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Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin' Hardcover – April 3, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Anyone who's ever watched, mesmerized, as the author of this memoir pan-fries a porkchop on the Food Network will find lots to savor in her down-home life story. Deen, the sunny host of Paula's Home Cooking and the author of three cookbooks, relates the collapse of her first marriage, her surprising fight with agoraphobia and the rise of her Savannah restaurant, The Lady and Sons, with candor, good humor and mouthwatering descriptions of Southern food. Of her husband's favorite dish, Sexy Oxtails, Deen writes, "It is a loving dish; a hearty, lip-smacking dish; and those tails are better than a passionate kiss." Yes, she includes the simple, savory recipe alongside recipes for favorites like belly-filling Shaggy Man Split Pea Soup, salty-sweet Pan-Fried Corn and addictive Biscuits and Sawmill Gravy. Deen writes the way she talks-lots of ain'ts, darlings and honeys-but the effect is charming and disarmingly upfront. On her early Food Network success, she says, "I was not a size 2, but instead a sassy, roundish, white-headed cook. Women could identify with me... I could be them, and they could be me." She's absolutely right; when Deen has turned the last of life's lemons into Southern-sweet lemonade, readers may want to stand up and cheer, or maybe just tuck into a big, celebratory plate of porkchops.
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About the Author
Paula Deen is the bestselling author of thirteen books and an Emmy Award–winning Food Network television star. She was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. She later moved to Savannah, where she started The Bag Lady catering company. The business took off and evolved into The Lady & Sons restaurant, which is located in Savannah’s historic district and specializes in Southern cooking. She also co-owns Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House with her brother. Paula publishes a bimonthly magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen, and is a regular guest on QVC, where she sells her books and food products.
Top customer reviews
I knew this woman had a story and I tell you she is more of an inspiration to me now than ever before. The trials and tribulations this woman has overcome from 20 years having
agoraphobia to her little boys stealing candy for food to the the gazillionaire she is today.
One excerpt from her book that will shock you. In addition to be married to an alcohol husband, both of her parents had passed, she never left her house for at least 20 years, kids stealing chocolate bars for food, she just .........divorced her husband Jimmy Deen of 27 years, the house went into foreclosure and had a 10 year affair with a married man (who would bring his wife into her restaurant to eat during those 10 years)...... she also suffered from depression.
Her depression was so bad that one night she came in late from working at the very 1st kitchen she rented at the Best Western to make dinner plates to sell for profit.
Anyway, she came home one late night and she admitted to not cleaning her home, because she was so depressed at how bad it had gotten, so she didn't bother to clean up or clean up after her birds who ate the same things she at, chicken wings, mac n cheese and butter beans, plus a whole bunch of droppings were everywhere. She turned on her bedroom light and flopped over her bed from exhaustion that evening. She then saw a huge black mass slowly move under her bed. She screamed and lifted her bed spread to see better, it was a mass of black, wiggling, shiny cockroaches with a million legs all running together scurrying fast. She said they were under her bed feeding, breeding the size of a dinner plate. She said she watched those bugs disappear in dark underbelly of her bed spread and into her bed springs.
She said," I didn't have anywhere else to go y'all". So she crawled back into the roach-infested bed and bedroom, cried all night and couldn't stop until she feel asleep.....She said that was when she hit rock bottom.
OMG!! I was in tears when I read this........This book is truly inspirational and a must read. I wrote her a thank you letter for writing the book and she sent me this.
I love her story. She's had a rough time, but has come out on top by working hard and having a goal. I don't think the present hub-bub will last much longer.
I thought the chapter on what is involved in running a restaurant should be required reading for anyone even thinking about opening their own place. It is a lot of work with many things to be considered.
There are twenty recipes including one for Beef Stroganoff which is worth the price of the book.
I loved this book and found it VERY inspiring. Deen came from a rather modest background and she didn't have a lot of self-esteem. She married a handsome hunk of a guy, had two gorgeous boys and found herself in a mess of trouble, with a man who couldn't make ends meet and leading a hardscrabble existence. She lost her parents and felt lost, alone and very scared. Her home was repossessed. A lot of people would have given up at that point but she did not. Working nearly round the clock, she slowly built up her business.....very slowly, but steadily.
But out of her adversity, one step at a time, she learned to make it. Along the way, she made lots of mistakes but she kept persevering.
In all honesty, some readers may have trouble with some of values and decisions made by Deen but I didn't judge her a bit. We are all human and we all have our ups and downs. I find her indefatable resilience to be amazing.
I got the book to get major events from her life so I could rectify her astrology chart. She has Libra rising, needs everybodies approval, and Cancer on the midheaven is where the cooking came about. Probably born a few minutes after midnight.
She has a quirky sense of humor that probably is responsible for her current problems. It's a foot in her mouth that comes across as insensitive when she is very sensitive.
She grew up dirt poor, and the money doesn't mean that much to her. She worked hard to get where she was, and she deserves a chance to take the rest of her life off.
I loved the story.