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One Big Table: 600 recipes from the nation's best home cooks, farmers, fishermen, pit-masters, and chefs

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Ten years ago, former New York Times food columnist Molly O’Neill embarked on a transcontinental road trip to investigate reports that Americans had stopped cooking at home. As she traveled highways, dirt roads, bayous, and coastlines gathering stories and recipes, it was immediately apparent that dire predictions about the end of American cuisine were vastly ove ...more
ebook, 864 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published November 2nd 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 580)
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Karen Strickholm
This cookbook is, quite simply, a must-have for every kitchen.

First of all, the incomparable Molly O'Neill traveled the United States, collecting recipes from everywhere. Many of the recipes were handed down from immigrants, so this cookbook is also a great representation of the incredibly diverse American food ways.

The recipes are GREAT. Every time I try a new one, it's another hit. So this isn't just a recipe collection. They all seem to have been tested carefully.

Also, each recipe is accompa
Blog on Books
Another amazing book that has been recently released is Molly O’Neill’s “One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking” (Simon & Schuster) O’Neill, the former New York TImes food columnist, has amassed a huge undertaking – leaving her Manhattan life behind to set out on a nearly decade long, 300,000 miles exploration of the localism and regionalism that comprises the American food palate. She has taken on the task of unearthing every nook and cranny of the U.S. culinary map – discovering suc ...more
Jennifer Parks
I picked up One Big Table by Molly O'Neill a couple years ago on sale. This is a big, heavy book resulting from the author's quest to travel the country and document first hand what Americans are cooking up in their kitchens. It opens with a lovely illustration inside the front cover of the United States and its agricultural products with the products overlaid on a US map to show their origins. These clever and informative old-timey graphics are sprinkled throughout the cookbook and add to its c ...more
This just didn't really turn out to be the book for me. I was overwhelmed by the number of recipes, and they were all a little old-fashioned, and I didn't know what to trust. O'Neill has a more manageably-sized book of New York recipes, which Lissa gave me, and since it's not a library book I can keep it on my shelf as a reference and eventually get into trying those. But I think on the whole I prefer cookbooks where the recipes are primarily created by one author/set of authors, rather than edi ...more
This was a fun book to read, but the farther I got through it, the more I wondered if the recipes had been tested. They come from hundreds of people around the country. Did the author test them all herself or just take them at face value? Also, there doesn't seem to be much concern about nutrition. A lot of the recipes look tasty, but are loaded up with cream, butter, and of course, bacon wherever possible. Still, there were plenty of recipes I wanted to have on hand, so it might be a book worth ...more
Signe Pike
I absolutely adore this book. I'm posing my review now because it is so behemoth that I'll most likely be savoring it in bits and pieces over my lifetime. The recipes are delicious, tasty, incredibly diverse (just like we are, America!) and it's filled with cool side bars about the history of oysters in the US, etc.
It's a treasure of a cookbook, and one of the first cookbooks in a long time that I pick up just to read for pleasure.

A tome that belongs on the shelf (or coffee table) of every ser
Like the idea. I just don't have the energy for it. This book is BIG.

From the bookjacket:

Molly O'Neill embarked on a transcontinental road trip to investigate reports that Americans had stopped cooking at home. As she traveled...gathering stories and recipes, it was immediately apparent that dire predictions about the end of American cuisine were vastly overstated...[H]ome cooks were channeling their family histories as well as their tastes and personal ambitions into delicious meals.
Kari Lynn Mackey
This book is an absolute joy to read and to cook from. Besides a wealth of unique recipes drawing on various ethnic traditions, One Big Table includes the stories -- family and cultural -- behind the recipes. Interspersed are historical tidbits about the origins and development of certain food customs or terms. All of these "extras" made this a must-own cookbook, not just for the recipes themselves, but because one could actually read the book cover to cover!
Very well written interesting cookbook that has lots of insightful descriptions of who makes this dish and why. Its a collection of the best home recipes from all different types of people in all parts of the nation. Taken together its a very interesting culinary tapestry. Recipes look good too. I say that I've read it, but I just skimmed it several times. Its one cookbook I'd buy if I could find it for the right price.
Like O'Neill's "The New York Cookbook" only on a much broader scale, this book has 600 recipes from cooks, purveyors and foodies all over America. Full disclosure--I have a recipe in it (details here: but regardless it's a fun and very comprehensive book.
Jun 05, 2011 Kerith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brent Stringfield
What a wonderful feast this is. This is a cookbook, yes, and full of recipes but it is also so readable. Every recipe has a story about how the dish came to the US, and each section is interleaved with little histories about food in our country. I gobble this stuff up. Now I want to go back through and figure out what to cook.
I have finished reading this door stop. There are some interesting thing in here but it was hard to slog though the boring cookie and cake recipes at the end most of which I will never make...chocolate cake with marshmallows on it? Not going to happen. I may have try those Chocolate-Sauerkraut cupcakes though.
If you like reading cookbooks, you'll love this book. It has more background and stories for each recipe than almost any cookbook I've seen (the exception being Cook's Illustrated, but this is entirely different). I haven't tried any recipes yet, but the book itself is engaging.
I got to meet Molly O'Neill at a book signing at Borders for Mostly True. I have enjoyed reading the back stories in this book and am currently going through all the recipes and noting down the ones I want to try.
Nora Gaskin Esthimer
Currently reading, and reading, and reading. I love food-history-culture-memory and that what this is. A must for all food people and sociologists who need a little nosh.
Great culinary stories--i.e.the history of the Mason jar and the social history of American stoves--and some rather unusual recipes from across the U.S.
This book is a neat historical record of America's culinary regions. Fun to look through and read, but didn't see any recipes that pulled me in.
A fantastic look at the rich and diverse food culture of this country. This one goes on the wish list! You will want it on your shelf.
Julie McElhaney
Love this book! I just wish it weren't so heavy. Pretty pictures, nice little stories, yummy recipes, perfect!
Jessie Haas
Haven't cooked from it yet, but the stories are wonderful and I want to cook lots!
Some delicious and weird recipes in this thing. And fun to just read about the people.
Great read, the food and the people!
A fun concept for a book.
Lynn Clements
Lynn Clements marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2015
Shawna marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
Lynda marked it as to-read
Feb 18, 2015
Sharlene Flores
Sharlene Flores marked it as to-read
Feb 16, 2015
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