Recipes and menus mainly for eight persons, which makes the feeding-of-multitudes title a bit misleading. Cannon's ""simple dinner"" menus are realistic enough, her ""gourmet dinners"" sound strenuous and rather pretentious, and her buffet dinners represent sheer overkill--a fulltime housewife with little else on her hands could put one together in two or three days. Besides she goes in for a certain surplus of lavish effects. Who wants to serve a cheese souffle with lobster sauce at the same meal with potatoes Anna and filet of beef with truffle sauce, or have a hazelnut cream pudding sharing the dessert spotlight with a cream-filled strawberry cake? The recipes themselves are often less than explicit and precise--a duck dish which tells you simply to roast ""until almost done,"" a homemade mayonnaise with a tablespoon of sugar (!) to four egg yolks, a lobster and ocean fish bouillabaisse which calls for simmering the already cooked seafood ""for at least 1 hour"" before serving, a garlic soup with a simply incredible amount of MSG. Skip this baloney and go back to James Beard's Menus for Entertaining.