Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How's Ya Mamma and 'Em?

Paula Deen has recently opened a new restaurant and gift shop inside the Harrah's Casino in nearby Robinsonville, Mississippi. All her "Paula Deen Products" are available for sale as well as a wide array of other gifts. The restaurant was modeled on her home in Savannah, Georgia, from the shutters on the windows to the wide front porch with the wicker chairs. Inside, there are six dining areas--"Paula's Parlour," "The Pantry," "The Famous Bird Cage Room," "The Porch," "The Mud Room," and "The Morning Room." There six food stations inside the restaurant. The first station is "Granny Paul's Garden," a fresh salad and raw vegetable selection--not too many Southerners stopping there. The second station is "Uncle Bubba's Oyster House," full of scrumptious seafood. The third station is "The Lady and Son's" with all of Paula's favorite Southern foods. The fourth is the "Hoecake and Biscuit Station"--very good stuff y'all. The fifth is "Captain Michael's Smokehouse"--lots of meat, chicken, and pork dishes prepared with Paula's rubs. Finally, there's "Little Jack's Corner," named for her grandson Jack and loaded with any type of tempting Southern dessert you could possibly want. The restaurant uses china designed especially for Paula by Gail Pittman--very cute and a nice touch! Miss Paula suggest that you wear your "stretchy pants" when coming to her restaurant and I'm glad I listened. The visit was Very Southern...Very Memorable.

Here's Miss Paula's restaurant

Miss Paula and me

After about ten visits later, I guess you could say that I'm a regular. As I was enjoying the Southern delacacies during my last visit, I had to ask myself why I was so attracted to this restaurant. Then I realized that it's because this is the food that we Southerners grew up on a "Mama and 'Em's". It's the food we don't prepare for ourselves because we don't have the time or talent. Now this food is not for your uppity crowd--there's cabbage cooked in bacon grease, turnip greens in fat back, corn that is creamed and sauteed in butter...just that good 'ole food Southerners enjoy. Another thing I noticed is that everybody is all about "Thank You, Excuse Me, and You're Welcome" in that place. You just have to be Southerner to "get it."

The whole experience reminded me of these new t-shirts that are being sold all over the South--"How's Ya Mama and "Em?" The artist, Rhonda Rayborn, designs these darling t-shirts featuring the saying "How's Ya Mama and 'Em?", which is a really a southern way of asking about your Mama and the rest of your family. When I spoke with Ms. Rayborn, I couldn't believe that she lives four or five houses down the street from another well-known artist, my cousin--J. Kim Sessums, M.D. There's a whole lot of talent on that beautiful street in the small town of Brookhaven, Mississippi.

"How's Ya Mama and 'Em?" is the registered trademark and brainchild of Ms. Rayborn. Growing up in the antebellum town of Natchez, Mississippi, Rhonda's grandmothers taught her how to be a southern lady. She said that "Weekends spent with her grandmothers were like attending a southern hospitality university, and that whenever she was afraid of some bully-girls on the school bus, her grandmothers would say, "They're just like you, only you're prettier!"

All of her charming t-shirts are based on sayings that are native to the South; i. e., "Do you believe in love at first sight, or do I need to walk back by?" (Oh my Lord, if I weren't married, I would buy that one in every color)! and "Mess with this Mississippi girl...you'll be messin' with the whole trailer park"! The one I chose was "Hey y'all, how's ya mama and 'em?"

You can purchase these cute t-shirts online at Rhonda Rayborn's website, or call her at 601.757.7388.

Front of the t-shirt

Back of the t-shirt

Since Paula Deen, the Queen of Southern Cuisine, now has her own tableware, I decided to create a very casual tablescape, featuring her china and linens in the Dot Crazy pattern. The menu consists of comfort foods just like you would typically have at "Mama and 'Em's" house. These are the foods that my mama always fixed for Sunday Dinner (the Southern term for lunch--held right after you get home from church on Sunday morning) when I was growing up. She still fixes the same food for me when I go home to visit. Notice that there's no fancy centerpiece here--just the salt and pepper shakers and the food on the table, served very Southern--family style.


Fried Pork Chops

Turnip Greens

Butter Beans

Fried Okra

Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Southern Biscuits

Sweet Southern Iced Tea

Sunday Dinner at "Mama and 'Em's", featuring Paula Deen's tableware--"Dot Crazy" salad plate, placemat, and napkin. The dinner plate is by Daniel Cremieux--"St. Remy Brown."

Just the food please, served family-style
If you are ever in the Memphis area, be sure to try Miss Paula's restaurant. It will be sure to make your trip Southern...and Memorable. Thank you for stopping by today. Tomorrow I am participating in Trim-A-Tree Thursday, which will be hosted by The Southern Hostess. I'm not sure what I'll be showing, but I'll come up with something.


Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

GM WOW I did't know Paula had a restaurant girl..I have watched her and my Grand daughter loves her cooking show..I love this Potka dot dishes how cool are those?? I need to do some dish shopping..I see all these great china and I want more..thanks for coming by girl..hugs and smiles Gloria

Melissa Miller said...

I love Paula! You are so lucky to have met her. :)

the voice of melody said...

I just love the southern accent, and the colorful expressions that are from the region. :)

Thanks for sharing about your experience at the restaurant and also the cute t-shirt you bought.

Many sweet blessings!

Gone said...

Miss Paula is one of my favorite cooks...even though I substitute light olive oil for most of the butter she uses (in cooking, no baking).

I love southern food!

Bo said...

Eating at one of Paula Deen's restaurants is on my "Bucket List".
That's exactly the kind of food I grew up on and still love... I saw a sign somewhere recently that said, "In the South, Y'all is singular & Y'all is plural"... how true..LOL ;-) Bo

A Hint of Home said...

Hey there, it's nice to meet you. Thanks for your recent visit to my blog.

It means so much that you took time to pray for my hubby during his recent heart surgery. He is doing well.

I hope you come again.

Anonymous said...

How good of you to share your experiences at this restaurant. If I ever visit that area, I really must make it a point to go!

Lady Katherine said...

Oh My, Here I am in good ole Mississippi and know nothing about Paul'a resturant. I bought ticket to one of cooking shows in Jackson, for my daughter and I, but the hospital, had reserved my room, hubby says its our resort home. My daughter and her husband had a blast. I love to go to Paula's and just walk around her kitchen. You have so much, information thank you so much for sharing with us. PS I have the black toile boots being shipped.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was some way I could take my students on a field trip there when we do To Kill a Mockingbird - it would be so perfect!

Wonder if the head of school would ok the plane fares for 15 students (and me!)...


Rhondi said...

Thanks for giving us a little taste of the south!
Hugs, Rhondi

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon, Miss Janice! Oh, how very special you are having your picture made with the Queen of the South. You both look mahvelous! I didn't realize Paula had dinnerware - I love it! Those polka dots just sing to me. Does that mean I might need them? It probably does, but I'm trying to restrain myself. LOL
Thank you so much for stopping in to see my Entry.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Designs on 47th Street said...

What a charming post, Miss Janice. I could relate to much of it since I also grew up in the south. You are so right about just good ole home cookin' and nothing on the center of the table but s&p shakers. The menu is my kinda cooking. umm..umm! Thanks for the smiles.

Sandra Evertson said...

Love the table setting!
Sandra Evertson

Teresa Jane said...

Hey Miss J,
BFF here. I'm getting fat reading your blog and the other ones you're sending me to.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

What a fun post. I've seen those cute t-shirts, but haven't bought one yet. My fav is the "trailer park", but can't get away with wearing that one. I've been wanting to try Paula's restaurant in Robinsonville. This post just made it a necessity instead of a want. laurie

imjacobsmom said...

Well, this was a fun read! I think that it would be a blast to go to one of her restaurants and meet her! I had those green plates in my cart at Marshall's a few weekends ago but I also had a teen boy following me around with junk that he wanted....guess who won? ~ Robyn

Stacey said...

How fun!! Don't we all feel like Paula could just be our best friend? I wonder if she knows...:)

bj said...

This is the kind of cooking I was raised on...and the day the doctors decided NO MORE BACON GREASE to cook with was a sad day, indeed!
My mamma never heard of a centerpiece for her table until way after I was grown...just good, homecooked foods always filled our table...no room for nonsense like centerpieces!! lol
oh...and "mom and em" .....I grew up with!

Nancy Rosalina said...

Miss Janice, I love Miss Paula also! Thanks for sharing some southern sweetness with us! I love the t-shirts, they are too cute! Oh, and I am coming over for supper! What time should I be there..LOL Blessings to you, Nancy

Anonymous said...

Boy, you sure know how to decorate a table! I am following your blog!

RetiredAtLast said...

I have been a fan of Paula since I first saw her on "Doorknock Dinners" on Food Network. She talks my culinary language. I am not to fond of her latest show, "Paula's Party" however, I think it is a little coarse and not up to her usual standards.
Being from the South, and reared on this type of food, her cooking is right down my alley.
The last time I was in Savannah was before "The Lady & Sons" opened. Really looking forward to visiting the restaurant, if I ever get back. I think her sons own it now.
This was a most enjoyable post. Thank you.

southerninspiration said...

First of all, thanks for visiting my little blog and leaving comment love!! ;)
Second, I love your posts....fun, Fun, FUN! Love the polka dot dishes! And I LOVE The Mama and Em shirts! I may have to have one of 'em.....
third, your harvest tree is adorable and already all.set.up for Christmas! You're a clever cookie, Miss Janice.
I assume you're set up with a consultant to sponsor you should you decide to become a SLaHOME consultant? I hope you love it like I do!

southerninspiration said...

Oh, and the restaurant? What a cute/clever idea Miss Paula and her folks had to have the different areas!!!

Susan (Between Naps On The Porch.net) said...

Yum...I want to come eat with you! All my favs! Love that cute china, too! Now I have to ask...did you fix all that food? I can't seem to find time to tablescape, work full time, blog and cook...so my tablescapes are always lacking the main part...the food!!!
Ok, when I first saw that pic of you and Paula...I thought she was for real. But me thinks Miss Paula is looking a bit 2 dimensional and there is definitely something going on with her feet! Hee, Hee...you had me going there for a minute, though...and a few other folks, I see. :-) Susan

playsdolls said...

love Paula Dean she is so funny and a wonderful cook.She cooks all the wonderful southern food I grew up eating.I would love to go to her resturant.I live about 20 minutes from Miss Rayborn and I do own one her her great tee shirts,mine says,I may not be rich and famous bu I have priceless grand kids.Her shirts are a great seller here where I live everyone wears them.
I really enjoyed your post about the south today,being from the soputh it is great to see what others think of our values and ways of life.

Melissa Miller said...

I sent someone to your blog last night because of the Paula post and I was checking to see if she paid you a visit...and then... Oops! I thought you met HER! Oh well close enough....HeHe.