Ambitious, imaginative meals for advance preparation--arranged by seasons and keyed to seasonal occasions. (""The majority of these recipes,"" we're advised, ""appeared. . . in the International Review of Food & Wine""; and some also in the likes of Ben Appetit and Cuisine.) Summer fare features vegetables and a minimum of cooking for a maximum of leisure. In the fall come stronger flavors, main-course soups, and many ways with meat--also ""An Aside on the Subject of Grains,"" a Colchie specialty throughout. (Viz., Strudel of Kasha, Cabbage, and Walnuts with Dill Sauce in summer; Kasha and Red Peppers with Rabbit in March.) Winter is big on holiday entertaining--with Cold Spiced Beef for a Twelfth Night Supper or Potted Ham (with cranberries and spices) to have on hand for guests. Spring brings a bevy of delicate-to-hearty breakfasts (""for early rising"") and several ways of serving fish without last-minute fuss. There are some dreamed-up occasions (e.g., inexpensive entrees for tax time); but the recipes don't suffer. Not for beginners or (on the whole) cooks counting minutes, pennies, or calories; fine for sophisticates who want to relax and enjoy their guests.