March 18, 2009
I was watching the Food Network this evening when suddenly I remembered a blog I had written over a year and a half ago. Technically, that blog post was the first foodie article I ever wrote, so I wanted to share it here on Puff and Choux.
And even though I wrote this piece in December 2009, I'm still just as big a fan of Paula as I was back then.
Originally written on December 7, 2007 at So I saw on the subway today...
I believe that a common trait these days amongst women my age is the inability to cook. Maybe it's a New York thing where one of the side effects of living in this city means small kitchens with no counter space and having an oven that may have been brought over on one of the first Dutch ships to land in New York. Ignoring the fact that I have no ability to make food outside of microwaving, boiling or toasting, I do enjoy watching Paula Deen's show on the Food Network. I can appreciate an overweight, recovering Southern agoraphobe - so sue me.
My favorite part about the show is not the recipe, but the fact that the Food Network gave a television program to a completely bat shit crazy woman. Why is she bat shit crazy you may ask? Well, here are my two reasons for this conclusion:
1. She talks to her dog and I sincerely believe she hears the dog talking back.
2. The woman ingests at least 4 full sticks of butter EVERY DAY.
Now don't get me wrong. The Paulinator (that's my loving nickname for her) is probably the best thing that has every been broadcast on extended cable. For one, she somehow been granted a free pass to say/do whatever the hell she feels like. Whenever a male guest is on her show, the Paulinator stops just short of slathering his male parts in toffee syrup and having a go. AND PEOPLE EAT THIS UP! I say if you can blatantly sexually harass someone and people applaud you for it, kudos to you.
As mentioned, one of the Paulinator's best qualities is her relationship with Bo Deen, her beloved pet dog. Here is a typical interaction between the Paulinator and Bo Deen (and please read the Paulinator's lines at about seven decibels louder than you normally would talk):
Paulinator: "What's that Bo Deen? You think we need some more whipped cream?"
Bo Deen: (Silence)
Paulinator: "Oh Bo Deen! You're so bad! But why not?! A little whipped cream ain't gonna hurt!"
Bo Deen: (Silence)
Paulinator: "Bo Deen, you're gonna make your momma fat!"
Bo Deen: (Licks himself, more silence)
I have a theory that if Bo Deen was a stick of butter, the Paulinator, despite her deep affection for the pet, would have eaten him about six years ago. Butter is Paula's kryptonite. Every recipe calls for double the normal amount of butter an average human being should consume. Eating a ham sandwich? Add a stick of butter! What's that? Just a plain salad? Hell no! Add a stick of butter! And why you're at it, mash up some butter in your infant's baby food - need to get them eatin' that butter. I think Paula's love for butter needs no more of an explanation than this: her recipe for deep fried butter balls. Yeah, you heard me. Take the fattiest thing ever created and make it even fattier. Why have a heart attack when you can actually make your heart explode? Here is the recipe:
2 sticks butter
2 ounces cream cheese
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Peanut oil, for frying
Cream the butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper together with an electric mixer until smooth. Using a very small ice cream scoop, or melon baller, form 1-inch balls of butter mixture and arrange them on a parchment or waxed paper lined sheet pan. Freeze until solid. Coat the frozen balls in flour, egg, and then bread crumbs and freeze again until solid.
When ready to fry, preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
But, without a doubt, my favorite thing about the Paulinator is this: at her restaurant, every meal comes with her signature garlic cheese biscuit and one of her famous hoecakes. Now I ask - what is a hoecake? I can easily find the answer on Wikipedia, but I think the definition that is slowly forming in my own head is probably much better. Perhaps my Paulinator is slowly trying to kill me. Disguised by her down-home southern drawl and her jolly demeanor, perhaps, and for lack of a better word, she is attempting to butter me up only to deep fry me one day and have me as a special dish at her world famous buffet? The fact that I'm not at all frightened and just a tad bit excited that I could be served next to her award winning maccaroni and cheese says alot.