Reading HF whittingstall late last night with a glass of Rutz 06 maison grand cru RRVPN . . . is there a more inspirational cookbook or a smarter one? My current top two are that one–The River Cottage Cookbook–and East of Paris by David Bouley, which has been #1 by itself for a long time but now has a serious contender. It’s four-star soul food and I love it even though Danube doesn’t exist anymore. Read that one and you can trace food from the country to the city to the modern kitchen. HFW keeps it in the country but cooks everything from bushberries to cuttlefish to his own cows. Doesn’t a life of early mornings, six hours of hard physical work, a long, leisurely lunch, a nap, and an afternoon spent reading and writing sound just about right? I’m not the first one to say so but MAN that’s gotta be the life. Does anyone get to do it? Unlikely. Anyway, it’s something to aspire to . . .