How could Nora Ephron die? How could a wit that vibrant and a spirit as sassy and gracefully robust as hers not guarantee immortality?
Among her legacy is the wonderful wisdom of the relation of mortality to pleasure, constantly proposing a Weltanschauung roughly equivalent to “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow at some point. You may are going to die.
Ephron’s quotes suggest nothing of a “foodie” or a food snob or a gourmet, although surely she was one (gourmet, that is..she claimed an all encompassing love of, even obsession with food.) . Ephron’s love of food was visceral. Her knowledge of it profound. Food pervaded her work and her interviews. Heartburn, the book that buoyed me up through a miserable divorce, shifts from snide comments on “Mark” to recipes for key lime pie, all of them treasured then and still.
A collection of her commentary on the Huffington Post repeats her unapologetic, all encompassing love of good things to eat and either contempt or pity for those who complicate their diets with the various rules fashionable in foodie circles that she espoused in her writings
“I have a friend whose mantra is: You must choose. And I believe the exact opposite: I think you should always have at least four desserts that are kind of fighting with each other.”
“Everybody dies, there’s no avoiding it and I do not believe for one second that butter is the cause of anyone’s death. Overeating may be, but not butter, please. I just feel bad for people who make that mistake. By the way the same thing is true of olive oil. What difference could it possibly make if there’s a little olive oil in your salad dressing? It does not take one day off your life.”
Newsweek, August 2009
In interviews on NPR and with Charlie Rose she asserted that waiting for the last meal (hers would be a Nate n’ Al’s hotdog) was foolish – you might be hit by a bus the next day.. Eat more Nate n’ Al’s she directed. In another she advocated eating doughnuts, not later but now. “it’s very important to eat your last meal before it actually comes up.”
I hope that Nate n’ Al’s had a direct delivery line to MS Eprhon’s house in her later days, that the people who loved her brought dozens of doughnuts and trays of desserts.
My appetite channels Nora Ephron, as probably does yours. As for the pitiful party-line locovores, egg white omelet fanatics, glutenophobes, fussy eaters, vegans, nutritional activists and sadly misled, loud-mouthed foie opponents in our midst, may I propose that you simply hold your peace and follow Ephron’s advice. Eat more doughnuts.
“Are we really all going to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread in American is so unbelievable delicious? And what about chocolate?”
Plagiarism admission: Most of the quotes here are p;lucked from the above linked Huffington Post article. You should read it. Reading all of Ephron’s pieces on the site has just hit the top of my own bucket list. I don’t think they will object. Ephron was the voice behind the Huffington Post’s exquisite food writing, or much of it. We all who eat with joy owe them gratitude for this.