Some Like It Hot

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By Paula Deen

So I’ve been walking more and trying to watch what I eat, and things have been going pretty well. And then that pesky little Valentine’s Day creeps up and threatens to derail me with all her tasty chocolates and sugary sweets. But not this year—no, ma’am. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to celebrate—y’all know how much I love a good holiday—but I am going to shift my focus a bit without sacrificing all the fun.

The answer to my Valentine’s prayers is a delicious little bivalve that you can prepare a hundred different ways: the oyster. Sure, he’s not a rich piece of fudge or a fluffy mouthful of frosting, but he’s every bit as rich and divine. I like to eat them raw with just a bit of lemon juice, horseradish and a touch of salt. There’s nothing better than when your oysters are so fresh and so cold that you can just slide ‘em off the shell. That is the best way to get the full flavor of an oyster. And y’all have heard about them being an aphrodisiac? There might be something to it—I don’t know. But if nothing else, it’s a good excuse to eat an oyster and snuggle up to the one you love.

Now Michael, he likes to add some heat to just about everything. So he’ll put a couple shakes of hot sauce onto his oyster, throw it down, and let that heat just linger.

And this gets me thinking…

That dash of hot sauce is like our relationship together: it hits hard at first, lingers for a while and eventually your mouth returns to a real comfortable place. Some couples worry that if they’re comfortable, their love must’ve gone and disappeared, but it’s just not so. I prefer to think that the comfort comes when you’ve managed to bring two lives together in a real nice way.

I think back on my first date with Michael. He was so nervous. He knew I was in the restaurant business so he insisted that I pick where we were going to eat, figurin’ I was into those 3 or 4 hour dinners with food that he couldn’t pronounce. He couldn’t have been further from the truth. I said, “Well, do you ever go to Denny’s?” So he took me to Denny’s and I can remember getting the three-egg scrambler with cheese and a side of bacon. And Michael said, “Oh my goodness, this is gonna be much easier than I thought!”

Of course, it’s never easy putting two lives together, but the work is always worth it. You know, we all have our days, but Michael is so sweet to me. We tease each other unmercifully—that’s our thing. And we can get real rough with our teasing. Once we were playing the “Newlywed Game” with some friends and they asked Michael if he knew what size bra I wore and he said, “A thirty-six long.” We laughed ourselves silly.

Truth be told, I don’t know what we have planned for this Valentine’s Day—I’ve been so busy I can hardly see straight. But I know one thing for sure: I’ll be with my Michael and we’ll probably be laughin’.

Try Some of Paula’s Valentine’s Day Ideas!

Read More From Holidays and Entertaining.

Read More From Valentine's Day.

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
The Lady's Blog
The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

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Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm