At Home on the Range Hardcover – Apr 17 2012
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"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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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. - [...]
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.
And there are plenty of recipes. OK, a number of them are for brains and tripe, and I'm sorry, but they're two things I'm just NOT going to try. On the other hand, should I lose my mind and do just that, her recipes are the first I'll look for.
The author reminds me of Julia Child, only without the French culinary background. She tried things, liked them, and managed to get the recipes. Brava, hon. This is a fabulous collection. The intro by Ms. Gilbert just makes it that much better.