Farm Focus: The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage

CSA member Caroline Grant, editor of the blog Literary Mama, local food lover, and Mother of two boys has been busy cooking up a new project we think you should know about – The Cassoulet Saved our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How we Learn to Eat.

The recently released book is an anthology of 28 essays, each with an accompanying original recipe. The concept for the book emerged 5 years ago at a San Francisco playground around a snack time playdate picnic. Co-editors Lisa Harper and Caroline, both writers, food lovers, and mothers of boys exactly the same age, laid out their snacks. The initial anxiety and sizing up of two foodie Moms laying out snacks in front of the other for the first time gave way to a conversation on how our dialogue on food should not be focused on rules and checklists, but on what food means in our lives, families, and histories.

In the first section of the book contributors explore how a particular dish or ingredient becomes meaningful or significant in shaping their lives. “Still Life on the Half Shell” is a story of a Bay Area writer who moved to Florida and found herself unmoored in provisioning her household. Accustomed to the bounty of bustling farmers markets, she was at a loss when she did not find a similar avenue for purchasing farm fresh foods. Her discovery of truck farmers on back roads and parking lots and the small unassuming shack of an oyster farm, is what helped her become rooted in her new home.

Tales of Family, the second section of the book, is focused on relationships forged, broken, and mended at the table. “The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage” essay was co-written by a husband and wife who chronicle their marriage’s ups and downs through the tradition they started of making a monthly cassoulet to remember their courtship in Paris. There was a time when they weren’t sure if their marriage would survive or if the cassoulet would be prepared. In this essay the work that is involved in making a cassoulet becomes a metaphor for the time and attention it takes to nurture a marriage.

The final section of the book delves into they myriad of ways and places that people learn to eat. We all learn to eat as babies, but also relearn to eat many times throughout our lives. Farmers Markets, restaurants, school cafeterias, and even playdate picnics can have profound effects on our relationships to food. The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage is a wonderful vehicle to explore and reflect on all the incarnations of meaning that food has in our lives, work, and family.

Thanks Caroline for sharing info on your book with us!
Have a story on food, agriculture, nutrition, or sustainability you want to share? Let us know! We love to highlight the interesting things our members are up to.

Posted in Newsletter Tagged with: , ,

Recent Posts

  • Recipe: Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

    Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
    via Martha Stewart

    6 bone-in pork chops (loin or shoulder), cut 3/4 inch thick
    Coarse salt and fres…

  • Farm Focus: The Buzz with Bees

    Spring is synonymous with blooming flowers and where there are blooming flowers there are bees! And while most people think  of European honey bees, we  w…

  • Fruit & News of the Week: April 9, 2018

    This Week’s Fruit:
    Minneloa Tangelos
    Twin Girls Farm, Dinuba, CA
    The Tangelo is a cross between a mandarin and grapefruit. Its skin is easy to peel and its f…

  • Recipe: DIY Orange Soda

    Via Food52


    4 oranges
    1 lime
    1 cup granulated sugar
    Lemon lime seltzer water


    Zest the oranges and the lime and add all o…

  • Farm Focus: Jim Churchill of Churchill-Brenneis Orchard

    Jim of Churchill-Brenneis Orchard, never imagined himself becoming a farmer, though he grew up walking through friends orchards on weekend trips from LA. His pa…