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Southern Hospitality

“On the right side of the dirt”

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From watching Paula’s Home Cooking on the Food Network, you know quite a bit about Paula Deen’s kitchen, and you may be vaguely familiar with this Southern belle’s rags-to-riches story. But until you’ve read the memoir Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’, you don’t know our girl Paula. On TV she makes it seem as though all anyone needs to be happy are sticks of butter, fried chicken, a Santa Claus-bearded husband and some good kids, but this cook (she says she’s not a chef because she didn’t go to “chef school”) appreciates that life isn’t all “celebration food” like peanut-butter gooey cakes. In fact, the Albany, Georgia, native suffered many hardships throughout her life, including the early death of both of her parents and a paralyzing, years-long bout with agoraphobia. The memoir, which is written in Paula’s signature drawl, outlines the struggles and the good times (like now) -- and some delicious recipes are interlaced throughout, to complement the stories. To enjoy the company of this television cook, movie star (she was in Elizabethtown) and surrogate grandmother to many, you’ll just have to read the book and catch Paula on television: Her appearance this evening at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters branch (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-994-3300 or www.slcl.org) is completely sold out. Good times for Paula, indeed!
Thu., April 26

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