At Home on the Range

Margaret Yardley Potter, At Home on the Range, presented by Elizabeth Gilbert (San Francisco: McSweeney’s, 2012)

Gilbert - At Home on the Range
Perhaps it makes sense to start with a couple of disclaimers. First of all, I am not in the practice of reading cook books, especially ones that are so filled with butter and bacon and sugar and other foods that I eat only in moderation. This book has more meat in a single recipe than I eat in a week. And my second disclaimer is that I have never read the book “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Here is what happened. I ended up purchasing a copy of this cookbook by the great-grandmother of Elizabeth Gilbert because I bought a package of books from McSweeney’s, one of my favorite publishing houses. They offered a deal that was just too good to pass up. The rest of the books were gems, so what did I have to risk by opening this book.

The book is far more than recipes. It is a kind of book of advice on how to live and entertain in polite society. And it is so well written that I just kept reading even though I doubt that I will every try any of the recipes in the book. It was a glimpse on a way of life that is now past, but still has its own charm and attraction.

If Elizabeth Gilbert inherited a bit of her great-grandmother’s storytelling skill, Eat, Pray, Love might be worth reading some day.