Friday, January 27, 2012

My thoughts on Paula Deen

A lot of people have had a lot to say about Paula Deen recently.
They have said a lot of not very nice things about her and the business she has built. I'm sure you've read or heard many of them, so there's really no need for me to go into any detail.

I'm not a fan of that. I understand why people would think it is ridiculous, the woman has an empire founded solely on sugar and butter (mmmmm.....butter......). And it is a very very delicious empire, if I do say so. Thus, a lot of people think she deserves what she 'got'.

I'll let you in on a little secret, I'm not one of them.

Don't get me wrong, those fabulous recipes of hers are in no way healthy, albeit delicious, and no woman in a kitchen cooking all that amazingness could resist tasting it all these years. So, yes, the doctor in me recognizes that she got herself into this mess.

But, Paula Deen has never told anyone to use her recipes on a daily basis. If anything, she promotes moderation, which is really the only way to live. And she has openly recognized that she has not lived the best lifestyle possible and attributes her Diabetes to exactly that.

Also, Paula Deen was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at age 60. I couldn't tell you how many patients I have diagnosed with the same disease at significantly younger ages! Most of them before the age of 40. And a large portion of people over the age of 60 who don't have a cooking dynasty suffer from Diabetes, so what's the big deal about her having it? She's not alone and she is definitely not the minority. Come on, Venus Williams has Sjogren's Syndrome, which is very rare.

I think the thing that really peeves me about this is Anthony Bourdain's commentary on the subject. He called Paula Deen "the most dangerous woman in America" because of her recipes and her lifestyle. As if he's one to talk. Have you ever watched his show? Yes, his food choices are healthier, but he drinks like a fish!

I digress.

I really like Paula Deen. From what I know of her, she's made a lot of good out of a poor deal of cards. And she has such a positive and enjoyable outlook on life! One of my favorite quotes from her was when she was on Oprah:

O: What do you say to your health conscious fans?
PD: AHAHAHAHA! I'm not a doctor!

Anywho, I think we should all lay off "The Lady" and give her some mad props for the delicious recipes that make our mouths water and remind our current pant size that this is only temporary. On that note, here is my favorite Paula Deen recipe!

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Cook over medium-high heat, just until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk 6 egg yolks until smooth and combined. Using a ladle, pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture in a slow, steady stream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Add another 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the custard and reserve.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1 layer of bread slices. Pour about 1/4 of the custard mixture over the bread. Repeat with remaining bread (total of 2 loaves) and custard, ending with custard. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle the bread pudding with the pecan crumble (below). Bake until the crumble mixture is golden and the custard is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Pecan Crumble:

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and mix with a hand mixer on low speed, until well combined.


Krista said...

Thank you for saying so. I saw a patient not long ago who had just had retinal surgeries due to damage from her diabetes... at the age of 23.

I think the media needs more of your perspective!

Padded Cell Princess said...

It is astounding that she was only diagnosed with Diabetes in her 60's! It seems like people get it much younger now days. If she promoted her food as 'not that bad' then yes, she should be frowned upon (but that's all!). But like you said, she has never advertised herself as a healthy cook so I don't get the finger wagging and harsh words. Thanks for your post! It is spot on!

A single working girl seeking free time said...

Krista: I would agree with you 100%! I recently heard a doctor refer to Diabetes as the Bubonic Plague of our generation.

Princess: thanks friend!

Gia said...

Yeah, I agree. I saw a headline that was like "PD Caught Eating a Cheeseburger" and it was like, really? She's not trying to be a model eater here. Let the woman be, and let her manage her own disease. Sheeeeesh