The stockpot is one of the best ways to recycle food"" and once you've prepared Loebel's simmering pot recipes, 5 or 6 quarts worth, you're well ahead of the game when it comes to the most fancy dinners. Though she provides instructions for all the classic French stocks -- chicken, beef, brown, veal, ham -- her all-purpose basic stock (toss in leftover vegetables, meat drippings, the remains of an oven roast, etc.) is more than adequate for anyone who's not a fanatical purist. Use it as the beginning of vegetable soups (avocado cream, curried spinach); any number of delicately sauced chicken dishes; pungent beef stews. Loebel is a great advocate of steaming meats and almost all vegetables for maximum nutritional value, and here, too, the use of stock rather than plain water imparts extra flavors. She uses wine lavishly and most of the recipes, even with the stock made beforehand, require time and care. On the other hand, almost everything ""freezes perfectly."" Hopefully the book will help restore what Dumas called ""the eternal kettle"" to the American kitchen.