I Just Love a Parade!

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I Just Love a Parade!

By Paula Deen

It’s hard to put into words what it means to be recognized for workin’ hard. But I’m gonna try, because being asked to be the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade not only made my year, it made every sack lunch I packed, every sleepless night and every penny I squeezed, so worth it. 

As a girl growin’ up in southwestern Georgia, I didn’t have the imagination to ever dream of visiting California, let alone leading a parade through the crowd-filled streets of Pasadena. So when I rolled in that lead car down Colorado Boulevard, waving both my hands like a windshield wiper gone wild (I knew I wouldn’t last two seconds doing that princess wave), I got emotional. I had expected parade-loving families and football fans, but for some reason I didn’t expect so many people to be cheering for me. People were waving signs that said, “We love you, Paula Deen,” and using pots and wooden spoons as noisemakers! Half the time I couldn’t even see their faces because my eyes kept filling with tears of joy.

You know, the Rose Parade is something that I’ve watched on TV for years. It’s a tradition in our house to have it on while I’m cooking my turnip greens and black-eyed peas to ring in the New Year. And for me to be there after feeling so connected to it all these years was surreal. I couldn’t believe that I had been chosen out of every person in this United States to lead that parade.

Surely the best part of the whole celebration was being able to share it with my family. And the parade organizers were kind enough to understand when I showed up with an entourage made up of our children, aunts and uncles. They even let the men in our family gather at the sideline of the Rose Bowl game to watch me flip the coin. I’ve tried so hard to impress my children and show them that hard work and a passion for what you do can really pay off. And y’all, I’ve gotten so many accolades over the years, but this finally impressed them. When we walked off the field, my sweet son-in-law (who’s married to Michael’s daughter), turned to me and tried to tell me how much it meant to him being a part of our family, but he got too choked up to get the words out. It was one of many moments over the course of the week that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

Y’all, 2011 is gonna have to be one helluva year to beat the start I’ve had. And I’m looking forward to see what’s in store.

View photos on Facebook. Or, be friends with The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game!

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Reader Comments:

54321

Dear Paula,& family, I want to say Thank You Paula, for getting me back into the kitcken,( Back to the Basic's)..... and off the frozen food Isle's or god only knows what in it.. and the Enjoyment of such easy to follow Dishes... Thank You Paula P.s.Love your Newsletter is't awesome... Love the readings, Most of all Paula, For Sharing your family with me, and the world.... Sincerely Yours, Betty

By Betty on November 08, 2013

54321

Love you and all your shows. And your food always looks so delicious! I watched the show today (Sat. Oct. 29th) with Sunny Anderson; loved it! I've been trying to look up the recipes, but haven't had much luck. It was for Creamy Grits and Shrimp! I did find Bobby's recipe for a lighter version, but it had tomatoes in it and the one on the show today didn't. Both look great though! Also, you had biscuits with just 3 ingredients: self-rising flour, butter and sour cream. Can't find that recipe either.

By Bev Muehleisen on October 29, 2011

54321

you and Michael look great,what a great couple! Rosie

By Rosie C on January 28, 2011

54321

Paula,we watched you and Michael on television. The two of you were having so much fun and the crowd loved seeing you! We are about the same age and there is nothing like just enjoying life! Good for you!

By Jana Hardee on January 27, 2011

54321

Paula,i saw you on tv in the begining of the rose bowl ball game .You were wearing a black and white shawl,can i ask you where you bought it? I like it. thank you....robin tinsley

By robin tinsley on January 22, 2011

54321

Paula, you are what we all aspire to be - happy, a dreamer, and a doer. You have deserved and worked hard to get to where you are today. You never looked more beautiful than you did during the Parade! I wish you all the happiness you have brought to my life. XO

By Anonymous on January 16, 2011

54321

I WATCH ALL OF YOUR SHOWS, AND ENJOY THEM VERY MUCH. I HAVE A RECIPE THAT MY MOTHER LEFT ME WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY IN 2000. SHE WAS AN EXCELENT COOK. SHE COOKED A CHOCOLATE CAKE EVERY CHRISTMAS ANYWHERE FROM 12 TO 20 FOR ALL OF HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY. I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO MAKE AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU. BARBARA MULLINAX [personal address removed by admin]

By barbara mullinax on January 14, 2011

54321

i love and watch your show every time it is on. If i ever hear from you, i have a recipe for my moms chocolate cake, that i would like for you to try, let me know what you think of it. Before she passed away in 2000, she made anywhere from 12 to 20 every christmas for friends and family. as far as i know, i am the one that has the recipe. i know you have a busy scedule. i am looking forward to hearing from you BARBARA JEAN MULLINAX

By barbara mullinax on January 14, 2011

54321

Paula, I watch all of your show's, when I can. I have created many recipes on my own along w/ some of your touches. I had quite a few problems as a child and adult like you.I can relate.Takes a long time to get healthy. I am unemployed right now and really struggling to get my little home cooking business going.It is hard. My husband was unemployed as well & finally got a job- way beneath his Engineering degree. I just need a little help. I have worked as a manager @ The Mansion on Turtlecreek in Dallas. 5 Star Hotel & Restaurant. This is my Passion! Food~ Wine and People of course! You are a wonderful role model. These days, we need them! Keep on Cooking!

By Jill~ Jill's Bistro on January 14, 2011

54321

Paula, You thaught me so much about cooking and expanded my taste and veiws about cooking. I thank you! I watch all your shows, got all magazines. I strated watching went I was laid up for a month, went I was able to get up I strated to use more spices and herbs that I won't have use before thanks to you. By Sandy Thompson January 13,2011

By Sandy Thompson on January 13, 2011

54321

Paula i love your newsletters. This was most touching to me i hope 2011 if a great year for us all. Carla

By carla sapp on January 13, 2011

54321

you were wonderful in the parade and you deserved it you inspire so many people all over the world. you could tell you were on top of the world and it was nice to see that you had a good time, but you always do whereever you might be. you have a terrific attitude, so positive and loving and this country needs that inspiration. really! also saw you on late night with Craig. interesting. just wanted you to know you very much deserved that honor because you are a wonderful person to have people look up to. some day hope to see ya in person. watch your show paulas best dishes or whatever. see you on tv on alot of programs. qvc too. thanks for showing america that family is so very important and should be for everyone. best of luck in the coming year. could not start it off on a better foot. all the best always.

By stephanie kinnett on January 13, 2011

54321

Wish I could of been at parade to see you you look so beautiful.Im your biggest fan. Love all your recipes

By Mary on January 12, 2011

54321

Paula you looked beautiful. I believe they could not have chosen any one else. I enjoy watching you just to hear you laugh. Your laugh comes from your soul, no one could ever fake that laugh. I hope your family realizes how very lucky they are to have someone as special as you as the leader of their family. What a role model you are to them and all the rest of us. Keep up the fantastic work. My partner thinks I am crazy because I am so obessed with everything you do. One day I hope to be able to meet you...that would be a dream. I hope this is just the start of a wondeful, blessed year for you and your family Steven and Skip

By steven on January 12, 2011

54321

Hi Paula, You looked so beautiful leading the parade and Michael was so handsome. Thanks for sharing with your readers. I have family in Atlanta who are "Dawg" fans and alumni so I know how much Jamie and Bobby enjoyed seeing you "flip the coin". Have a wonderful 2011. Voni

By Voni Duncan on January 12, 2011

54321

Paula, I so love you and your receipes! I am southern girl and I love Savannah! Best fried chicken ever is at the Lady and Sons! I will be down there for my birthday in March I can't wait. I hope you have a blessed New Year! You looked beautiful!

By Carol Brunelli on January 12, 2011

54321

Thank you so much for all you have given to us. Your recipes are to die for and your personality is second to none! I too watch your show on Food Network. I am from Savannah, but haven't been there since I was a child. I will always remember Ogeechee Road though it is, I'm sure, nothing like I remember it. Again, thanks for just being you!!!

By Margaret Moriarty on January 12, 2011

54321

Hi Paula!! I just love you and your sweet southern accent and traditions. I watch your shows, receive your magazine and read most all your books. You are very much and inspiration to me because you understand what being a wife and mother means. I use your recipes and receive so many compliments on them!! I went to one of your live cooking shows in Louisville KY and I briefly got to meet you. I hope to someday get the opportunity to meet you and just sit down and talk with you. You are truly an amazing lady and just full of kindness. I pray God will take care of you and your family. God Bless you.

By Karen Sholar on January 12, 2011

54321

I RECENTLY PURCHASED YOUR STOCK POT BUT EVERY TIME I COOK IN IT, THE FOOD STICKS TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN. DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS THAT CAN HELP ME? THANK YOU, DEBRA FENWICK

By DEBRA FENWICK on January 12, 2011

54321

Dear Paula, Our family was so excited that you had been selected to be the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. We are a real Badger family, with one graduate in the family from UW-Madison, years of season tickets to the football games, and numerous tickets to the Band Concerts. I'm sure you know UW-Madison has been to the Rose Bowl at least "a couple of times"!!!! All of us from Wisconsin truly believe in being friendly, kind, and as you can tell - we truly love our football. You were a fabulous Grand Marshal - don't know why it took them so long to select you!!! Hope you enjoyed our PHENOMENAL marching band...and hope you get a little kick out of all of us, and smile, when you hear all of us proudly say....... "On Wisconsin"!!!!!!!!! I wish you much continued success, happiness, and blessings as you bring your genuine warm personality, along with your tremendous gifts to so many others... Hugs, Karen Callies

By Karen Callies on January 12, 2011

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