I first happened upon Molly Yeh’s cookbook nestled with other holiday gift books while Christmas shopping at Barnes & Noble (does one holiday shop anywhere else? One does not!). From the get-go, this book had an eye catching minimalist design—obviously adorable with Molly on the cover—and charming writing to hook readers. Sandwiched with each recipe were stories of Yeh’s life leading up to her current station “on the range,” which includes suburb Chicago life, Manhattan eating nostalgia, impress-your-new-boyfriend food guides, and “Hotdish? What’s a hot dish?!” reflections.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes food, but also those who were born between 1985 and 1995 to pick up on many of Yeh’s references. A former Juilliard percussionist, her life has been a whirlwind of musical related practices, auditions, and—obviously—Juilliard itself. While there, she realized that she wasn’t going to go into orchestra or musical performance full-time, and as happenstance would have it, she ended up moving to her now-husband (Eggboy’s) North Dakota/Minnesota border family sugar beet farm.
Let’s take a moment and note that I learned that entire last paragraph from reading her cookbook, not her blog. While the book is a compilation of her blog recipes, which can be found at My Name Is Yeh, the book is her story in addition to her recipes.
Read on for more about Yeh’s cookbook Molly on the Range…
Is this the best cookbook I’ve ever read? No (but to be fair I don’t know what that would look like other than carbs actually coming out of the book, pre-made). Does this book make me want to cook the bejesus out of anything in my house? Yes. Does this book make me want to get a part time job at a bakery or ANY kitchen anywhere (including my own)? Yes. Do I now want to move North (I already live in the Midwest) to have fourteen chickens named Macaroni and blog, write, and cook-bake to my little heart’s content? You bet your homemade-sprinkle covered butt I do! OK, so maybe it is the best cookbook I’ve ever read. (I’ll let you know once I make the potstickers and homemade Asian Scotch Eggs…)
Yeh’s cookbook was approachable, well-written, and—as mentioned—charming. She will make you feel like you, too, can travel to Israel to figure out just how much you might actually like salad with pita for breakfast—because, yes, that’s a thing actual human beings do, not just rabbits. You, too, can cook in an antique farm house kitchen and create homemade sprinkles! You, too, can and will celebrate pizza night every Friday night and know that Yeh is doing exactly the same thing somewhere in world.
This book is a perfect gift for a friend, a great read for a laugh, and an inspiration for the cooker in any twenty-to-thirty-something reader (specifically those in the Midwest, I feel, but also New York for her descriptions of living in Manhattan). Disclaimer: While I do find Yeh’s recipes easy to follow and appealing to a variety of eaters and readers alike, I do feel that the book itself, the narratives included, and the photos appeal more acutely to female readers. (Note that I am a very female, very biased reader in that I am her age with a similar sense of humor and style.)
An “A+” cookbook for narrative reflections, recipes, and accumulated mouth-drool whilst reading.
I purchased my copy of Molly on the Range via Barnes & Noble, but copies are available internet-wide for $20 or less.