Food Network cook Paula Deen has quite the new year ahead of her starting today as she will be the grand marshal of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.
“It’s gonna be surreal, probably even after it’s over,” the ever-pleasant Deen muses of being selected for the title previously given to others from fellow “foodie” Emeril Lagasse and Frank Sinatra to Shirley Temple (three times) and airplane captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (last year). “For this to be one of your traditions that you watch every year, then to be on the other end and suddenly be there, it’s just surreal.”
As grand marshal, one is obligated to doing the coin toss and sitting on the 50-yard line for the Rose Bowl game. This makes Deen very popular in her household.
“I raised men,” she says of sons Jamie and Bobby, “so New Year’s Day was all about watching football. I have finally impressed my children, when I didn’t think that was possible.
“Normally on New Year’s Day, my children come to my house. We can be kind of superstitious, so the food we have then is very steeped in tradition. You have to have your black-eyed peas for luck, your greens that represent financial success for the year and your hog jowls for health. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find any turnip greens or hog jowls out there. I may just have to cook them, freeze them and bring them.”
How do you feel about Paula Deen being grand marshal?