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At Home on the Range

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3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  262 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
While unpacking boxes of old family books recently, Elizabeth Gilbert rediscovered a dusty, yellowed hardcover called At Home on the Range, originally written by her great-grandmother, Margaret Yardley Potter. Having only been peripherally aware of the volume, Gilbert dug in with some curiosity, and soon found that she had stumbled upon a book far ahead of its time. Part s ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by McSweeney's (first published April 1st 1947)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 901)
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Anna
Mar 01, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
The first thing you need to know is this book was originally published in 1947. It is being republished by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and great-granddaughter of the author. Her proceeds from this book are being donated to ScholarMatch, which I think is lovely. Now, the fact that this book was published in 1947 is relevant for a number of reasons. The first is that this was shortly after meat rationing for the war. I liked this because there are a lot of recipes for different w ...more
Amy
Jul 29, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I would have kept reading this book if not for the delightful intro by Elizabeth Gilbert about her great-grandmother's book. Gilbert did a great job of setting the stage, and I enjoyed the informal and friendly (and surprisingly amusing!) tone of this book, as well as the perspectives on home and cooking from the early 20th century. The author makes cooking from scratch sound so easy and effortless. And I love historic recipes that have a less-is-more approach, so I copied a bunch o ...more
Mandolin
Oct 12, 2012 Mandolin rated it really liked it

When you make something meaningful of your life, using it to touch the lives of others, your legacy will long outlast you and you will never quite be dead, as long as people continue to benefit from your memory and your legacy of giving. Elizabeth Gilbert, the well-known author, saw this truth played out in her own great-grandmother's life. Growing up hearing stories about Margaret Potter, it was only when she stumbled upon this cookbook, originally published in 1947, that she was finally able t
...more
Emily
Jan 26, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
A fun, cute, quick read, with some witty recipes. I love "vintage" cooking books like this--they give me a good feel for how cooking used to be (at least for a certain income level.) It's very much like "Little Heathens", if you read that, at least in the cooking parts of that book.
Diane
Jun 21, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! If you like to read good books that contain lots of recipes, I think you will love it, too. The old-fashioned recipes are written in "story form" and the author has a wonderful sense of humor - if a sometimes strange taste for food. But at least recipes for things like Brains with Black Butter and Stewed Calf's Head don't send you scurrying to the kitchen intent on wrecking your diet for all time! I do hope to try quite a few of the recipes, however, like Sour Milk Hot Cakes a ...more
Gail
Aug 28, 2012 Gail rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the best book on successful strategies for entertaining I've ever read. Many readers seem not to like it because the recipes are provided in paragraph form, but they are easily followed. In any event, the value of the book, in my opinion, is that it encourages the host to think strategically about what matters in feeding and entertaining guests, not in terms of lists of ingredients. The tone is bright and breezy, altogether a delightful read.
Cyndy
Oct 07, 2012 Cyndy rated it really liked it
I have always liked to read cookbooks. This book is like a dream come true - a cookbook written as prose. It's hard to believe the woman writing these recipes was from the early part of the 20th century. She was clearly ahead of her time. I especially liked her comment about not liking the Parmeson cheese in the green can. I concur!

I'm already thinking of someone I can give this to as a gift!
Bookaholic
Carte de bucate, ospitalitate şi poveşti minunate de Margaret Yardley Potter (Editura Humanitas, trad. Anca Bărbulescu) nu este atît o carte cu reţete de mîncare, cît un fel de memorii despre cum se gătea şi cum se trăia într-o familie înstărită de americani din suburbiile Philadephiei în anii dintre războaie şi imediat după.

A fost prima data publicată în 1947 şi, gîndindu-mă la rafturile cu conserve şi semipreparate care au saturat imaginarul pop al acelei perioade, reţetele ei sînt la fel de c
...more
Crystal
Jul 29, 2012 Crystal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I read this book cover to cover. I loooooved the author's voice and sass, I loved how the recipes expect you to know how to cook, and I love how forward-thinking this cook was in 1947. I got this from the library but I'll be buying it as soon as I have to return it. I have the cruller dough chilling in the fridge now. :)
Anna
Nov 13, 2015 Anna rated it it was ok
If you like poring through old editions of the Rombauers' Joy of Cooking which contains sections on how to dress venison or recipes of another era of eating dishes like consommé and aspic, then you might enjoy another throwback cookbook first published in 1947. I was fascinated by the recipe for Crab Imperial and Potter's chapter, "Painless Party Giving and Effortless Entertaining" which recommends ethnic buffet suppers like one centered around Chicken Curry and rice and that you "pack away with ...more
Laura
Aug 12, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
I really love old cookbooks - they're an incredible way to see how women before us lived, how people celebrated, saved money, spent their time. And when you update the recipes with modern notation (as Gilbert does to 10 at the end), these recipes are actually still pretty useful.

The best chapters here were drinks, parties, desert and vegetables. The chapter groupings are unique (what to make for a sick person? for unexpected guests?) and it's obvious Potter was an incredible hostess. She's funny
...more
Abby
Sep 13, 2012 Abby rated it liked it
This is a fun and whimsical cookbook written by Elizabeth Gilbert's great-grandmother, Margaret Yardley Potter. Potter was ahead of her time in advocating for time-saving recipes, locally sourced ingredients, adventurous ethnic eating (e.g. Italian pizza pie and chicken curry), hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and even women's independence.

Potter begins each chapter with interesting personal anecdotes written in her trademark clever, quipping tone. She also provides fun, practical tips for difficul
...more
Joyce
Jun 09, 2013 Joyce rated it it was amazing
Y'know? I wish I could remember just how I stumble upon books like this! OK, I recognized Elizabeth Gilbert as the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" and this cookbook is by her great-grandmother, who must have been a kick! The book was originally published in 1947 and dedicated to Ms. Gilbert's Aunt Nancy, "whom the author described as a five-year-old child already in possession of the "two prime requisites of a good cook: a hearty appetite and a sense of humor."" Hear, hear! That introductory paragra ...more
Amy
Nov 05, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
"Eat, Pray, Love"'s Elizabeth Gilbert presents a long-forgotten cookbook published by her great-grandmother postwar, with foreword and afternotes. As someone who has a small but meaningful collection of cookbooks from the 1910s through the 50s, this book fits right in with a little something extra. The original author is wry, tremendously witty, practical, and fun to read; her great-granddaughter supplies the rest of the story, which makes the original that much more poignant reading.

Economy st
...more
Renuka Soll
Jan 10, 2015 Renuka Soll rated it liked it
This is a cookbook that was originally published in the 1940's. I love the explanations and side comments by the author. However, it was difficult to read because the recipes weren't in a separate section but given in paragraph form. I tried to skip through these but may have also ended up missing some humorous text. I feel that the book could have been organized better.
Carolyn
Aug 19, 2012 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food
I didn't get a chance to finish this, but I enjoyed the parts I did read. I was a little skeptical at first, since I don't particularly like Elizabeth Gilbert, but her grandmother proves to be hilarious. The recipes were a little difficult to follow (they are written in paragraphs), but they are organized into chapters based on situation, like meals for entertaining on a long weekend at the beach. The delightful part of this book comes from remembering that it was originally published in 1947, w ...more
Teatime Reader
Mar 11, 2013 Teatime Reader rated it really liked it
Claiming that a hearty appetite and a good sense of humour were the only requirements for a good cook, At Home on the Range encourages others to employ those same virtues in their own homemaking. Potter learns how to make pizza from an Italian grocer back when international food was scandalous. She plans menus and organizes household chores to free up her time during the summer when guests are likely to drop by and stay for a week. And in the winter months, when colds and flus are making the rou ...more
Shannon
May 28, 2014 Shannon rated it really liked it
After reading a magazine article about this book, I immediately ordered a copy via Amazon.com on my cell phone. My first cell phone purchase. haha

I've had the book for over a month, but last night I decided to look it over. I already knew it was half story and half recipe. Wow. I was sucked in immediatly. It wasn't until much later, when I finally read the book jacket that I realized the author's great granddaughter was Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote Eat, Pray, Love.

I really enjoyed this book. I ga
...more
Suanne Laqueur
Feb 18, 2016 Suanne Laqueur rated it it was amazing
Part scholar and part crusader for a more open food conversation, Potter espoused the importance of farmer’s markets and ethnic food (Italian, Jewish, and German), derided preservatives and culinary shortcuts, and generally celebrated a devotion to epicurean adventures. Reading this practical and humorous cookbook, it’s not hard to see that Elizabeth Gilbert inherited her great-grandmother’s love of food and her warm, infectious prose.

The chapter entitled “Egg Yourself on in Emergencies,” is, in
...more
Guna
Feb 27, 2015 Guna rated it really liked it
Kaut kas pa vidam starp romānu un pavārgrāmatu (lai gan autore to bija domājusi tikai kā pavārgrāmatu). Receptēs var just, ka sarakstīta ne pēdējā desmitgadē. Lasījās raiti, recepšu aprakstos joki, citāti un personīgā pieredze. Tādiem recepšu lasīšanas mīļotājiem kā man, noteikti patiks. Vai izmantošu kādu no receptēm, droši nezinu (bet varētu ko tādu apņemties).
Michaela
Aug 06, 2013 Michaela rated it it was ok
I love to cook and discover new recipes and I also loved Eat, Pray, Love. So, I thought this book would be perfect, I must admit that I didn't fully read what the book was about other than cooking. I bought the book at Elizabeth Gilbert's store in NJ. It was a hardcover and was signed. I was sold! While reading the book I couldn't get past the recipes and the story. Personally I would prefer one or the other. I never realized that I like my recipes written in a certain way until this book. I rea ...more
Sacha
Nov 04, 2015 Sacha rated it really liked it
Lots of good stuff here. The narrative is amusing. I'm looking forwards to trying the ice cream recipe next summer and the pumpkin pie sooner.
LemontreeLime
Jan 29, 2015 LemontreeLime rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
What a riot! First off, be forewarned that this cookbook is written in the OLD style, like country newspapers from the 1930s. No glossy photos of finished dishes here. BUT what it DOES have is chatty humor and classy quips; Mz. Potter was full of spice and that's no lie. Some amazing ideas for recipes too. You ever start pan gravy with sour cream? I'd never even _heard_ of that technique, probably why i don't like gravy, obviously i was deprived. As I read it, I was reminded of my grandmother in ...more
Spigana
Dievīga pavārgrāmata ar apburošu humora izjūtu un burvīgiem stāstiem. Un tās receptes! Grūti nosēdēt uz vietas un gribas pamēģināt visas uzreiz.
Meg Dean
Mar 06, 2014 Meg Dean rated it it was ok
Shelves: cooking-food
The layout of this ebook is awful! There is no indication of what recipe begins/ends where. Could not finish this one.
Terri
Dec 14, 2014 Terri rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
Good. Not great compared to a lot of other books of this kind that I have read, but interesting enough.
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
May 07, 2014 Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk) rated it really liked it
Perfect, classic cookbook for every household, for every budget. Great, easy recipies with many useful tips and ideas. Not to mention Mrs Potter's anecdotes and her one of a kind family stories.
Missy
Apr 08, 2014 Missy rated it liked it
Shelves: creative-cooking
Interesting from a historical perspective on cooking
Christina Dudley
A fun skim. Elizabeth Gilbert's grandma had a humorous, make-it-work spirit. Most of her "recipes" are way too much work, even if you could convince your family to eat them (e.g., kidney stew, calves' brains, fruitcake!!), but they're fascinating. And some, like the pickle and tomato and salad recipes sounded genuinely tasty. The poor woman seemed to deal with an endless stream of surprise dinner guests, which perhaps explains why she tried once to leave her husband or why she eventually died of ...more
Diana Duncan
Sep 02, 2012 Diana Duncan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbook, read-2012
This was a very interesting work of culinary history. Potter was very much ahead of her time, with an interest in seeking out the cuisines of of cultures. The recipes are written in a descriptive way, rather than in the way modern cookbooks list the ingredients and then the instructions. The text was full of amusing quips. I have not tried any of the recipes yet, though I'm not sure how many things I would actually cook--I don't eat read meat. Some of the side dishes did look very interesting.
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“The sticky heaps of jellied marshmallows and tinted fruit that appear on too many tables should be shudderingly avoided along with their sickeningly sweet mayonnaise but my POTATO SALAD is something quite different.” 1 likes
“You will find this to be a more oniony soup than the usual kind but, as the cross old lady said when a stranger told her that her slip was showing, "I like it that way.” 1 likes
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