Miss Gloria’s Blue Ranch Dressing

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Miss Gloria’s Blue Ranch Dressing

By Paula Deen

I love aprons.  Looking at the many I have, you would think I collect them. Unknowingly, but I guess I do. They bring me comfort. For me, aprons are like photographs, always reminding me of someone or some recipe I’ve cooked over the years. Of the many aprons in my “collection,” my most cherished is the one I’m wearing.  It was hand sewn especially for me by Miss Gloria. Every time I put this simple white apron with ruffles over my head and tie it around my waist, I can feel Miss Gloria with me. 

Miss Gloria’s job at The Lady Restaurant was to push the salad cart from table to table putting everything but the kitchen sink in your salad if you liked and mixing up a special dressing to pour over top. She did this all the while visiting, telling charming stories and wearing a crisply ironed white apron exactly like the one she made for me. Our customers loved her so very much for her special attention. I loved her for that and so much more.

She took sick before we moved to the new restaurant but begged to keep working.  She had worked all her life and she told me she needed to keep busy. We decided to put a chair outside the restaurant where she would sit each day in the warm sun and rock as long as she felt like it, just smiling and continuing to tell stories to the customers arriving for lunch. This would be her job.

Miss Gloria is no longer with us in body, but she will always be with me in spirit. When I see the now “off white” apron, hanging on a hook in my kitchen–a little thread bare and not so ironed–I think of her.  Remembering her flawless skin and the perfectly painted on circle of blush she applied to each cheek before having her picture made makes me smile and tear just a little.

Miss Gloria’s Blue Ranch Dressing
Yield:  2 cups

1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried chives
½ teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
dash of hot sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 ounces good quality blue cheese, crumbled
Your favorite salads

In a large ball jar with a screw on lid, combine all ingredients except for the blue cheese.  Screw lid on jar and shake until thoroughly mixed.  Add extra milk if needed for the correct consistency. Add blue cheese and lightly shake to mix.  Pour over your favorite salad.  Replace lid and refrigerate. 

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Reader Comments:

I have very fond memories of visiting my grandparents “Mom” and “Pop” on a farm in Arkansas where my Dad grew up.  Mom cooked on a wood stove, wore an apron and cooked the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten. They tasted like a Parker House roll and I’ve never been able to find a recipe that comes close.

By Betty on September 11, 2010

I have several friend, plus myself, that collect aprons and Paula’s stories were special to me.  I would like to send her stories to my friends and would like a way to print this for them and myself.  Thank you G. Kulik

By makulik on June 21, 2010

Hi Paula,
Years ago, My Mother and I drove all the way to Albany for one of your book signings.  I gave you a black apron with pink writing on it.  You opened it after you left and I never heard anything after that.  I often wonder if you liked it or if you ever wore it.  It was humerous and seemed to fit your lively personality.
The story about Miss Gloria is very sweet!

By Vicki Hopkins on May 22, 2010

Nothing makes me more homesick than the sight of my mother’s apron.  Sometimes I just pick it up and hold it for a few minutes and remember how special she was.  I will pass it down to my girls and hope they will have the same wonderful memories.  Thanks Paula…You’re part of our family too..

By Linda on May 19, 2010

What a precious story & memories you have of her.Would love to see her picture also.

Reminds me of my Aunt Grace and how much I loved and miss her even after many years of her being w/the Lord.

Blessings to you & your family,
Margaret Wisler, Clearwater, Fl.

By Margaret Wisler on May 19, 2010

Hey Paula, Thanks for this article on the apron. you know my Dad was Chef well over 50 yrs. I can still see him in that white apron. When he was home he love to bake and make us kids Chocolate pie I can still see all of them line up on the counter they were so good. Oh I have one of your apron hanging in my kitchen” HEY YALL!!” I love it. Thank Paula

By Brenda Thomas on May 18, 2010

My Mother-in-law is 84 and I have never seen her cook without an apron on.  She wears the kind that tie around her waist, not with a bib.  Her aprons are old and new, but beautifully stained by cooking those delicious meals. I compiled a book for her last year and in it I put a poem titled ‘The Apron’.  My own mother has never worn an apron, but I will never forget Polly in hers.  She has made me several already and I always try to honor her by wearing one when she is in our home.

By Bobbie Condrey on May 18, 2010

Dear Paula
What wonderful apron memories.  Those of us who have also somehow collected aprons can totally relate.  You are an amazing lady,  thank you so much for the sharing of yourself with all of us. take care.

By Paula on May 18, 2010

Paula I, too, love aprons! I made hundreds of them when I was doing crafts shows. I have one for ever month of the year, as I cook for my comuinty center once a month. They get to see an apron that repersent the month.(snow men for Jan.,hearts for Feb.,ect)..The story you was teary. As matter fact, I make alot of your recipes when I cook for the center. About 50 people come to eat. I love you and your cook books. I have all but one. Hugs Irene

By Irene Puckette on May 18, 2010

Hi Paula,

I too have many Aprons. I always remember my Mom and Grandma wearing aprons. I don’t wear them often but when I do it’s always my Paula Deen apron my Daughter bought me when she stopped at Paula Deen and Son’s to eat.  I am actually coming to Hilton Head in a couple weeks and plan on stopping to eat at your place and Uncle Bubba’s.  You are my idol Paula and I love your sense of humor.  Thanks Paula for making my life more fun!

By Wanda Hand on May 18, 2010

I collect tablecloths but have a few aprons myself.  They remind me of my mama.  I loved your story of Miss Gloria.  I would love to have met her.  Maybe she’s telling a story now and my mama is there listening.

By Kathryn Botard on May 18, 2010

So enjoyed your wonderful memory of a beautiful friend, Miss Gloria! Thanks for sharing it with all of us. As we go thru life & look back at family & friends we realize that these memories & experiences are priceless. I have my grandma’s (ma) apron along with Ms.Paula’s (complete with Paula & family’s signatures) hanging in my kitchen. My memories are PRICELESS.

By Georganne Baker on May 18, 2010

My mom has heirloom aprons from family that has past. I am fortunate to have cherished, hand stitched/embroidered “tea towels”,pot holders, and table runners that hold each of their spirits with me. Thanks for keeping us connected as “We will never forget”.

By Cindy Mora on May 18, 2010

My favorite picture of my Daddy is of him in his white apron that my grandmother made him.

By Cheryl Bone on May 18, 2010

Hello Paula,

Your aprons reminding you of friends/family and the special recipes/times shared with them brings me thoughts of my Grandma & Mom.  They had their aprons/special recipes and they had me help them with in the kitchen!!  Thank you for all your family stories/downhome recipes!!!
Keep up the good fun!!!  Watch all your shows!!!
Enjoy the newsletter too!!!
Big HUGS!!!

By LindaS on May 18, 2010

I loved this story.  I would have loved to have seen a picture of her, also.

By Linda R. Smith on May 18, 2010


By TERRIINTNViewer on April 15, 2010

Your story hit home with me. My Grandmother always wore aprons and we have a photo with my Mom, Grandmother, and Aunt standing around the round kitchen table with a turkey. We always ate in the formal dining room and after we all sat down, then Grandmother took off her apron.We were at the Lady and Sons last year and hope to come back again.

By Janet Hansen on November 19, 2009

Made me cry a little with that story, too!

My mom recently passed away and in going through her things I found several patterns for aprons.  Her and my Gramma always wore them when cooking - especially in my growing up years.

I sent two of them - along with fabric - to a wonderful friend for her birthday, in hopes that they will bring comforting memories to her, too.

Thank you so much for these stories!

By Linda on November 11, 2009

Well Paula this story here tells the story of you. If you ask me. You tell the story of the Lady behind the recipe. And that is what makes something special. She must of been a very dear lady and you are too…

By Dorothy P. on November 11, 2009

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