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. The story is written as a series of honest, intimate letters between husband and wife, and its conclusion is anything but simple. It’s a particular story, but it speaks to how our story is implicated in the food we cook and serve to the people we love most. It resonates. Which is why we chose it for our title.
Deborah Copaken Kogan is the New York Times bestselling author of 4 books, most recently The Red Book, which has been nominated for the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction. She’s written about parenting in the hilarious, incisive Hell is Other Parents, and is a frequent contributor to magazines and journals. You might even have seen her on the Today Show. Her husband, Paul, an entrepreneur building an eCommerce start up in New York City, is the cook in the family.
We’re honored they took the time to collaborate on this piece for us. If, like my son, you’re one of those people who’s wondering, “What’s a cassoulet? And did it really save their marriage?”, you’re just going to have to buy the book and read the story yourself. The Kogans do give you a Real Cassoulet Guide. As for The Real Marriage Guide, well, that’s up to you.