It is over 1500 pages of cooking know how. Back in the early 1960’s it was bought one section at a time (12 sections total) at the grocery store. It covers every conceivable aspect of cooking with an introduction before each section, of the peculiarities and methods that benefit good results. It is a bit dated but chock full of good basic time proven techniques that give great results that are available in no other cookbook that I have used.
This is my go to book when trying a new recipe or food; I read the section primer, the general considerations of that particular food and glance through some of the recipes before creating recipes in “The Joy of Cooking” or New York Times Cookbook”, or online recipes. After doing this it gives me great confidence in my ability to understand the importance of each step and what variations to the recipe I can successfully make (additional spices, veggies).
My copy is in pretty rough shape after decades of use; my wife recently replaced the cover with plastic covered luan to protect the pages. I find it be an invaluable kitchen resource.
I just ordered ‘La Varenne Pratique’ by Ann Willan; I am confident this will be another great asset in the kitchen.