As a recipe writer, Waters's voice is both vivid and warm. ''Roughly chop the egg,'' she writes in her recipe for cold beef-tongue salad, ''and strew it over everything''—just the kind of language that makes me want to start cooking. And the range of recipes is amazing. Waters tells us how to make the simplest food—those hard-boiled eggs, for instance—and then, a few chapters later, gives us headcheese. The remarkable thing is that she points out the hidden challenges of doing the easy stuff right, and makes the complex stuff sound gleefully easy: Of that headcheese, she writes, ''Thinly slice the ears and snout—you may encounter some cartilage that is too tough to eat, but it is nice to have a little crunch.'' Making salmon caviar sounds enticingly straightforward, too. Essentially, you rinse the egg sack in hot water and soak it in brine, skimming off the bits of sack. Curing an entire foie gras for a salad (see recipe) intimidated me at first, but was merely a matter of burying it in lots of kosher salt for three days, to delicious effect.