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At Home on the Range
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With an introduction from Elizabeth Gilbert, Margaret's great-granddaughter, this unearthed treasure is both a beautifully-written, useful cookbook and an insight into a lifestyle previously forgotten

About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of three books of non-fiction, the multi-million-copy-selling Eat, Pray, Love (now a major motion picture) and its bestselling follow-up, Committed, as well as The Last American Man (nominated for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book). She has also written a short story collection, Pilgrims (a finalist for the Pen/Hemmingway Award), and a novel, Stern Men. She was a writer-at-large for American GQ where she has received two National Magazine Award nominations for feature writing. In 2008, Time magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in New Jersey. Margaret Yardley Potter's book is culled from a lifetime of cooking and entertaining in her home, from the 1920s and through the Second World War. It was first published in 1947. 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.

Reviews

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. A woman who came from a wealthy Main Line Philadelphia family, married a profligate lawyer in the plentiful 1920s, and gradually had to come down in the world, Gima discarded the cook within the first three years of her marriage and energetically took charge of her own kitchen, learning from trial and error the art of entertaining myriad surprise guests her husband brought home and generally making-do while keeping everybody happy and well fed. Her upbeat tone that so impressed Gilbert when she finally read the cookbook braces the reader delightfully, from Gima's merry use of calf's brains and cockscombs ("with wine") to relaying how to make what was then a rather curious, palate-wowing ethnic find called pizza. 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. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Ideal for those who like their recipes to come with a back story ... The book is tremendously funny, and her cooking was way ahead of her time. There are some retro favourites, but most of the recipes have a modern feel, and her bracing common-sense approach to cheaper cuts and leftovers is right on the button * Sally Hughes, BBC Good Food Magazine *
Hilarious and has sections with blissful titles such as Weekend Guests without a Weakened Hostess * English Home *
***** Margaret Yardley Potter wrote At Home on the Range almost a generation before Julia Child. She was, explains Gilbert, way ahead of her time, being intrigued by the history of food, an early advocate of farmers' markets and a woman who persuaded an Italian shop keeper in Philadelphia in 1918 to teach her how to make pizza * The Lady *

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