You know when you’re invited to a large family gathering and you’re filled with a bit of dread. Lots of cheek-pinching and stories told about how you wet your pants in the third-grade when you had to give an oral book report in front of your entire class. But there’s always some wacky, gravel-voiced relative who doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. So you spend most of your time with her, since she’s the most fun person in the room and you never know what will tumble out of her mouth. And you want to be there when all the choice nuggets do.
I don’t ever watch Food Network since it’s not on television in France so I don’t know the cast of characters. But I hear about them, so I spent an afternoon watching it the other day just to catch up. And while I quickly got tired of the wide-eyed, pendulous Giada, shuddered at the skin-crawling ‘charms’ of Bobby Flay and wondered aloud if it’s just me or if the ever-popular Rachel Ray is looking more and more like an NFL linebacker these days. I did find someone worth-watching amongst the dreck: Paula Deen. Let me tell you, that girl’s a hoot. Watching her, I was reminded of that favorite aunt, who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, who will say or do, or eat, anything.
Watching Paula traipsing about London and Paris on her hour-long special, here’s this southern woman, all wide-eyed and big-haired, visiting one of the handlebar-mustached butchers at my market. Looking her up and down, he proclaims her breasts “Les Guns of Navarone”…and once that was translated for her, what did she do?