Paula Deen's memoir, PAULA DEEN: IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT THE COOKIN'
However, I think the title needs an edit - - the addition of one word. I think the title should be...
IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT THE COOKIN', Y'ALL
IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT THE COOKIN', Y'ALL
Because if you're a big of fan of Ms. Paula Deen like I am, you know that you fell in love with her within two seconds of the first episode of PAULA'S HOME COOKING you ever watched when you heard her famous, opening tagline...
"Hey, y'all. I'm Paula Deen!"
They ain't nothin' like it.
When I watch Paula Deen, I am with my mother. And being a Southern boy so far from home, it is so nice to be relieved of my homesickness when this good ole' Georgia girl flashes across my tv screen.
I am proud to say that I have eaten in her restaurant, THE LADY & SONS, twice.
I have bought her cookbooks. Almost all of them.
I have received one of her aprons as a Christmas gift from Alanda. The one that says, "Put some South in your mouth!"
(It proudly hangs in my kitchen in a place formerly reserved for my SWEENEY TOOD "Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pies" apron. Hey, I figure, if you're gonna be gay, be the biggest damn homo you can be, ok?)
I have been the hit of several dinner parties by bringing a Paula Deen dish.
Whether it's her Corn Casserole (which is now known as "Stephen's Corn Pie" in certain circles - - I'm looking at you, Alanda)
Or her Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding (which will make your tongue slap your brains out!).
And I have stood in line at Border's and had her sign my copy of PAULA DEEN CELEBRATES. Which happily allowed me to slightly flirt with her cute as Hell assistant, Brandon Branch. (Why, oh why, do I always fall for the Southern hotties who live 5 states away?!?!).
But this latest book is fast becoming one of my favorite pieces of Paula Deen.
If see me on the 146 bus and you're wondering what that shaved-headed boy is reading that is making him laugh out loud like a stark, raving lunatic one minute and then cry like a child being left at school for the first time the next, you can be sure that I'm still reading PAULA DEEN: IT AIN'T ALL ABOUT THE COOKIN' (Y'ALL)
Here is one of my favorite stories from the book, so far. This is my mama, through and through. And if this doesn't make you fall in love with Paula Deen, then you ain't go no soul!
A little set-up to this story: Paula suffered from horrible agoraphobia for years and rarely could leave her home because of horrible panic attacks. She couldn't afford to see a psychiatrist because the family had so little money, but then, Paula writes...
I'd heard that my church, the First Baptist Church, had started a health service and hired a Southern minister who had a degree in psychology. Now, man, you turn one of them ministers who think they're Freud loose, your ass is through.
I was so embarrassed and I really wanted to get better, so I decided to try this minister with this degree.
"Once (my then husband Jimmy and I) got to the church, I just walked in and started pouring my heart out to this man. Jimmy was just sittin' there so quiet, and it came out that we were having problems about Jimmy's drinking and him turning to stone and not hearing me as soon as he finished even one beer.
Well, the minister man looked hard at me and, when I finished crying, when I finished talking, he stared into my eyes and said, "Your husband having a beer every day does not make him an alcoholic. And you are a spoiled brat."
Jimmy only smiled. I was flabbergasted and so hurt, but Paula Deen was never so hurt she didn't have words. I said to that powerfully mean man...
"Well, you know what you can do? And that man over there - that HUSBAND? Y'all can kiss my ass and call me SHORTY and go to hell."
And I never went back.
And that's just like my mama.
And sweet Jesus, I hope that I have the backbone to stand up for myself and my soul, so that someday, someone can say that that is just like me.