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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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am