Dear Internet Citizen:
Recently, Elizabeth Gilbert rediscovered a cookbook called At Home on the Range that was written by her great-grandmother, Margaret Yardley Potter. She read the book in a single sitting and loved it, and then sent us an effusive email about this hilarious narrative cookbook that was way ahead of its time, saying we should publish a new edition, with sales benefiting ScholarMatch.
So naturally we pressed the magic Publish button, and eight months later, here we are, gorgeous new book in hand, and a possibly too-ambitious Tumblr project underway.
And what is this possibly too-ambitious Tumblr project? It’s:
- Recipes, stories, and histories from Alexa Potter, an historian by trade, and great-granddaughter of Margaret Yardley Potter.
- Original art, which is all for sale, with proceeds benefitting ScholarMatch.
- Margaret Yardley Potter’s old Wilmington Star cooking columns from the ’40s and ’50s.
- A post here or there from McSweeney’s staffers trying their hand(s) at Mrs. Potter’s recipes, as well as updates about the book, excerpts, events, etc.
- Submissions from you!
You’ll notice that last one is bold. Because it’s important. Because everyone involved in At Home on the Range so far has been so inspired by the stories behind the food that it sent us scrambling to seek out old family recipes, to compile them, and then to… to what? We didn’t know. Until now.
Our goal with this Tumblr is to compile, through submissions, a folk recipe database. Anything that your grandma taught you, or gave to you on recipe cards. The BBQ sauce recipe you gleaned from your neighbor. Your uncle’s lil-of-this-lil-of-that brisket recipe.
If you don’t have any of these in mind, but love the book, tell us about your favorite recipe! If you don’t have a culinary bone in your body, but your friend does, tell them about our quixotic venture!
As the book ramps up, you’ll be hearing more from us. And in turn, we hope to hear more from you. And once everyone is hearing from everyone, we will have collected every recipe ever, and then our job will be done.