines to a wife,
A tiny shoe, a baby curl.
No toys in this first chest remain,
For all are carried away,
In their old age, to join again
In another small Meg’s play.
Ah, happy mother! Well I know
You hear, like a sweet refrain,
Lullabies ever soft and low
In the falling summer rain.

‘Jo’ on the next lid, scratched and worn,
And within a motley store
Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn,
Birds and beasts that speak no more,
Spoils brought home from the fairy ground
Only trod by youthful feet,
Dreams of a future never found,
Memories of a post still sweet,
Half-writ poems, stories wild,
April letters, warm and cold,
Diaries of a wilful child,
Hints of a woman in a lonely home,
Hearing, like a sad refrain —
‘Be worthy, love, and love will come,’
In the falling summer rain.

My Beth! the dust is always swept
From the lid that bears your name,
As if by loving eyes that wept,
By careful hands that often came,
Death canonized for us one saint,
Ever less human than divine,
And still we lay, with tender plaint
Relics in this household shrine —
The silver bell, so seldom rung,
The little cap which last she wore,
The fair, dead Catherine that hung
By angels borne above her door.
The songs she sang, without lament,
In her prison-house of pain,
Forever are they sweetly blent
With the falling summer rain.

Upon the last lid’s polished field —
Legend now both fair and true
A gallant knight bears on his shield,
‘Amy’ in letters gold and blue.
Within lie snoods that bound her hair,
Slippers that have danced their last,
Faded flowers laid by with care,
Fans whose airy toils are past,
Gay valentines, all ardent flames,
Trifles that have borne their part
In girlish hopes and fears and shames,
The record of a maiden heart
Now learning fairer, truer spells,
Hearing, like a blithe refrain,
The silver sound of bridal bells
In the falling summer rain.

Four little chests all in a row,
Dim with dust, and worn by time,
Four women, taught by weal and woe
To love and labor in their prime.
Four sisters, parted for an hour,
None lost, only one gone before,
Made by love’s immortal power,
Nearest and dearest evermore.
Oh, when these hidden stores of ours
Lie open to the Father’s sight,
May they be rich in golden hours,
Deeds that show fairer for the light,
Lives whose brave music long shall ring,
Like a spirit-stirring strain,
Souls that shall gladly soar and sing
In the long sunshine after rain.

*

 

Don’t you love the repetition of “in the falling summer rain”?  So lyrical and nostalgic!

How beautifully Jo describes her sisters here, and how hard she is on herself. “Dreams of a future never found” and “a woman in a lonely home.” Thankfully there’s a happy ending after all.

 

 

As we consider the journey we’ve taken with the March sisters in the novel — their joys and sorrows, their failures and triumphs — we recognize parts of ourselves in each of them, appreciating Alcott’s enduring portrayal of family and domestic life, as well as her moral lessons and feminist views.

*

 

 

☕️ JO’S GINGERBREAD 🎁

Some of the most memorable chapters in Little Women revolve around food: the March sisters taking their Christmas breakfast to a poor family, Amy’s pickled limes, Meg’s currant jelly, Hannah’s daily turnovers, the disastrous breakfast the girls make for Marmee, the glorious apple picking family picnic at the end of the book.

Though Jo has many talents, cooking is not one of them. Remember when she made dinner for Laurie? Full of confidence, she envisioned an impressive repast complete with corned beef, potatoes, lobster, lettuce salad, and blanc-mange with strawberries for dessert. Alas, she burned the bread, overcooked the asparagus, produced a lumpy blanc-mange, and served acid strawberries coated in salt instead of sugar with cream that had gone sour.

Meg had tried to warn her beforehand:

Don’t try too many messes, Jo, for you can’t make anything but gingerbread and molasses candy fit to eat.

 

 

So gingerbread it is, to go with Jo’s fine poems. As Wini Moranville states in her headnote:

Scores of recipes for ‘soft gingerbread’ and ‘hard gingerbread’ — which we’d call gingerbread cake and gingerbread cookies today — appear in cookbooks from Louisa May Alcott’s time. Many cakes call for the same flavorings as this recipe, including lemon, which adds a nice, bright zip amidst the deeply flavored spices and molasses.

 

 

Must say the lemon glaze does set this recipe apart, and having made many different gingerbread recipes, I’d call this one of the best — so moist and flavorful (it calls for an entire jar of molasses). It smells so good baking — one is dreamily transported to the March family kitchen in the 19th century with the aroma of cinnamon, cloves and ginger wafting about.

 

 

 

This is a recipe Jo would be proud to share, and thank goodness, it’s easy and fail-proof (just don’t overbake it). Plan on making this before or after you’ve seen the new movie. Goes nicely with a cup of Harney & Sons Little Women Orchard House Blend (green tea with apple pieces, honey, and cornflower). Seriously yummy. 🙂

 

Jo's Gingerbread

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: average
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (375g)  all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (3.6g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (4.6g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4.6g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups (300g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) mild-flavored molasses
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons [112g]) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1-1/3 cups (315 ml) boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • whipped cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. In another large bowl, combine the brown sugar, molasses and butter. Add the boiling water; whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the eggs. Add to the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to let the gingerbread cool slightly.
  5. While the gingerbread bakes, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the warm gingerbread. Serve warm with whipped cream.

~ from The Little Women Cookbook: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters and Their Friends and Family by Wini Moranville (Harvard Common Press, 2019), as posted at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

 

 

Mr Cornelius thinks Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without any gingerbread. And he also wanted me to mention that Meg, the sister who liked to cook, was determined as a young bride to try every recipe in The Young Housekeeper’s Friend, written by Mary Hooker Cornelius (1859). No wonder he likes to eat so much — it’s part of his lineage! (Mrs. Cornelius’s cookbook was one of the sources Ms. Moranville consulted when compiling The Little Women Cookbook.)

 

The recipe for “Lemon Cheese” Tartlets is on page 101 of Moranville’s cookbook. Mini phyllo shells are filled with lemon curd, then topped with whipped cream and fruit.

 

*

 

THE LITTLE WOMEN COOKBOOK: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters and Their Friends and Family
written by Wini Moranville, with inspiring quotations by Louisa May Alcott
published by Harvard Common Press, October 2019
Literary Cookbook, 112 pp.

*

 

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT’S LITTLE WOMEN: A Paper Doll Collectible
designed by Eileen Rudisill Miller
published by Dover Publications, October 2019
Paper Dolls for ages 10+, 32 pp.

 

♥️ Check out my review of A Little Women Christmas by Heather Vogel Frederick and Bagram Ibatoulline, that includes a recipe for Muffins from The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook.

*

 

🎄HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 🎄

 

 

Thank you for reading (and noshing) with us this past year. We hope you have a joyful, delicious, and inspiring holiday season with loved ones, keeping in mind that the best gifts are intangible. Be generous with your patience, kindness, compassion, encouragement, and good cheer.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men.

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY HANUKKAH

HAPPY KWANZAA

HAPPY BLUE NEW YEAR!

See you in late January!

 

 

 

. . . and when they went away, leaving comfort behind, I think there were not in all the city four merrier people than the hungry little girls who gave away their breakfasts and contented themselves with bread and milk on Christmas morning.

~ Little Women, Chapter 2

*

 

The lovely and talented Buffy Silverman is hosting the Roundup at her blog this week.  Be sure to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere. Enjoy!

 

*

 

This post is also being linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Put on your best aprons and bibs, and come join the fun!


*Illustrations in this post by Frank T. Merrill, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Little, Brown, 1880).

**Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

74 thoughts on “alcott’s little women: a pair of poems and yummy gingerbread (+ a holiday blog break)

  1. Well, now you’ve made me want to re-read Little Women (I have my mom’s copy) and make a big pan of gingerbread!

    Thanks for a year of yummy goodness here at the Alphabet Soup Kitchen. Happy Holidays, happy blog break, and let’s all do our best (wishing doesn’t cut it — it will take action) to MAKE it a Happy (BLUE BLUE BLUE) New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, 2020 has got to be the BLUEST!! Hope you do get around to rereading the book. There were things I had forgotten, and of course, now that more time has gone by, my interpretation has changed in some ways. It’s also fun to watch all the previous LW movies too. 🙂

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  2. I am so excited for the rerelease of this film! What a wonderful post. I had forgotten about all the poems in the book and can’t wait to reread. I’ll let you know how the gingerbread turns out. Also, did you read a book called “The Cuckoo Clock” when you were young? Like “Secret Garden,” it was about a girl who had to stay at a large old house and meets a magical cuckoo who takes her to other worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always look forward to reading your posts, so thank you for what you do.

    I just bought a new copy of Little Women, I can’t wait to see the new movie and I can’t wait to try Jo’s Gingerbread which sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing all this loveliness with us and I wish you a Very Happy Holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much — appreciate your support!! Nice to hear you have a new copy of the book — there have been oodles of editions over the years; it’s fun just to see all the different covers. Enjoy the gingerbread and have a great holiday!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to read, Linda. Even though there have been 7 LW movies so far, we still want more. Just goes to show how much Alcott’s story continues to resonate no matter how much time has passed.

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  4. I reread Little Women often–love it dearly, and love visiting Orchard House in Concord! As for the movie however, for me, nothing will come close to the aboslute perfection of the BBC version two years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got to visit Orchard House once — magical place! I did love the BBC series and will reserve judgment about which is better until after I see the new movie. Of course, I probably won’t be able to pick a favorite, since there are things I like and dislike about adaptations in general.

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  5. I can smell that gingerbread from here! Mmmm. “May they be rich in golden hours,
    Deeds that show fairer for the light” — times being what they are, “deeds that show fairer for the light” makes me a bit verklempt. Here’s to a blue 2020, Jama xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I see what you mean, Tabatha. We must stay positive about 2020, though it seems more and more challenging each day.

      The heavenly aroma of gingerbread travels through time and space. 🙂

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  6. Thank you Jama, for the Christmas cheer. Sarah & I are taking the girls to see Little Women after Christmas. We are excited, then the girls will be, too, not knowing what wonderful stories they will learn! I haven’t made gingerbread in a long time, but this recipe looks very good! One favorite memory of the trips with students was visiting Orchard House in Concord. It gave me shivers to see all that they had kept for us fans to see. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a marvelous beginning to 2020, the new decade! (How can that be?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how exciting that you and Sarah will be taking the girls to see the movie!! I envy their being introduced to the March family for the first time. It really is amazing how many of the artifacts are original in Orchard House. And yes, it’s hard to believe it’s going to be 2020 already! It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all excited about actually reaching the year 2000.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a lovely-sounding tea — apple pieces and honey, yum! I am a HUGE gingerbread fan, and collect multiple recipes that I’m constantly trying to improve upon, so thank you for this one! And yes – a bit of lemon makes it ALL wonderfully better. May you have the happiest winter holidays and enjoy excellent tea and gingerbread.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your posts always whisk me into the kitchen – hello gingerbread!
    A Twitter friend recently attended the auction for Little Women movie set props in Boston and OH MY! the treasures! I wish I had known in advance but alas – only my piggy bank is happy now.
    Merry Christmas and Happy All Holidays Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That abridged edition was my first LW read too. Strong sense memories of the feel of the cover and binding and of course studying all the pictures so carefully. My mother gave me two books a year at christmas. One would be the abridged editions of the other LMA books, Little Men, Eight Cousins, and Rose in Bloom are the ones I remember. Loved the pictures of Rose and Phoebe. The other would be an Anne of Green Gables, not necessarily in correct time order. Thanks for the picture and memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, Lynn Marie — how lucky you were to get those beloved books for Christmas! I do remember reading the other LMA books too, but never owned my own copies (thank goodness for the public library). Have a wonderful holiday!

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  10. I think I also need to reread Little Women before seeing the movie. I had no recollection of Jo’s poems–but I remember wanting to be her when I read the book. (And yum, that gingerbread looks great.) Merry Christmas to you, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jama, as always you have created a tasty treat for readers today, adding a bit of inspiration at the end. For all that you do to keep foodie’s happy and readers content in tea-party environment, I commend you and wish you another year and decade of wonderful events and storytelling magic. Thank you for this wonderful addition to my holiday reading. I now have to find my Little Women novel that sits among my Victorian book collection. Happy Holidays to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Carol. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends. I know you’ll be baking a lot of delicious treats for everyone.

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  12. Thank you for another lovely post about a book that so many us have enjoyed. You’ve inspired me to read it again! I can’t wait to try “Jo’s Gingerbread” recipe. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for this lovely post! I remember my first time reading Little Women, too, and sobbing over Beth. I read it again and again for years. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a delightful post! I’m now determined to read “Little Women” again as I have only read it once and that was quite some time ago. I have an uneasy feeling that at that time I might have skimmed or even skipped the poems. (eek!) That last one is so poignant and the bond between the sisters has always warmed my heart. On a lighter note, I am also a huge gingerbread fan and look forward to trying this recipe. Have a wonderful holiday season, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You’ve whetted my appetite to reread Little Women. One thing I think I remember from the first time around was that one of the girls… Jo?… was a proponent of comfortable shoes, and I often think of that because I can no longer stand heels or shoes that pinch. Give me a comfortable shoe any day!
    All that aside, thank you for this post, and have a happy and healthy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Where to start… maybe with that delicious looking ginger bread that I must try out… Then there’s the cookbook that I might have to have too… Thanks for transporting me back to the 19th century– what a lovely visit, I’m drinking it all in… Jo’s poems and your delectable pics. Happiest of Holidays and a joyous New Year to you and your family Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes, from Moranville’s cookbook as well as the other new one, written by two librarians. No shortage of treats to enjoy while rereading the book. Wishing you the best of holidays, Michelle!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The illustrations you included (by Frank T. Merrill,) must have been in the edition of Little Women that I read over and over again when I was in around 2nd or 3rd grade. Somehow it really spoke to me despite all the changes in society that had taken place by the time I was growing up. Your post makes me remember all that vividly. Thank you!

    Have a great Christmas and New Year celebration!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must have been an advanced reader if you read that edition of LW in 2nd or 3rd grade. Merrill’s illustrations are fun to see, as are the myriad of covers gracing other editions. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Mae!

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  18. Thank you, for the delicious gingerbread…and recipe and cookbook recommendation. I enjoyed every last bit. I do have wonderful memories of Little Women and, The Secret Garden. I was just the right age when I read them and both books lit my imagination up with a love of those same places and words. Can’t wait to see the movie! A generous and beautiful post as always, dear Jama. Enjoy your holidays. See you next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think I also read both books at just the right time. These are the types of books that stay with you forever. Hope your holidays are extra delicious and fun, Linda!! Happy 2020!!

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  19. I too am a lifelong Little Women (and Secret Garden) lover. I have this Little Women cookbook but haven’t made anything out of it yet. I may have to start with gingerbread. Did you know there is a Secret Garden cookbook coming out next month!!!!! I have a digital copy that I plan to dive into in January.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, didn’t know about the Secret Garden cookbook!! Thanks for the heads up — looks to be a revised edition of the one I currently have. I like having color photos of finished recipes.

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  20. Gorgeous post as usual. I love Little Women and reread it a couple of years ago but I may need to reread it before the movie. Love the cookbook and the paper dolls too. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone has LW fever — last year marked 150 years since the book was first published, and now the movie is so highly anticipated. Been enjoying all the interviews of cast members and director (so young!).

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  21. I think it’s time to re-visit Little Women. And, it’s good to think cheery thoughts on happy families, when so many seem to be a bit on the dysfunctional side. Gingerbread certainly helps. Thanks and Holiday blessings to you this season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, so true — part of the appeal of the book is probably that it depicts a brand of family devotion we all aspire to. The characters were realistically imperfect, making them relatable to us, but that sisterly bond was idealized in some ways. Happy Holidays to you, Claudia!

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  22. Aw, this post has me all misty-eyed! My little women and I are so looking forward to the new movie. And, just the other day, my librarian daughter checked out Wini Moranville’s cookbook and brought it home to me. 🙂 That made me endlessly happy.

    And Jo’s poem! Now I’m tearing up again. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so lucky to have your own little women — and your librarian daughter is my kind of person!! I think you’ll have fun with the cookbook. 🙂 Happy Holidays, Karen!

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  23. Oh, Jama. I don’t know how I’ll make it through this movie when I do see it. I was sobbing by the end of “In the Garret.” I had forgotten the poems! Thank you for this wonderful post. I’ve loved Little Women since I was gifted the book somewhere between 10 and 12. Jo was my hero, or as we said then , heroine. I will want to read it again, even though so many quotes you share are embedded in memory.The gingerbread cake sounds scrumptious. And YES to a Blue New Year, or even better, if we could all come together and rally around one unified color. Light to you always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Purple is the color of unity. We can’t give up hope.

      Good to know this book also holds a special place in your heart. I’m curious to see how Greta Gerwig has refashioned this story — a tall order considering hers will be the 7th movie version.

      Have a special holiday season, Joyce — good health and good fun in 2020 too!!

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  24. Jama, thank you for the gift of your time, week after week, to bring us such detailed delight. Looking forward to revisiting LW although EIGHT COUSINS was always my favorite. We are great gingerbread fans in this family…the lemon glaze/sauce does make all the difference!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Happy holidays, Jama! What a lovely roundup of all things Alcott you’ve got here. We’ve got our tickets all booked for a Boxing Day screening of “Little Women” at our local theater. There is much excitement about the movie here in the greater Concord area, where I live. This is the first version of the movie filmed entirely here in Massachusetts. And just for the record, I, too, serve my Gingerbread with warm lemon sauce. It’s a family favorite. See you in 2020! — Christie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The movie has been getting excellent reviews. It will be an extra special treat for you since many of the landmarks/locations will be familiar to you. Happy 2020 to you!!

      Like

  26. How did I miss this? What a great post! Thanks so much for highlighting one of my favorite recipes from the Little Women Cookbook. Honestly, gingerbread is a marvelous thing — but so many of us have forgotten. Thanks again.
    Wini Moranville, Author of “The LIttle Women Cookbook: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters and Their Friends and Family.”

    Liked by 1 person

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