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In Musings

By Lindsey

I’ll Have What Paula’s Cooking

On 20, Jan 2012 | No Comments | In Musings | By Lindsey

I love Anthony Bordain.

I’ve always loved Anthony Bordain.

In fact, I like Anthony Bordain MUCH more than Paula Dean, but I wish my favorite drinking, smokin chef would lay off Paula.

I don’t mind it so much when he attacks some of the other “model-like” chefs, but Paula is one of us. I never watch her, but when I flip by I feel a sense of familiarity with her crazy southern accent and beaming smile. Despite her relatively recent wealth and fame, she could easily be a neighbor, aunt or boyfriend’s momma.

Though, Anthony isn’t the only one. This week Paula was attacked for cooking the way she does and having type 2 diabetes. A fact she has apparently known for the last 2 or 3 years, but continued soaking her biscuits in butter and frying her chicken extra dark. It’s not that I don’t take diabetes seriously. I do.  My sweet grandmother (mom’s mom) has had it as long as I’ve known her.

I’ve been told Granny enjoyed a donut (or 2 dozen) in her younger days and chugged down some real coke to help get them down. Now, she has diabetes and it’s tough on the whole family. I’ve watched my mom worry over Granny’s sugar levels or rush her to the ER with serious diabetic episodes.

Still, with all of this said, I’m incredibly thankful Paula does what she does and isn’t making healthy alterations. She isn’t telling you to eat the whole pan of cornbread. ( I could :: with butter all over it :: can you tell I’m hungry)

The ALL healthy mentality has taken over in such a way that even my Mom has totally changed how she cooks. She doesn’t play when it comes to special meals, but I don’t think she’s fried chicken in 5 years. Ridiculous.

So, I’m sticking up for the tradition. It’s not that all our traditional southern food is bad. Some of is, ok a lot of it is. It’s those tastes and scents, though, that fill me full of nostalgia and home sickness. Heck, I’m only a couple hours from home, still living in the deep south, and I still feel that way.

I don’t care what people say. The homestyle boxed macaroni and cheese is nowhere close to as good as my mother’s. My sorority house made a no-fry fried chicken. Please. I took once look at that mushy looking piece of meat and just loaded up on mashed potatoes instead.

If you plan to eat these foods all the time, sure, make healthy changes, but if I’m having a Sunday family lunch/dinner or holiday meal there best not be any changes. I want to eat the same foods my mom ate as a girl and that her “big granny” made in her little South Alabama kitchen.

I like how Southern Living Magazine does it. In every issue they have a page showing a traditional “momma” style dish and making it healthier. I’ve never clipped out the new version, but almost always cut out the original. I appreciate what Paula is doing, because most people out there are just unwrapping processed foods and mirowave meals. At least she’s usually using fresh ingredients.

I hope Paula is eating better, and that we have all been reminded just how important healthy eating is, but at times, the real deal is what you really want.

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