Contributor Spotlight: Stacie Stukin

She writes about quilting and yoga and architecture and design. She lives in LA, as do a handful of our writers, and originally planned to write us an essay about mindful eating. Cooking rice would be a focus of the essay, she proposed; she would write about what she’d learned from the meditative practice of swirling a pot of rice in water before cooking. More

Contributor Spotlight: Karen Valby

When Karen, who makes her home in Austin and writes for Entertainment Weekly, first sent us her essay, its focus was almost entirely on her childhood, and how it was darkened by her mother’s mental illness. Hunger — physical and emotional — ruled those days; she was never consistently, satisfyingly fed. Mooching lunch from classmates, lingering at play dates in hopes of a dinner invitation, Karen wrote with a matter-of-factness about those days. She concluded her essay with her father’s simple menu of roast chicken, boiled rice, beets and steamed frozen corn that was heartbreaking in its final instruction: “Serve family style.” More

Contributor Spotlight: Deborah Copaken Kogan and Paul Kogan

Deborah Copaken Kogan and Paul Kogan wrote our title essay,“The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage.”  Without giving away too much, I can tell you that theirs is the story of how their annual Cassoulet Day was created after a decade of marriage, and how a decade later, the painstaking, involved process of making cassoulet for their family and close friends has become a metaphor for the painstaking, involved process of making a long-term marriage work.  More

Contributor Spotlight: Lisa McNamara

When Caroline and I  started working on this project, one of the first stories I thought of was “Like Mom Never Made.”  Lisa McNamara is an amateur baker and an avocational writer who, I knew, had a moving and important story tell.  She was exactly the kind of writer we wanted to represent in our collection:  someone who might not cook or write about food for a living, but who had a profound story to tell about what food had meant in her life. Also, I had sampled a range of Lisa’s pies and baked goods. I knew she knew her stuff. More