April 28, 2010
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I’m reading Peter Mayle’s French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew. Thus far, it’s a very pleasant but silly confection in which the writer motors around France in pursuit of little food fairs – parties for snails, festivals for cheese, celebrations for wine.

I realize that what I’d really like is a thoughtful book about menus and meals – about the best way to plan a terrific dinner. It’s not just fresh ingredients, local ingredients, or great ingredients. There’s also the base problem: what should we have for dinner.

We all know plenty of satisfactory ways to plan dinner. But what’s the best way?