The Nora Ephron Novel That Is Almost A Cookbook

Nora Ephron was a prolific writer, journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. It is no secret that she had a variety of talents and roles. This includes being the author of "Heartburn" a book loosely based on Ephron's split from her fellow journalist husband, Carl Bernstein. The successful novel was eventually made into a film that features Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep (via The New York Times). In the book, the protagonist, Rachel, is a food writer who is married to a philandering journalist named Mark. 

To deal with her husband's infidelity, Rachel focuses on food. The author of a Vice article sums up the novel nicely, stating, "Mark leaves. Rachel cooks. Rachel eats shrimp curry, chicken stuffed with lemons, and Uncle Seymour's beef borscht. Rachel gives us recipes for mashed potato, sorrel soup, and bread pudding. Rachel seeks revenge." The Vice article goes on to point out that in many ways, '"food and romance are the same things," and that only the incredibly talented Ephron could show how those two necessities of life are weaved together to provide the reader with insight into the pains and joys that come along with them.

Nora Ephron includes recipes throughout Heartburn to connect food to heartbreak

According to HuffPost, "Heartburn" contains a myriad of recipes ranging from bacon hash, to sour cream, to peach pie, and the key lime pie Rachel throws in Mark's face. A recipe for lima beans with pears also makes an appearance, which HuffPost accompanies with the quotation: "That's the sort of food she liked to serve, something that looked like plain old baked beans and then turned out to have pears up its sleeve.

Nora Ephron also wrote about how certain foods, including mushrooms and scrambled eggs made with sour cream, reminded Rachel of old lovers. Mashed potatoes are a significant feature in the book, including a five-page metaphor connecting potatoes to love. "I have friends who begin with pasta, and friends who begin with rice, but whenever I fall in love, I begin with potatoes ... I have made a lot of mistakes in falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them," Ephron wrote (via Vice).