wish i had this when i was younger
I like this book better than her classic on french cookery. Many of the recipes are simpler and can be made in a reasonable time with available ingredients. I especially like her method of a master recipe, then adding variations. And I like her hints on substitutions -- if you don't have this, you can use that.
But the point of the book is in the HOW to cook, not what to cook. Her section on the basic vegetables taught me a lot, and she explodes a number of modern myths. And no longer do I sauté meat without drying it (she's right). I'm not much of a baker, but now i feel confident enough to start making my own french bread and rolls. I began cooking before the advent of the food processor, and she has also convinced me it's a must, -- well almost. There goes another 200+ bucks.
In reading this, I became aware that she is really a traditionalist cook, not much into the 'nouvelle cuisine'. Definitely not a food fadist.
A good gift for a young couple -- but be careful here :).