Winter weather has arrived. The temperatures have dropped into the teens and single digits. There is almost always a fire going in the fireplace and I'm reaching for the comfort reads, which are taking the form of the Farmhouse series by Susan Hermann Loomis. She has made a name for herself with her books about life on Rue Tatin: On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town, Cooking At Home On Rue Tatin, and In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France. Susan does a wonderful job illustrating her life as a transplant in France. All of her books will make you hungry and, if you're like me, they will make you head for the kitchen to see what you can create. It's definitely worth searching out her older books too. I've made it a point to collect them all. I like to curl up on the sofa with a pile of her books and thumb through them for inspirations. The stories are as enticing as the recipes and they offer a glimpse into a life that I will never experience for myself. I can imagine it though and I can experience some of the recipes in my own kitchen. Even if I never made a single recipe, the experience of enjoying her writing make the books a worthwhile investment. Cookbooks are so much more than recipes. The best ones will transport you to another world that is familiar and yet tantalizingly different from your everyday life. That's the mark of a good book--of any genre.