I love this cookbook. Along with Julia Child, Craig Claiborne pretty much taught me how to cook. Truly great food writers don’t just write recipes; they describe technique and they teach you how to cook without a book. I lost my Claiborne Primer decades ago, or maybe I left it on someone’s bookshelf when I moved my things out in the dead of night. So when I spotted a copy at the Goodwill store last weekend for $4, I had to snag it. When I started RE-reading it, I realized how fundamental and important this book was to me. There is still much to learn from this book. And even though Claiborne referred to his cookbook as a “primer,” if you can cook everything in this book, you are more than a beginner in the kitchen. Claiborne’s instructions for making a souffle are so clear and reassuring, even a novice might be encouraged to give it a try. To someone like me, who considers herself a pretty proficient souffle maker, Claiborne’s discussion of souffles is brilliant. A souffle is a “simple white sauce to which a solid of some sort is added… The thing that makes a souffle puff are the beaten egg whites that are folded in.” Well, there you have it. If you can make a Bechamel sauce and beat egg whites you can make a gorgeous towering souffle.