Did you read the wonderful tribute to Nora Ephron by her son Jacob Bernstein in the weekend's New York Times magazine? Nora is a charter member of my mental collection of awesome women I would like to be grow up to be--or at least be like. I haven't given the group a name yet but it's got to be something like The Spunky Grand Dames Society of Wit and Panache. Right now I'm in early training. I'm a pledge, a plebe, a groupie, a wannabe. Just give me another decade or two, and with any luck I'll get there.
Anyway, in the article her son recounts her final weeks, when even then she maintained her signature humor and wit:
. . .
Sunday, June 24, was a pretty good day. The sun was shining, and Mom spent most of the afternoon on a couch in the front of her room, doing the crossword puzzle with Max. Binky was there, as was Richard Cohen and his companion, Mona. Amy stopped by with her husband, Alan. “We’re going to the Guggenheim,” Amy said. “Do you want anything from the outside world?”
“Sure,” my mother said. “A de Kooning.”
Another thing she requested was a pineapple milkshake, so Max brought one from Emack and Bolio’s, made from fresh pineapple. But as far as my mother was concerned, a milkshake is one thing that’s actually better with crushed pineapple. Dole.
“When I get out of the hospital, I’m going to go home and I’m going to make a pineapple milkshake with crushed pineapple, pineapple juice and vanilla ice cream, and I’m going to drink it and I’m going to die,” she said, savoring the last word. “It’s going to be great.”
. . .
It was a great read. And that pineapple shake sounded so good. The boys were out of town on a scout campout so I enlisted Maddy in my quest for a Nora tribute pineapple milkshake. It could not be simpler. (Can this be called a recipe if there are only two ingredients?) Do you have vanilla ice cream in the freezer? Throw 4-5 scoops in the blender (or, if yours is on the fritz like ours, into a bowl).
Pour in some crushed pineapple, including some of the juice. We used half a can. You can use however much you want but please, whatever you do, disregard the pre-opened, chewed up can I will now display here:
Blend, stir, mix and pour into glass(es). Serves two. Or one. No one will know.
Now go raise a glass of pineapple deliciousness to Nora Ephron and deliver your favorite Ephron line. (Friendship points if you can name these movies*):
- "It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supoosed to be together..and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like...magic."*
- "I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly."*
- "That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie."*
- "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."*
- "When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first, that way in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side."*
- "When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you."
- "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."*
And my favorite: "Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
Thanks, Nora, for being a heroine of my life, too.