‘Tis the Season

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By Paula Deen

We’re in the throes of it now—and I’m not talking about season premieres or the season for giving.  I’m talkin’ about football season. 

To me, football season means one thing: I no longer get to see my boys on Saturday.  I don’t even try.  Jamie has this little guesthouse he calls “The Dawg House” that’s decorated from stem to stern in University of Georgia paraphernalia.  That’s their sanctuary—a “man cave” as they call it.  And if the boys aren’t whoopin’ and hollerin’ at the TV, they’re busying themselves over this Fantasy Football thing.  I can’t say I understand all the fuss about an imaginary game, but Jamie, Bobby and all the guys at the restaurant live for it.

It’s not that I don’t love football—I was a high school cheerleader for goodness’ sake—I just don’t understand it all that well.  See, my football roots go as deep as my cheerleading outfit, and by that I mean I couldn’t have cared less about what was happening on the field.  All that really mattered to me was how good I felt when I put on my cheerleading uniform.  I loved all the excitement, prancing around and being in the mix of things. 

Back when I was a cheerleader, we had very good reputations and were highly thought of—and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?  We were out there on the sidelines leading our classmates in school spirit.  We would travel to our football games and, oh my gosh, that was probably the best part of it—getting on the bus with the boys.  ‘Course, it was all pretty innocent back in those days, y’all.  My senior year, I was even captain of the cheerleading squad.  All us girls had different talents, and I was never into tumbling.  I could do cartwheels and things like that but our cheers were simple.  Like I said, we were really, really tame by comparison to what they do today.  All that fancy booty shaking and basket tossin’—it’s a competitive sport now.  Gone are the good ol’ days of “G-O, let’s go!”

But I did have myself another special football moment when I attended the Rose Bowl back in 2011 as the Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade.  It was like being voted queen of the prom, just on a much, much bigger scale.  And then being on that field for the coin toss took me right back to my cheerleading days.  If I didn’t think I would’ve pulled something—I would’ve turned a cartwheel right then and there.  Afterwards, I went up in my little room and I watched the game.  It’s amazing how different it is when you’re in a place where you can actually see the ball instead of staring at some little dot flying across the TV screen.  I got so excited.  That ol’ cheerleader came out.  My friend Hollis told me that we need to slip out of the stadium a few minutes before the game was over, but it was a close game and I said, “Hollis, I just can’t leave—I’ve got to see what happens!”

So I guess my point is, you don’t have to understand what “1st and 10” means to enjoy this game.  Y’all can keep it simple like I do: when someone catches a ball and starts running like a cat on fire, yell your little heart out because everyone appreciates a good cheerleader—as long as you’re on their side.

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Reader Comments:

54321

"...when I was a cheerleader, we had very good reputations and were highly thought of—and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?" Well said! Thank you.

By Ann on March 28, 2014

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I could bathe in your caramel frosting! Just made it to go on my homemade apple cupcakes - caramel apple cupcakes. It is Devine! Apple season is when football starts too.

By Heather on September 02, 2013

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You are adorable in your cheer leading uniform. I was too shy to try out for cheer leading when I was in school. Wish I could see your pretty blue eyes. And, you cook just like I cook!

By Rebecca on February 01, 2013

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Paula, just have to tell you that i think your short hair looks great!! you look 20 yrs younger!! and you have slimmed down--you look amazing!! not that all of that matters much, but it is nice to know that you are beautiful and sparkling!! blessings to you, a PD "follower" wink

By emilia on November 30, 2012

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Paula, can you freeze your corn casserole (Jiffy Mix)?

By Debbie Stevens on November 15, 2012

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I graduated from h/s in 1961, u must have been in h/s around 63 or so. Was that your cheerleading uniform? cause when I was in h/s ouruniforms were short pleaded solid colored skirts and sweaters with the emblmn on the front. Sometimes the girls had little short tops but mostly i recall sweatshirt and our team in Ft. Smith, Ark. was Grizzlys My youngest was cheerleader in junior high and high school and yes they went to cheerleading camp. she was the only one who could do the splits and because she had ben into gymnastics all thru grade school she was pretty limber. She got to go to a special camp I believe it was in Tx. I so missed her that summer she was gone. They got to work with professionals and were in compitition. When i was in h/s. cheerleaders wdid not have a good reputation, odd that only 2 or 3 years later u say they did. Most of them came from rich families or they were sluts and popular with the football players and were by no means looked up too. I just can;t believe that as big a place as Georgia that was your cheerleading uniform. Looks pretty plain to me R. H. in Ct.

By R.Herdman on November 09, 2012

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Here's my story♥ http://chocolatecakeandcoffee.blogspot.com/2010/10/let-me-tell-you-about-2-women-that-had.html

By Tammy Sedin on November 09, 2012

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http://chocolatecakeandcoffee.blogspot.com/2010/10/let-me-tell-you-about-2-women-that-had.html Dear Paula, I want to thank you for helping me become a great Southern cook! My family and friends are sure enjoying your recipes! There's nothing like that Southern hospitality to share with people that you love. Thank you again. I adore you♥ I have baked and delivered over fifty cakes in the past two years. I wrote a beautiful story about two amazing women. Please take the time to read♥ Happy Frienships! ♥Tammy Here's the cake recipe♥ ♥Irene & Juanita forever friends♥ ♥The Chocolate Cake♥ 2 sticks of butter or margarine 4 Tbsp cocoa 1 cup water 2 cups flour 2 cups sugar 1/2 cups buttermilk 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla Mix melted butter, cocoa and water in a sauce pan. bring to a boil, and then set aside. Combine buttermilk and baking soda and mix together and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, and salt and add to cocoa mixture together and beat well. Stir in buttermilk mixture and beat well. Stir in eggs and vanilla and continue to beat together. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 cake pan and bake at 375* for 25 to 30 minutes♥When cool, frost with this Chocolate Icing♥ Before you start frosting the cake..put on a pot of coffee♥ ♥ Frosting ♥ ♥1 stick butter ♥ 2 Tbsp cocoa♥ 2 to 3 Tbsp milk♥ 1 tsp vanilla♥ 1 box powered sugar♥ Mix melted butter mixture in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and set aside. Add 1 box of powered sugar in mixer and pour butter mixture and beat well and add 1 tsp vanilla and beat until smooth♥ Frost the cake♥ May you enjoy sharing this cake with a friend or just a person passing your way♥Let's get back to Chocolate Cake and Coffee...We may also be blessed with a 62 year friendship just like Irene and Juanita. ♥Happy Friendships and enjoy!♥

By Tammy Sedin on November 09, 2012

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Paula, I love to watch you on the food channel. I love the measuring cups that you use. I went on line to see about buying them. All I could do was look and cry because there is no way I could afford them. Any way I still love your show. Thanks for all the neat ideas. Lenice

By Lenice Rylah on November 09, 2012

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Paula, how fun to read your blogs. I was also a varsity cheerleader and I have to say I had the same experience as you, I really didn't get all the football rules, but I knew defense was when we didn't have the ball and offense was when we did. But I loved my uniform, the pom poms, the glamour of being a cheerleader, the friends I made to this day I am still in touch with 4 of the six girls. It was a big deal, my first love played on the football team, it was a wonderful time. 1976. Lots of fun memories. Thank you for sharing your memories and pictures. xo

By Connie on November 06, 2012

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If you're going to live in Nebraska, you have to at least like football, and if you can love it, life is good! Growing up, my dad was a referee. I remember him bringing home 3 hamburgers & a bottle of pop for an after game celebration--one each for he and my mom, and one for we 3 girls to share. They were so good! Mom and Dad just celebrated their 65th anniversary last week, but Dad is in memory care, so it was bittersweet. Thanks for conjuring up some good memories! Go Big Red!

By J. on October 27, 2012

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I love reading about your early life. It reminds me of my younger days ( smile ). I also want to tell you how much I love your recipes. My daughter said that you and I have a lot in common, BUTTER. WE enjoy the comfort foods. They make me the happiest we I'm cooking.

By Jo Ann on October 26, 2012

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I love the Dallas Cowboys.Always have and always will. Which team do you like Paula?

By darla courtney on October 23, 2012

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That pic is totally cool, Paula! We have a little team here called the Buckeyes, u may have heard of them?lol! I played football in junior high and some in high school til I noticed there were lots of pretty GIRLS in marching band! Thanks for showings us cool food!

By Mr. Blaine Bower on October 23, 2012

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Love the pic Paula your still as beautiful as ever...and I get the sense that your still a cheerleader at heart. As for football, this is my absolute favourite time of year. I love watching it and playing it. There's something about a cool fall day with the ground covered in colourful leaves. The smell of wood burning fireplaces in the chilly air. The threat of rain looming over in the dark mass of clouds. And the excitement of breaking away from a tackle just before the treeline...TOUCHDOWN!!!! Then when we've won, heading back inside to the smell of that casserole I've been cook'n while we were out, just in time for the 4 o'clock game. AHHH FALL. I'm a Denver fan, but until recently we(Broncos) weren't very present at the play offs. Looking forward to going all the way this year, Yay Peyton! AND I too love fantasy football...especially since in fantasy football I have more Superbowl wins than Pittsburg. I say just try it...watch a game...try the fantasy thing...I tell ya it's addictive.

By Samantha on October 23, 2012

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Santa says Paula Deen and her family are the best cooks around!!!! Santas favorite cookie is Paulas Red Velvet filled with Cream Cheese Icing!! Have a Great Halloween, Thanksgiving, and most of all have a Very Merry CHRISTmas!!!!! Time to check the Naughty and Nice list. HOHOHO Santa

By Santa Victor Griffin on October 23, 2012

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Look at that HAIR! lol Black and poufy!

By Linda W on October 23, 2012

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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

Brooke Deen
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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 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 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 3:31 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 10:05 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 10:03 pm