Peek at Paula’s: The Dish Pantry

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Peek at Paula’s: The Dish Pantry

By Paula Deen

Clearly, I love collecting. According to Michael, there isn’t a thing I don’t collect. Beautiful milkglass and jadeite, tiny salt cellars—everything is so precious. But I do have one rule I always abide by: nothing should be so precious that it can’t be used and enjoyed.

imageKeep Collections within Sight …
To prevent myself from crossing over to hoarder status, I keep track of my possessions by storing them in plain view.  When done right, these displays can serve as both a useful storage space and a wonderful conversation piece.  The dish pantry in my kitchen is my favorite collection point.  It’s set up to tastefully create eye-catching contrasts (see how the green jadeite and white milkglass pops against the black bead board!) that I can enjoy every day.

… and Reach
As Jamie likes to remind me, I’m “vertically challenged,” which makes most everything in my cupboards and on my shelves out of reach (easy to say for someone well over 6 feet).  So they installed a portable wooden ladder to challenge my God-given limitations.  It reminds me of those ladders used to get those out-of-reach books in fancy libraries.  This gives me access to about three times as much storage space.  I keep the items I use most frequently at ground level, and the ones reserved for special occasions stored in what feels like outer space. “To the moon, Alice!” I say to Michael as I climb up the rungs.

Strive for organization
I make a point of keeping my collections neat and tidy.  If things start stacking up, it looks cluttered and I loose track of my inventory.  Balance is also important.  Don’t put all your tiny little things on one shelf and overload another with too many tall pieces.  Instead, aim for a variety of shapes and sizes on each shelf. 

imageEnjoy a little whimsy
I just adore my quirky little cookie jars.  Like all the pieces in my collection, they have a special story behind them and a special place in my heart. Dee Dee Pujols, the lovely wife of MLB player Albert Pujols, gave me Elvis when she was a guest on my show.  I remember we made her delicious Home Run Chicken recipe.

imageAnd the alligator with that poor little fish in his mouth was given to me a few years back by the sweetest fan who knew how much I would love it.  I swear some mornings I can hear Elvis singing “Don’t be Cruel” to that naughty gator.

I enjoy my dish pantry collection each and every day—seeing it and using the wonderful pieces in it.  As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got to let a cookie jar hold cookies and a pie dish cradle a pie—it’s what they were made to do.  And who am I to deny things their destiny?

 

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Reader Comments:

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What are the measurements on a medium sized casserole dish. I love your recipes and I also have a parrot. He is a caique, a small parrot about 8 inches

By Carolyn Schulz on December 19, 2013

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Love your recipes. Keep up the good work. Also love your son's recipes.

By Marilynn on August 06, 2013

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Paula, I saw your collection and it's beautiful.I collect pianos.Not big ones of course but pencil sharpener pianos,music box pianos,jewelry box pianos and many others.I got started collecting after I married my husband.His mom taught piano and voice.I learned to play when I was eight.His mom was so dedicated to her music and she loved her piano.It was a black baby grand piano that she bought for only $500.She was very special.She sang with Dinah Shore and she sang opera.She also sang vat the New York Met.I have always dreamed of going to the Met to see were she sang.That is where I got my interest on pianos.I live in a apartment so I had to stop collecting because I ran out of room!!I have between 30 and 40.I love watching your show.I have always wanted to come to your restaurant.I have a kidney disease that sometimes makes me hurt so bad and it's hard for me to walk distances.I will eventually have to have dialysis and be put on a donor list.My children cannot be donors because it's genetic.But you know God is with me everyday!!God bless you and your family!!

By marie faulkner on March 21, 2013

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Paula, I saw your collection and it's beautiful.I collect pianos.Not big ones of course but pencil sharpener pianos,music box pianos,jewelry box pianos and many others.I got started collecting after I married my husband.His mom taught piano and voice.I learned to play when I was eight.His mom was so dedicated to her music and she loved her piano.It was a black baby grand piano that she bought for only $500.She was very special.She sang with Dinah Shore and she sang opera.She also sang vat the New York Met.I have always dreamed of going to the Met to see were she sang.That is where I got my interest on pianos.I live in a apartment so I had to stop collecting because I ran out of room!!I have between 30 and 40.I love watching your show.I have always wanted to come to your restaurant.I have a kidney disease that sometimes makes me hurt so bad and it's hard for me to walk distances.I will eventually have to have dialysis and be put on a donor list.My children cannot be donors because it's genetic.But you know God is with me everyday!!God bless you and your family!!

By marie faulkner on March 21, 2013

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I watch your tv show, but I noticed, its not shown anymore...Why is this..?????? I am going to make this cornbread...I tried it once with a slightly chilli flavour, so I will stick to that in the future......cheers..Querino

By Qyerino de freitas on January 19, 2013

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I would love to know where to get your stove top grill/griddle? I have been looking everywhere here in Corpus Christi and unable to find one just like yours. Please help. Been watching your show since it began. A lot of your recipes are ones I grew up with. My mother was a great cook and couldn't stand it when anyone was in the kitchen with her. I cook pretty darn good too regardless of never being taught. I guess its in the genes. Love ya, Melissa

By Melissa Todd Jay on January 19, 2013

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I love your green dishes where did you buy them??? love you much Normie

By Norma Elizondo on January 18, 2013

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I love your collections. One that I think we share is pink depression glass. Mine got started because my Grandma served her applesauce in a pink depression glass bowl and I thought I remembered pink applesauce when my mother told me it was the bowl I remembered. That Christmas, 35 years ago, my mom started my collection which I keep in my dining room hutch. I seems to be overflowing now so I'll take some of your "secrets" to organization.

By Audrey Mack on January 17, 2013

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how do you store fresh garlic does have to be in the fridge or can we leave it sit out can you let me know how to store it thank you

By Janet Vieths on January 13, 2013

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I like collecting clowns of all different shapes, but,I don't go overboard collecting them. Also, I want to know if you have a recipe called Pepper-Peach Jelly. I use to make it all the time,but lost the recipe. Thx Paula

By denise on January 11, 2013

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I forgot to rate! At LEAST 5! You are just wonderful...love you lots and thank u for all your goodness. Stephanie

By Stephanie D on January 09, 2013

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Paula, honey, I just Love ya! Been home sick for 4 days being sweet talked and recipied by you and your endearing, delightful ways. Big hugs, and thanks for all the goodies...ps..love your kitchen! Stephanie D

By Stephanie D on January 09, 2013

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As a southern girl, Paula Deen Cookbooks and the website she furnishes, is a great asset to my day. I love to sit and read her books and I think I read every word of her web material. I sometimes read it with her accent in my head!!!

By Pat Lynch on January 08, 2013

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I love watching your show here in Michigan every day. I love Georgia, as I visited my best friend who lives in Lawrenceville a few years ago, and also stayed on Tybee Island- that was beautiful! You are a true inspiration to me, as you love people and your family and love to laugh! My family is the most important to me, and I love to cook too! Keep up the great work that you do every day. Respectfully submitted, a TOTAL FAN. Cindy Koykka, Michigan

By Cindy K on January 07, 2013

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Paula, You have given me so much to live for. I tries my lives dream and opened a small eatery on Navajo Lake in New Mexico. sadly to say I only had 2 Yrs and it was Great. so thanks Paula. God bless

By Trish Merchant on January 06, 2013

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I love your Elvis cookie jar. But anything of Elvis is great. I also love you Paula. I've been a fan since you started on TV. God Bless you this New year.

By Helen Smith on January 06, 2013

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Paula, love love love your show and you since the very beginning. I am such a fan. My family all says I remind them of you and that is a complement for me. I have never written a fan letter before so you are the first. I am a 60 year old police dispatcher for almost the last 19 years, don't get a lot of time to cook but do love it when I can....love seeing your lovely family.. I will continue to be a fan so stay on that tv where we can watch your lovely smile. Love and best 10-4 to you. sally

By sally stewart on January 06, 2013

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I would like very much to have a set of your measuring cups but I can't afford the 177.00 price...will they ever be on sale? i love all of your cookbooks and I do follow your recipes, the green beans with the new red potatoes is my family's favorite. I love to collect tea pots. Keep the good work and i watch you on tv all the time for new things

By katherine Giddings on January 05, 2013

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I have a collection of pitchers. However, the only thing I have collected lately is DUST.

By Jeanette on January 05, 2013

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I love little black bears. I started collecting them a few years ago. They aren't expensive and only worth much to anyone except me, but when I find a cute one or one that looks like a member of my family I Usually buy it, or if it is unusal like the Bird house bear with a little blue bird setting onhis paw and a Cardinal making a nest in his tummy.

By Joyce Henkel on January 04, 2013

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