Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A month of gratitude, part deux - Paula Deen and Kiko

A worn copy of Joy of Cooking is a go-to resource in my kitchen, dog-eared, grease splattered pages marking frequently used recipes. Here in the south, in many households that place of honor on the counter is reserved for Paula Deen. She is to southern cuisine what Julia Child is to French cuisine, and today she was in Greenville, South Carolina.

This morning I dragged both boys and all three visitors to a local supermarket to see the local legend. We arrived right in time to hear her kick off the store’s hunger relief program, and it was interesting to watch her interact with the audience. With a stroller and toddler in tow, it was impossible to get anywhere close to her, so no autographs and all my photographs turned out blurry. We must have missed the giveaways too; many people were walking around with autographed copies of her The Lady & Sons cookbook, but I believe they must have showed up and waited for a few hours. I’m not disappointed that we went, as now I can say I’ve seen Paula Deen, but possibly her event organizer needs a little assistance in logistics?

Next stop, the Greenville zoo!!! Luck was on our side; although the weather was crisp and cool, the sun was shining and the animals soaking up the rays. We arrived at the giraffe enclosure to find the male Masai giraffe outside, and after it disappeared inside we were just about to leave. Luckily we paused, because not two minutes later Kiko and the mother emerged! Kiko was born on October 22nd, and this was our first time meeting him as the enclosure was empty during our Boo in the Zoo visit. There are few animals cuter than a baby giraffe…

A walk up and down Main street, a meal at a new burger place and a milkshake later we were headed home with our guests to rest and start dinner. After the meal my mother remarked that with the teamwork in the kitchen and wonderful company at the table, it feels like a holiday. The boys agree, with three extra laps in the house for storytime, and six additional arms for hugs, it’s all smiles and grins.

* As we were leaving the Paula Deen event a stranger came up to me. He had seen me asking an event organizer about the autographed cookbook giveaway, and proceeded to press a book into my hands while explaining. He came with his wife, who had brought with her personal copy of the cookbook, hoping to get Mrs. Deen to autograph it, but instead won a brand new copy. Today I am thankful for the kindness of that man, and I wish I could tell him that every time I cook “sausage and grits,” “South of the Border Mason-Dixon Dip” or “The Lady’s Cheesy Mac” I will think of how his and his wife’s generosity supplied me with a perfect keepsake of this day. Truthfully, I would rather have a copy of the book that has seen that kind couple’s kitchen than a new, autographed copy. Thank you.


  1. Oh, I always love stories about kind strangers... And I am with you, that I would much rather have a little piece of that kind couple's kitchen history in my home than a brand new, autographed copy of the cookbook!

  2. Yay for random acts of kindness! Kas par mīļu stāstu! Un tagad labāk saprotu, ko Laurīts mēģināja man skaidrot par Skype ;)


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