Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nora Ephron's "Heartburn" Roundup

First came the announcement, then the reminder, then the deadline and now it's time for the roundup of Cook the Books' October-November 2012 edition for which we read Heartburn by Nora Ephron (1983).

For each contribution, I will give you the official information (author, blog name and post title) and a brief quote from it — a tiny morsel that will entice you to follow the link and read the details not only of the dish prepared, but also of how the reading inspired the activity in the kitchen.

Now, please, make yourself comfortable, then follow me on a little literary / culinary journey.

Glennis of Can't Believe We Ate prepared the Four-minute Egg using eggs from her chickens

Heartburn is "amusing, in a dismal sort of way…heavily dramatic.  The best part of the book for me were the recipes…although I didn’t have the greatest of luck with the 3 minute-4 minute egg.  I kept getting a 5 minute egg.  *Ü* Without regard to that…here’s my journey…"

Heather of girlichef prepared Bacon Hash

"Another of Rachel's feeling blue foods...  Because really, how can you go wrong with crispy bacon and potatoes topped off with a runny yolk?  It is pure comfort food... Ephron manages to wind wacky, yet identifiable, emotions throughout a whole story in which nobody wins.  They just make decisions and go on living."

Alicia of Foodycat prepared a Coconut Cake whose inspiration comes from Ephron's movie When Harry Met Sally

"I didn't find any of the characters particularly sympathetic. Ephron managed to write a character based on herself without making herself particularly heroic or endearing... One element I did like was the occasional line that Ephron used in later work. A rival is described as "Your basic nightmare", which is also how one of Sally's rivals is described in When Harry Met Sally.

"I reviewed my underlinings and scribblings from my dog-eared copy of the novel. I found this sentence about New York: 'I look out the window and I see the lights and the skyline and the people on the street rushing around looking for action, love, and the world’s greatest chocolate chip cookie, and my heart does a little dance.' That would be it."

"Ephron's wit and dark humor are out full-force. There is plenty of food which serves as both consolation to Rachel and to recount the story and the history of her relationship and marriage to Mark. The food engaged me more than the characters did and the descriptions and recipes were the most enjoyable part of the book."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor prepared Bacon Hash, baked a loaf of bread and gives a famous recipe from the book: vinaigrette

"The realization her marriage is over and her acceptance of it comes at the end with the vinaigrette recipe. As Rachel put it, 'Even now, I cannot believe Mark would want to risk losing that vinaigrette. You just don't bump into vinaigrettes that good.' That must be why she saved the recipe for the end of the book. It was too good to leave. She was too good to leave."

"Dipping back into Heartburn was a nostalgic read: there was the nostalgia of seeing that great dust jacket art, the familiarity of sinking back into Ephron's words like having a cozy conversation with a great friend that one hasn't seen in a bunch of years, and nostalgia for the 1980s world that pervades its page."

Ana of Sweet Almond Tree prepared a Carrot Cake

"My advice? Add extra whipped cream if you’re throwing a Key lime pie at someone’s face... Love, cohabitation, marriage, all relationships, even friendships… they should be victim free. Easier said than done, but as Rachel Samstat says in Heartburn, when your dream dies, you are left 'with a choice: You can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.'"

Simona of briciole (your host) prepared Bean, Mushroom and Chard Soup

"In reading the story, I was more focused on thinking: what would I do if something like that happened to me? "That" means discovering that your husband is in love and having an affair with a woman you know, while you are pregnant with your second child and the first one is a toddler. When I am upset... I tend to cook dishes that are comforting to me, something hot and with lots of vegetables, often a soup."

A great Thank you! to everyone who joined in this edition of Cook the Books.

I believe all the submissions I have received are presented in the roundup. However, mishaps are part of life, so if you find anything missing or in need of amendment anywhere in the roundup, please do let me know.

We will give our judge Laura some time to read the posts and come up with her decision. Then, I’ll be back with the announcement of our winner of the coveted CTB "winner’s badge." And after thatm, I’ll turn things over to Heather for our next pick The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Arrivederci a presto!


Alicia Foodycat said...

I really fancy some bacon hash now!

Tina said...

What a wonderful round up. Thank you for hosting, I see so many delectable dishes to choose from! Sweets, soup...I could eat it all!

Heather S-G said...

I love everybody's inspiration for their dishes - I can imagine each one jumping from the pages of Heartburn. Thanks for the great choice and for rounding everything up, Simona! =)

Danid said...

Ladies these all look amazing :) looking forward to joining up with you all in the new year! Happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

One of the best things about Cook the Books is getting to see everyone's interpretations of the same story. We all draw slightly different things out of the books and our dishes prove that out. What an incredible round up we have! Breakfast, lunch, supper and dessert! Thanks for hostessing Simona!

Debra Eliotseats said...

Not a key lime pie in the bunch?

Simona Carini said...

Thank you everybody! I am glad you enjoyed the roundup.

Indeed, Debra, none of us chose to make the famous pie.

Rachel said...

What a great roundup. I like all the book snippets and the creativity everyone put into this round.

Simona Carini said...

Thanks, Rachel!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Wonderful round-up Simona!

I can't wait to go visit everyone's posts--so many great dishes from this round.