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A WORD FROM PAULA
When I was little, I learned to cook mainly from my Grandmomma Paul. She was a masterful cook, but more than that, she loved me, and the wise words she gave me about how she felt about cookin' and how to ripen fruits and break bread and fix the occasional cookin' calamity were far more important than even her wonderful recipes. I wish I'd had a kind of journal then, to write down all those grandmomma-wise words along with my own ideas that popped up as I watched her chop pecans for her fresh apple cake. My best thoughts on life still seem to appear when I'm stirrin' my pots, and the freshest impressions and even the sweetest memories of family and friends come bubblin' up along with the intoxicatin' smells from the jambalaya on my stove.
Take this old story I heard when I was very small. There was this young wife who asked her momma why the momma always cut a little bit offin' the butt end of a pork roast before she cooked it. Because, the momma explained, it tastes better because the juices are released easier and because her momma cooked it that way and because her momma did the same.
The young woman wasn't convinced and she traveled a long way to ask the identical question of her grandmomma.
The old woman thought and thought, trying to remember, and finally she said, "I cut off the butt end because how else would I fit the durn potatoes around it?"
This journal, then, is my way of getting some of my personal solutions, some new recipes, and passed-on tips to you and still give you room for the potatoes. The blank pages are for you to jot down your own answers to cookin' dilemmas and recipes you've learned and adapted from your momma and want to pass down to your kids. It's also for you to write your own flights of fancy, inventions, frustrations, and victories in the kitchen a cookin' diary to look back on and laugh and remember your signature dish that you made every weekend when the kids were little but you haven't made in years.
I'm hopin' you take pleasure in some of my personal reflections, and, more than anything, I'm also hopin' that you enjoy collaborating with me in your own kitchen. If you really let loose and write down your deepest feelings about cookin' and family and kitchen memories, I'm banking on it that you'll jump on this cookin' journal like a duck on a June bug.
Copyright © 2008 by Paula Deen