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At Home on the Range Hardcover – Apr 17 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's; Updated edition (April 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936365898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936365890
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #376,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"When first published in 1947, "At Home on the Range," by Margaret Yardley Potter, must have seemed a shockingly non-girly truth-talking cookbook and life guide. Read today--as introduced in a McSweeney's edition by Potter's great-granddaughter, Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert--it is both artifact and artfully useful. Choice bit: Potter who died in 1955 at age 62, liked to invite guests not for dinner but rather for breakfast--'en neglige.' We're not surprised that Gilbert, who celebrates her 'Gima' throughout, comes from such feisty stock."--Sara Nelson, "Oprah Magazine" "This book is a beautiful time capsule that looks back to the roots of American gastronomy, when the values of gardening and fresh ingredients were the primary inspiration. Margaret Yardley Potter's warm, witty stories and recipes show us that our great-grandmothers instinctually understood that food is central to a life well-lived."--Alice Waters "Author Elizabeth Gilbert ("A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage") does a wonderful service by bringing back the opinionated, modern-for-its-time cookbook of her eccentric great-grandmother "Gima" Yardley Potter, first published in 1947... Chapters are devoted lovingly to what foods best to bring hospitalized friends, mastering cocktails, and organizing emergency meals and effortless entertaining. In her bright, determined tone ("Is your cigarette finished? Let's go"), Yardley Potter assures us a generation before Julia Child that we can tackle bouillabaisse, preserves, bread, and grandmother's sacred sponge cake."--"Publisher's Weekly" "This is a cookbook for modern times and modern cooks, full of sassy jokes and smartly written recipes."--"Bon Appetit" "Delightfully humorous and remarkably insightful."--"LA Times" "A precious find."--"Boston Globe" "'At Home on the Range' is, in fact, a cookbook. But it is so much, much more than a cookbook. It is a memoir of one woman's life, her marriage, and her full and happy years taking care of a family. It is also the encapsulation of the spirit of this particular woman--Margaret Yardley Potter of Philadelphia, who died in 1955--on the page, in such full-flowered glory that she seems by the close of the volume to be someone that we know intimately."--"Buffalo News" "This is not just a book of recipes (though it has plenty of those, a perfect recipe for pressed chicken among them), but also a cookbook for life."--"GQ" "[Potter] is a wonderful, entertaining writer and a keen observer."--"The Kitchn" "For pure reading pleasure, try Margaret Yardley Potter, otherwise knowns as the memoirist Elizabeth Gilbert's great-grandmother... Adventurous and funny, she could have drunk and smoked Elizabeth David, M.F.K. Fisher and probably even Dorothy Parker under the table."--"New York Times Book Review" "Yardley Potter's prose is laced with literary references and is as much fun to read as her dinner parties must have been to attend."--"The New Yorker" "A beautiful, moving, often funny collection of essays and instructions from a very eloquent writer."--"Village Voice" "Bracketed by Gilbert's affectionate commentary, "At Home" is a warm and witty memoir that captures Potter's spirited approach to cooking and just about everything else... A book for all ages. What a gem."--"The Philadelphia Inquirer"

About the Author

Margaret Yardley Potter's book is culled from a lifetime of cooking and entertaining in her home, from the 1920s through World War II. In addition to being a cooking columnist for the Wilmington Star, she also painted, sold dresses, assisted in the birth of four grandchildren, and took up swing piano.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Eat, Pray, Love, now a major motion picture. In 2008, Time magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.


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Amazon.com: 33 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
For food history buffs May 4 2012
By George Erdosh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
More a food history book than a cookbook At Home on the Range was first published in 1947. Discovered by her great granddaughter, Elizabeth Gilbert, it is a time capsule of food and cooking of that era, more to food history buffs than home cooks. The book is preceded by a 13-page foreword by the great granddaughter giving us a glimpse of the author's life, including a few old photos, followed by a short introduction by the original author, Margaret Yardley Potter. This book is written in the narrative style and interspersed with many recipes from her wealthy household. For today's home cooks, the recipes are not easy to follow and are much dated. You will not find the customary list of ingredients or serving sizes. The recipe for fruitcake, for example, plows through a single long paragraph running two full pages. Occasional drawings with a single color embellish the pages. The writing is very good, entertaining and a pleasure to read. Two interesting tables conclude the book: emergency pantry supplies and menu suggestions. The index only includes recipes, and is very disappointing. There is no effort to cross reference. Country Stewed Chicken, e.g., only appears under Country. (As reviewed for Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review.)
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
No substitute for good food or a comfortable bed July 3 2012
By wogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There is no substitute for good food or a comfortable bed - so writes Margaret Potter in `At Home on the Range', first published in 1947. This is both a cookbook, although, not in the usual form and a history of a woman who was born into the Philadelphia Main line and wound up in a small house on Maryland's eastern shore. Despite diminished circumstances, she still insisted on good food.

There is an excellent introduction by her great-granddaughter.
There are menus and instructions. Recipes included are: soups, pot roasts and other meats, foods for the brave, hard shells, fish, greens, sauces, salads and dressings, desserts, preserves, breads, drinks, eggs, parties, breakfasts, from the bar.

Recipes are in paragraph form, but there is a complete index. There are no pictures of the dishes. Some of the dishes require an adventuresome stomach, such as; calf brains with black butter, eels or fried tripe. Our family has enjoyed her recipe for meat loaf that also has a bit of ham in it, her baked squash and her pizza, which at the time she described as the "odd appearing dish".

This is a book cookbook collectors would enjoy and even those who like to read social history.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A glimpse of the past... May 6 2012
By Just News - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is not a cookbook as we know today, with recipes and a list of ingredients in order to produce a meal (but the recipes can be reproduced with simple cooking common sense) , it is a book to be read and enjoyed. It has to be put into context of pre Julia Childs America; "Tripe a la mode de Caen" or eels, boiled, fried or sautéed" anybody? in 1947 Philadelphia ?
it is a gem of a book , and I am glad that it was brought back to life, especially because the proceeds goes to a good cause. - [...]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Memoir/diary/cookbook Aug. 3 2012
By Elysia J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook is intertwined with personal stories and is a funny, interesting read. As a person who reads cookbooks, to me it seems that this book was written either ahead of of behind the times for when it was originally published (1947), for I have cookbooks from the 1930s and from our current day that have recipes similar to this book, but other books written when this one was written are filled with recipes from cans and boxes.

The author was a woman who was rich as a child but financially poor as an adult, but who maintained her taste for excellent food. Therefore her recipes were excellent and 'gourmet,' but inexpensive when it was published (most of them still are, but some of the ingredients, like wild grapes and cockscombs, are a lot harder to come by now then they seem to have been then).

There are especially good chapters on what every kitchen needs ('Hot Stuff for the Range Owner,') and on what you can make with what should usually be in your pantry anyway ('Egg Yourself on in Emergencies'). I am glad the author's granddaughter re-published this. I borrowed this from the library and am happy to buy it now from amazon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
History, Heart, Wit, and a Good Dash of Pepper to Taste. Nov. 26 2014
By Victoria Spice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I actually bought this book at a discount book store while living abroad in Australia and I have to admit I wasn't expecting too much since the price was so low. I am a huge fan of old cookbooks and my preliminary scan of the pages did pique my interests quite a bit so I quickly took my chances and dropped the $5 AUD for it.
On the bus and train home that day I found I couldn't put it down. Even as an avid reader it held my interest for months as I read through it tirelessly in my free time.
The recipes are quaint but pertinent to modern life while the anecdotes from the author are wonderfully written and are filled to bursting with charm, history, and a heavy slathering of wit that transcends its time period.
The book is presented by the author's great-granddaughter, who is also the author of the best selling novel "Eat, Pray, Love".
It is obvious where the talent in this family springs from and "At Home on the Range" stands firmly on its own two feet as a novel, autobiography, and as a cookbook.
I lost almost everything I owned when I left Australia, but this book was one of the first things I placed in my luggage. It will be a proud member of my library for years to come.
The only negative thing I can say about this book is that the cover of the hardback printing is done in the old style and the red designs on the cover do begin to show specks of wearing away after a while. However, take care of it and it will be fine.
If you have any interest at all in history or cooking don't even think about passing this book up.

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