Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cocktails and Gossip - Paula Deen Gets Stuck in Thick Gravy - and a Whiskey Sour

With Paula Deen being the news item of the week, it seemed fitting, that today's Cocktail's and Gossip blog be about her.

And my delicious rendition of a refreshing summer cocktail, the Whiskey Sour.

It seems to me, the biggest life lessons we learn are often the hardest and watching a shaky and broken Paula Deen in yesterday's apology video I could almost feel sorry for her. Knowing a bit about her past and the struggles she's faced with her own mental health, the crisis worker in me took notice and worried about whether or not she has the emotional fortitude to get through this.

That being said, she did what she did and no amount of apology will ever make me understand how a public figure (or anybody) could think that hosting a plantation party with African American servants dressed in stereotypical period costumes would ever even remotely be okay.

Let's not even get started on her use of the N word.

Do people actually still talk and think like that in 2013?

Apparently Paula Deen - who admitted in court earlier this week that "Of course she has used the 'N word' in the past" - still does. In her deposition she also said, “It’s just what they are — they’re jokes ... most jokes are about Jewish people, rednecks, black folks ... gays or straights, black, redneck, you know, I just don't know — I just don't know what to say. I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person."


Miss Paula, if you were intelligent enough to amass a fortune in the food industry that has been estimated by Forbes at around 17 million dollars, I would think you have enough smarts to determine that racist jokes might be offensive.

And I don't care where a person grew up or what generation they're from ( hoping to quiet the controversy Deen’s reps said her use of the word was the product of her upbringing in the deep South). In this day and age we all know the difference between what is hateful and what is not. If you choose to embrace the negative and use unacceptable language in public or in private, eventually those chickens will come home to roost and all the southern frying in the world ain't gonna gloss it over.

Added to that, this is a woman who has made a career out of cooking the traditional food of the American south - food with roots that trace back in every way to the people on the other end of her disparaging remarks.

So where does Deen go from here?

We know the Food Network has shut the door on her without even so much as a "Best Dishes" but I wonder what Fox will be doing about her upcoming appearance on MasterChef. If any network is going to be on the forgiving side, sadly, it might be them.

As for me, I've never been much of a Paula Deen fan; not only because she has always come off as disingenuous to me, but because her recipes have never really appealed. While turducken sounds interesting on paper, it has never been on my bucket list of things to try. Ditto for casseroles made with mayonnaise, or deep fried butter balls.

Yes, there really is such a thing.

And on that note, I think it's time to wash it all away with my cocktail!

Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video. 
Visit the printable recipe here: Whiskey Sour

Ingredients for the Lemon Simple Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves 
  • 2 cups water 
  •  2 cups granulated sugar 
  • zest of one lemon 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 
  1. Bring the water, sugar, and lemon zest to the boil and boil until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Remove from heat. Add the mint leaves, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. 
  3. Strain the simple syrup into a large mason jar or a bottle and add the fresh lemon juice. 
  4.  Refrigerate for up to one month. 
Ingredients for the Whiskey Sour
  • 2 ounces bourban
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon simple syrup
  • Ice
Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Give it  good shake and serve in a cocktail glass with additional ice.

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  1. I must start by saying that I do not condone the use of any kind of racial slur, under ANY circumstance. EVER. That being said, there's a part of me that does feel a little bit bad for Paula. Not that I believe that she should be excused for what she did, but I've read some things that have come out since this debacle began, that have me wondering if ALL of the accusations are 100% accurate. Someone was saying that the so called "slave themed wedding" was not something that Paula dreamed up herself. Apparently, the waiters at the famed Peabody Hotel in Memphis have been dressing in that way for decades and that it isn't uncommon to see this type of "period" costume on the staff members at other posh hotels in the South. I don't know if this is true, but it does make me wonder if there might have been some exaggeration to some of the claims leveled by the accuser, for added shock value. You know what they say... The bigger they are, the harder they fall. If she's truly guilty of certain allegations, then she must be held fully accountable for each one, but I hate to see anyone (celebrity or otherwise) vilified for something that they didn't do. (Love whiskey sours, btw. It was the first cocktail I ever tasted. I was allowed a teensy "sip" at one of mother's bridge luncheons when I was 12 or 13 years old. Oh my, did I think I was fancy. LOL)

    1. Yes Mary, I think that that part of the story got mangled somehow. I read that Paula wanted the "Old South servers look", but not that she planned on using people of color to imply slavery. I guess that will be up to the courts to unravel. Most of us have suffered a racial or religious slur etc at one time or another, and it hurts. Paula likes to try to be comical, and that can often lead a person to go too far. If it hurts somebody, it's just not funny! I will give her credit on one score...she could have said it was all untrue. The main conversation seems to be pretty private. I'm glad that she at least owned up, and also apologized. I hope it heals wounded hearts.

    2. I agree, Theresa. She could have denied the whole thing and she didn't. Lord knows, there are plenty of politicians and celebrities who've done (and continue to do) just that. I heard today, that there's a lot more to come from that deposition and some of it's worse than what has already been revealed. I'm just so tired of all of the scandals and bad news these days. Maybe it's time to just cancel my cable. :~/