As the queen of southern cooking took the stage tonight, somewhere distantly behind us I could hear someone shouting out with glee, “Sign my butter!”. In that moment it wasn’t America’s favorite chef taking the stage – it was the culmination of every fat and sugar induced food comma we’ve ever experienced all wrapped up and embodied by a single soul walking across the stage before us. Legend for creating recipes that will “stick to your ribs”, as Paula says, the excitement level in the room tonight was enough to make Betty Crocker jealous.
We started our night in the VIP lounge, where Paula had arranged for some of her favorite appetizer recipes to be prepared and waiting on us, along with an open bar serving up some delicious wine and cocktails. I’d be lying if I said I only had ‘appetizer’ sized portions… let’s just say the shore is a good seafood dip was dinner #1 for the night. As good as the dip was though, once we discovered the Ooey Gooey Butter Bars, all the women in the room started swarming the table like sharks with blood in the water. What I wouldn’t have given to have some maternity jeans on that night with some elastic in the waist band!
light appetizers huge portions of food were gobbled down, we proceeded in to the concert hall where Paula’s stage was setup with an actual working kitchen, huge flat screen televisions, and some incredible aromas filling our noses even before the show began.
We all scurried in to find our seats but quickly grew anxious for Paula to come out and remind us of how great it is to be alive, be a woman, and eat some incredible food with the ones you love. Fortunately she didn’t keep us waiting long, and boy was she just as excited to see us as we were to see her!
It was such a sweet experience watching Paula (and her husband Michael) take the stage tonight. Many have criticized Paula recently, and some paint her as fake and what-have-you – but I can tell you this – when Paula started tearing up because of the over whelming response from the crowd – there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. It was like watching your favorite grandma showing up at Thanksgiving with her family famous dessert, and being so surprised that everyone had been waiting on her to get there to start supper.
To start the night off, she pulled Billy Graham’s daughter, Ruth, up on stage to show off her latest invention – a stringless, never-needs-washing apron! No more messed up hair, or fidgeting to get the knot loose in the back – just like a hair band fits to your head – this baby fits to your waist!
As the night progressed, we got to see the king of homemade goodies go to work, creating an unbelievably delicious (yes we got to try!) vanilla pudding trifle that was just to die for. The best part was seeing her bring a mother-daughter team up on stage to show them how to recreate this after dinner masterpiece.
Later on through the show, her and Michael shared their lovely story of courtship and marriage. They also cooked some very delicious 5-minute meals for those of us who are busy and some times need quick ideas for dinner.
As great as the cooking was, this night provided something to me and my husband that we haven’t had in a long time. A long, good, hearty night full of laughter. There wasn’t hardly a minute the entire evening where Paula didn’t have us all rollin’. She was on a roll the whole night, and I can honestly say I was thankful to be there.
The whole experience was a blast, and it was great to have Paula back. I know that in our house, we’re looking forward to the Paula Deen Network going live so we can enjoy her larger-than-life personality, and passion for good, family style southern cooking in our own home.
If Paula Deen LIVE is coming to an area near you, and you’re looking for a great night out to enjoy some good food and good laughs, it’s definitely worth it.