Always there was Julia. Now I have Nora.

alicecookbookThe second cookbook I bought, as a new bride, was Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My First Cookbook was the Alice B Toklas Cookbook, but unfortunately for me, that proved too esoteric for the grocery stores in Fort Worth Texas.

I was a new bride. Who knew grocery stores didn’t carry larks and laurel branches. Alice B Toklas cooked for “writers, artists, and expats who lived in Paris between the wars,” but my dreams of dining with Picasso and Hemingway faded quickly.

noraephronThen, just in the nick of time, Julia brought me not only a cookbook I might master, but with ingredients that were available. Just having that cookbook on the shelf made me courageous in the kitchen, while I prepared my canned tuna and green noodle casseroles.

It might have ended there - a young bride clutching Julia’s culinary wisdom of France, while she burnt the toast – had I not seen Julie and Julia so many years later.

That gave me Nora. With Nora comes true girlie wisdom: Humor, Love… and Butter.

In Nora’s honor and with both love and humor for my darling friend, Amy Ephron, I searched for a recipe that overflowed with butter, in hopes that eating Scottish Shortbread might bring comfort to us all.

We will truly miss Nora Ephron’s talent and beauty, but fortunately for us, the magic of film allows it to linger always, and I will always have what she is having.

Scottish Shortbread

1½ cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup butter

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the ingredients, creating a stiff dough. Press into a well buttered cake pan. (Be sure to prick the top with a fork) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a golden brown around the edges. Cut into squares.


Nancy Ellison, award winning photojournalist and celebrity portraitist, has authored fourteen books of photographs, including "Romeo and Juliet: The Love Story in Dance" and "Starlet". Her latest book is "Wagner's Eternal Ring".