Originally published 9/9/09 (wow). Nora Ephron died today. She was 71.
By now anyone who’s reading this blog has seen Julie and Julia, the film about Julia Child’s years in France and the modern-day blogger who idolized her.
While I admire Julia Child (I have a 1965 copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking from my beloved stepmother, may she rest in peace), and much as I may identify with blogger Julie Powell, my real hero in all of this is Nora Ephron.
Yes, that Nora Ephron. The one who feels bad about her neck. The one who turned the heartbreak of being dumped by her husband when she was 6-months pregnant into a bestselling book, Heartburn. The one who wrote and directed When Harry Met Sally and many other films, including, most recently, Julie and Julia, which she also directed.
Nora Ephron is the patron saint to all of us bewildered women who choose to deal with the nonsense of life as just more grist for a humor column. Wildly successful. Lived for years in the fantastic Apthorp on the Upper West Side (the kind of grand old courtyard apartment building with 3,000 square foot apartments of the sort only celebrities and Masters of the Universe can live in now.) and raised her kids there, paying the rent as a writer. She’s the kind of woman who laughs at her every flaw, dresses in black, gets a payout for her every creative impulse.
She even provided me with the defining quote of my life, “Everything is copy.” (An adage I’ve lived by since high school, much to the chagrin of friends, family and assorted acquaintances.)
Why can’t I be Nora Ephron? Sigh. Why indeed.
So, in the spirit of fabulous women who love to cook but make a mess of everything else around them, I offer up Nora’s recipe for foolproof vinaigrette. Yes, even I’ve made it, to surprised accolades.
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon mustard
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
Using a fork, whisk the mustard with the vinegar until combined. Then, still whisking, slowly add the olive oil, until the vinaigrette is thick and creamy. You may or may not want to add a pinch of salt or pepper.
Nora, I raise my measuring cup. This salad’s for you.