Long lauded as one of the world's most revered culinary instructors, French-born Madeleine Kamman's career arose from remarkably humble beginnings in central France. As a young woman, Madeleine got her training by working in a family restaurant in Touraine and in the kitchens of France's most respected regional cooks, who nourished her appetite for the tradition, rigor, and personal nature of cooking. Her exuberant and colorful memoir of that time-originally published over 25 years ago-tells of collecting mussels at the shore, churning butter from the milk of village cows, gathering mushrooms in nearby woods, and then transforming them into glorious food under the tutelage of her informal mentors. Over 250 recipes for the simple dishes she learned at their sides illustrate her evocative reminiscences of a bygone era in rural France. Part travelogue, part social history, part instruction manual, this classic is required reading for anyone who wants to know more about the life, times, and tastes of a woman who has helped shape American cooking.