Paula Deen ... Answers Your Questions
updated 07/23/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/23/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT
You always seem so happy and positive. What can make you madder than a hornet in a flash?
CATHERINE SCOTT, Hortonville, N.Y.
You know, I just hate it when someone comes up to me and shoves a cell phone in my face and says, "Please talk to my mother"—or sister, or whoever. I don't know where the cell phone has been, I'm sharing germs with someone now, and I don't know what they have.
What's your favorite home-cooked meal?
KAREN CHEEK, Toccoa, Ga.
Michael's favorite is oxtails with buttered rice [see recipe]. It's a romantic dish and definitely something I prepare often.
How did you overcome your fear of leaving home to become the social, lovable woman you are today?
JAN FAIRCLOTH, Oakwood, Ga.
When we go through tragic things, we all have our way of dealing with pain and grief. I felt like if I stayed home, I was safe. But one day, I was 40 years old, my children's father had moved me [from Albany, Ga., to unfamiliar Savannah], and I said, "Oh, woe is me." And the serenity prayer went through my head—asking God to help me change things I can, accept things I can't, and to know the difference. I immediately started getting better—"Suck it up, girl. Get on with your life."
How do you not pack on the pounds making all those wonderful dishes?
PEGGY LYTLE, Lynnwood, Wash.
It's all about moderation. You don't want to eat the way I cook every day.
Many of us thirtysomethings find you unbearably sexy. How do you feel about that?
ANDY ALLISON, Arlington, Va.
Is this for real? "Unbearably sexy"? I didn't know that I was. But it makes me feel very, very good.
If you were stranded on an island, what two food choices would you like?
GINA DOMBROWSKI, Garfield Heights, Ohio
That's easy. A baked potato and butter. I could eat a baked potato every day for the rest of my life. Maybe a little steak too. Wait, that's three things. Okay, just the butter and the potato. But, wait: Butter isn't a food; it's a condiment. Gee, this is hard.