Jean Anderson, a no-nonsense Ladies Home Journal veteran already represented by half a dozen serviceable cookbooks, weighs in here with her best work yet. This fine compilation is divided into a reference section (notes and essays on major foods--mostly meats and vegetables--interspersed with about 170 recipes for them) and a cosmopolitan recipe collection that would amount to a modest-sized but excellent cookbook in itself (about 110 recipes). The discussions of foods and techniques are up-to-date without being trendy, and pleasantly chatty without being cutesy. Though a debatable point or two crops up (is formula-fed Provimi veal really the equivalent of milk-fed veal? must we stop stuffing turkeys with traditional dressings deemed a perfect medium for bacterial growth?), most of the information is unassailably accurate. It is presented, moreover, in a much more inviting and accessible form than the comparable material in the impressive but impersonal Doubleday Cookbook (by Anderson with Elaine Hanna). There is an especially good discussion of metrics, and the recipe-format manages to present both standard and metric measurements without hopeless visual clutter. The recipes--clearly but not fussily written--range from splendid, sturdy fare like cod and haddock chowder or mature lima beans with bacon and mint to such au courant ideas as basil sorbet, strawberry-raspberry semifreddo, and grapefruit granita. There is a particularly inviting smattering of German dishes. From cover to cover, solid worth.