I'm lucky to have some pretty amazing pioneer ancestors who are fairly well known. For example:
John D. Lee
Edmund Lovell Ellsworth
Famous for being the leader of the first handcart company of pioneers to leave Iowa and head across the plains. He's my 3rd great grandpa.
Daniel D. McArthur
Famous for being the leader of the second handcart company to leave Iowa and head out across the plains. He's also my 3rd great grandfather. These two companies had a short of "race" across the plains and ended up entering the Salt Lake Valley together.
You can read more about these last two in an Ensign article HERE.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a couple of fun things we did.
We made butter, which is easy to do. Most people just grab some cream, toss it in a jar and shake until the butter separates and leaves behind buttermilk. But to attempt to make it more authentic we made a pretend butter churn.
I took a mixing pitcher (Pampered Chef sells them, but mine is a generic one I bought on Amazon) and I wrapped it with paper and tried to make it look like wood. OK, so I'm no artist. But it still looked a lot more like a churn than a jar you shake! The kids had fun pumping the handle up and down just like you would with the dasher for a butter churn.
After about 30-45 minutes of "churning" it looked like this! (We all took turns so it wasn't too boring for anyone.)
I poured everything from the pitcher into a bowl of ice water and packed the butter together, trying to rinse off all the buttermilk.
Then for lunch we had our fresh butter on some homemade bread.
We also had milk, dried apples and pork and beans in an attempt to have food the pioneers would have had!
I spent the afternoon making bonnets for the girls. They turned out too big, but they'll grow into them. I used the pattern found HERE which worked really well. I just read the sizing wrong and made more of an adult sized one than a little girls' size.
We also put together some quick pioneer dolls. I just took a square of cloth, folded it down a bit on one edge and stuffed a sock inside, then secured that with a hair elastic to create a head in the center. I then tied a knot on the fabric corners on each side of that for hands and arms. You can sort of see one of the dolls in the picture below.
If you are a Latter-Day Saint did you do anything fun this past Pioneer Day?
If you want to know a little more about what Pioneer Day is read THIS.