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Nora Ephron thinks about food all the time

Director and writer Nora Ephron arrives at the premiere of "Julie and Julia" in Los Angeles.
Director and writer Nora Ephron arrives at the premiere of "Julie and Julia" in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Nora Ephron says she thinks about food all the time.

"This morning, all I've been thinking about is what I should have ordered last night. I should have ordered the pasta Bolognese, but I didn't. I went for a steak. It was a very good steak, but in the end, I should have tried the pasta."

Ephron sums up her entire life in terms of food: "I think that all of life is what you ate, what you wish you'd eaten, or how glad you are you ate it, and what you're going to eat next."

It's no wonder that the 68-year-old Ephron felt at home directing "Julie & Julia," which she adapted from two best-selling memoirs: Julie Powell's "Julie & Julia" and "My Life in France," by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. It stars Meryl Streep as Child and Amy Adams as Powell, who decides to spend a year cooking all 524 recipes in Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and blog about it.

Ephron told AP Radio she's an avid cook herself and has even compiled a booklet of her own recipes. "There's nothing ... that takes very long."

Nor does she like recipes that dirty too many dishes. "One of the things you're looking for in a recipe is how many dishes am I going to dirty to make this and will it be worth it?"

Her most prized recipe is both quick and easy — it's for chili, and takes about 40 minutes.

Her husband, Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the book "Wiseguy" which he adapted into the Martin Scorsese film "Goodfellas," sometimes helps her in the kitchen.

Does he slice his garlic with a razor blade like the movie's godfather Paulie (played by Paul Sorvino)?

"No," Ephron quips, "only in prison."