A matriarchal view of the French kitchen by a Boston-based chef who grew up at the knees of women who knew how to take a trout, a bit of butter, some shallots--et voila! Kamman's loving homage to Marie-Charlotte, Victoire, Mimi, Henriette, etc., is seeped in country kitchen fragrances and though you may find that she tends to be just a bit cloying remembering the dear women ""with worn hands stained by vegetables peeled""--each epitomizing a different regional cuisine--the recipes are quite marvelous. No use trying to replicate the crÃªme fraiche of Normandy or the wild mushrooms of the Auvergne, but Kamman makes do handsomely with less exquisite American butter and cream, insisting only on an authentic veal stock and fish fumet. The cooking processes and costs are graded, easy to very difficult, affordable to very expensive, and measurements are given in metrics as well as cups. So we get. . . nettle soup from the Savoyard, Breton tinker mackerel, Alsatian patÃ‰s and terrines. She says frankly ""these recipes are designed for entertaining"" since good food is costly in time if not always in money. Which may be why each meal is a ""celebration"" to look forward to and remember, as she does, with fond devotion to her mentors.