This is a cookbook for that neophyte who ""doesn't know how to boil water."" The reader is given an explicit explanation along with a lot of other primary instruction on getting acquainted with your stove, the bare essentials of kitchen equipment or dinner table service, or on marketing. (One might suggest she is overly trusting in the neighborhood butcher in these days of supermarkets.) She is also helpful on seasoning, on increasing quantities, on substitutions, on advance preparation. But the ""party dinners"" of the title is limiting and leaves the novice with only one meal a day to serve, and without sufficient definition of terminology (blending, folding, etc.) So far as this goes, with twelve meticulously directed dinner menus, the book is good but it leaves a good deal to be learned elsewhere even at this level.