The book eschews the painful refinements of haute cuisine in favor of looking at the origins of French food. Here, you will find the simple and hearty fare that has likely been staple to the average French diet since agriculture was brought to Western Europe. The author spends a great deal of time talking about how she collected material by talking to people in villages all over the country. (Nice work if you can get it.) As a result, the book is as much a travelogue as it is a collection of recipes.
Of course, it's possible that recipes may not be the most appropriate word here. Perhaps better would be guidelines. There is enough that is vague or assumed in the instructions that very often, I find that I am winging it a little to figure out what needs be done. It sort of pushes me in the right direction without giving me hard and fast rules about what needs be done. It gets even more fun when you start digging through the text to find variants and new dishes with very little explanation beyond, "In Poitou, this soup is enjoyed with an abundance of garlic..."
Last night's project was soupe de tomate avec haricots made with tomatoes that Brenda gave me from her dad’s garden. It came rather thicker than I had anticipated, but was otherwise delicious and went well with the pear wine that Drew and Jen abandoned at my place.