It Ain't All About the Cooking

Paula H. Deen, Author, Sherry Suib Cohen, With
Paula H. Deen, Author, Sherry Suib Cohen, With , with Sherry Suib Cohen. Simon & Schuster $25 (287p) ISBN 978-0743292856
Reviewed on: 12/31/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-6883-8
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-5608-4
Hardcover - 447 pages - 978-0-7862-9627-9
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-3968-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-8083-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6884-5
Paperback - 287 pages - 978-1-4391-6335-1
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Anyone who's ever watched, mesmerized, as the author of this memoir panfries a pork chop 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 & 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 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't s, darling s and honey s—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 pork chops. (Apr.)

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