Christmas was pretty sweet this year. My mom gave me, from my late grandmother's kitchen, the Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking by Meta Givens. If you don't know about this things, it's epic. I've always experienced it as two hard-bound volumes full of classic recipes and food preparation/storage techniques and the science behind from-scratch cooking. This version, published in 1953 (its original copyright date is 1947) is a single volume. 1700 pages, illustrated and full of opinionated musings and straight-up strategy on how to work your kitchen like a tasty machine.
It also contains a menu for a full year, breakfast lunch and dinner. If I had the time, I'd attempt to follow it, starting with the first night's dinner: stuffed beef hearts.
I don't have that kind of time, but I'm going to explore this thing at every opportunity. Starting, of course, with appetizers. After all, who can resist morsels described thusly:
Canapes are midget open-face sandwiches charmingly decorated.