A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 02, 2011
“Life is too short to stuff a mushroom”

Stuffed mushrooms is a popular hors d’oeuvre, but the dish can be somewhat time-consuming to make. “Life is too short to stuff a mushroom” was written by British novelist and journalist Shirley Conran in her book Superwoman (1975). Conran’s motto has been frequently cited in books of quotations.

“Life is too short to drink bad wine” has been a T-shirt saying since at least 1976. “Life is too short for fake butter, cheese or people” has been cited in print since 2012.


The Free Dictionary
Noun 1. stuffed mushroom - mushrooms stuffed with any of numerous mixtures of e.g. meats or nuts or seafood or spinach
hors d’oeuvre - a dish served as an appetizer before the main meal
mushroom - fleshy body of any of numerous edible fungi

Wikipedia: Shirley Conran
Shirley Conran (born September 21, 1932) is a British novelist and journalist.

Background
Shirley Conran is a bestselling author, whose books include Lace, which was made into an 80s US miniseries and Superwoman. She has been a columnist for Vanity Fair, women’s editor of The Daily Mail and a feature writer for The Observer newspaper.

Conran was educated at the University of Portsmouth. She was successfully treated for skin cancer and has suffered from M.E.. She is the ex-wife of British designer, restaurateur, retailer and writer Sir Terence Conran and mother to designers Sebastian Conran and Jasper Conran, with homes in France and London.

Shirley Conran is well known for coining the phrases “Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom” and “First things first, second things never”.

FantasticFiction
June 1975 : Paperback
Title: Superwoman: Every Woman’s Book of Household Management
Author(s): Shirley Conran
ISBN: 0-283-98163-6 / 978-0-283-98163-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd

Google News Archive
25 March 1977, Reading (PA) Eagle, pg. 5, col. 1:
Housecleaning made easy
Norton Mockridge
United Features
New York—Speaking of spring cleaning—and I guess we’d better, hadn’t we—I sort of like th approach taken by Shirley Conran, the London lady who for many years was women’s editor of The Daily Mail.

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than dust underneath it,” says Shirley.

But then, would you expect anything less frank from a woman whose motto is, always was, and ever will be: “Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.”

Google Books
Superwoman
By Shirley Conran
New York, NY: Crown Publishers
1978
Pg. 93:
Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.

Google News Archive
21 December 1978, Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter, “The Book Report: How Not To Stuff A Mushrrom” by Barbara Senich, pg. B5, col. 1:
SUPERWOMAN
By Shirley Conran
276 pp. New York:
Crown Publishers. $8.95
Shirley Conran is often introduced as “the British Erma Bombeck,” but that term doesn’t quite fit her. Bombeck writes about household problems. Conran does something about them. “Twenty years of my life went into that book,” she said. The book, “Superwoman,” is a guide to household management. It’s almost impossible not to find some useful hints or methods in Conran’s book.

The author is not afraid to deal with any crisis. She covered everything from how to fix a leaky faucet to warding off a nervous breakdown. Her basic philosophy, which she calls “Conran’s Law” is: do only the minimum you can get away with. The corollary to this is, “Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.”

Google Books
The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
By Robert Andrews
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
1993
Pg. 523:
Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.
SHIRLEY CONRAN (b. 1932), British designer, journalist. Superwoman, Epigraph (1975).

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, February 02, 2011 • Permalink