At Home on the Range

Elizabeth Gilbert falls in love with great-grandmother’s rich cooking legacy

Elizabeth Gilbert is standing at her stove, stirring flour into melted butter, attempting a simple white sauce for the base of an oyster bisque. As she slowly adds the milk, just as directed in the recipe, the sauce clumps.

“I don’t know about this, I’ve never made a white sauce before,” she says, stirring furiously to smooth out the lumps.

The best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love is the first to admit her greatest talent is not in the kitchen. But she has tied on an apron to promote the work of another writer in the family: her great-grandmother from Philadelphia, Margaret Yardley Potter, who, by all accounts, was a marvelous cook.