The Englishwoman's Kitchen, edited by Tamasin Day-Lewis (Hogarth Press, $22.95), is an engaging, informative cookbook with stories of the favorite cooking adventures of some of England's countesses and duchesses, and some people who are just especially good cooks. Here are many of the dishes you've read about in English novels - dishes such as kedgeree, sorbets, and fools, with attractive pictures by Tony Heathcote. The tales are so engaging and funny you don't mind the grandness of it all. The Countess of Chichester, for example, tells how she serves eel grown in her own eel stage, and often ``smokes a batch with our little home smoking machine which is quite adequate.''
There are wonderful descriptions of picnic food served from a hamper. One woman in the country takes a sort of ``picnic dinner'' when she goes into London to the theater. ``As a main course I have a pheasant cooked in a creamy sauce with a light fluffy topping,'' she writes. ``While you're in the theater it will wait for you, warming gently in the car.''
There are some excellent recipes for pheasant, quail, and grouse, as well as for many other foods.