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.

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

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm