What tremendous losses we've had this week. First Nora Ephron and then Andy Griffith. I always watched everything Andy Griffith starred in and usually liked him no matter what he did. To me, he seemed genuine, wise and kind.
The loss of Nora Ephron was particularly saddening. I recall reading I Feel Bad About My Neck, and when I got to the part about her best friend dying of oral cancer, well, I could barely read the words through the tears streaming down my face. Her grief was palpable and my heart was broken for her. That book was passed from friend to friend and I've no idea where it finally landed. Each time that I know it was passed on to someone, I always gave a warning to take care near the end. All of my friends cried when they read that chapter, too. Call me sappy, but I adored her movies and books. I will never turn the channel on When Harry Met Sally, or Sleepless in Seattle, and I particularly loved, You've Got Mail. Her hope for relationships, romance and love shine through each and every movie.
One of Nora's books was missing from my collection though, and that was Heartburn. It's her thinly veiled autobiography of her breakup and divorce from Carl Bernstein and was both funny and sad. The book is peppered with recipes that she recalls making during certain parts of their marriage and divorce. In honor of the many happy hours Nora Ephron's writing has given me, I decided to make a few of the recipes from Heartburn this week.
Her Linguine alla Cecca was delicious. Though local tomatoes are still hard to find, the heirlooms from Canada, while expensive, are really tasty. I got the basil from my own garden. My family devoured this dish and the recipe was passed along to a friend who was visiting. If you want to try it (it's so simple), you can find the recipe here, though I really do recommend getting it from the book just for the stories that go with the dishes.
For the 4th of July, I was torn. Do I bake the peach pie with the sour cream cookie style crust, or do I bake her cheesecake and top it with fresh strawberries and blueberries? I settled on the cheesecake since the berries make it look festive for the holiday. Though it was easy to make, delicious, smooth and creamy, next time I'll use 3/4 cup of the sugar. The cake was too sweet for me. I'm fairly certain you can google her name together with cheesecake and the recipe will pop up.
Last night I rented You've Got Mail. I cried a bit at the end--not when the heroine lost her store--but because we lost such a wonderful talent this past week. I will truly miss her. I'm so glad she left pieces of herself behind for us to enjoy.