Paula Deen’s Savannah Style ***.* by Paula Deen and Brandon Branch
I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.
We recently spent the weekend in Savannah, Georgia, which you can read a bit about here. I returned with plenty of photos of this historic Southern city and several new books, one of which was Savannah Style. Paula Deen, the city’s most famous resident and anointed Queen of Southern Cuisine, and her stylist and co-author Brandon Branch, along with Atlanta photographer Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn, have combined talents in this richly illustrated book. Divided by season, this book offers tips for entertaining and decorating, as well as photographs of some of Savannah’s grandest homes~ from the grounds of Lebanon Plantation to the whimsically restored cottages on Tybee Island.
I’ve divided this review into two parts~ to help the photos load easier, once I discovered I had too much content. (I’m not very good at editing :-) There is a link at the end of this section that will lead you to part two.
“Brandon Branch is a playful Southern gentleman. His style is equal parts Yankee chic and Southern elegance all muddled together in a monogrammed mint julep cup. An invitation to one of his Savannah dinner parties is the equivalent to getting the golden ticket from Willy Wonka. Brandon holds the position of Design Director for Paula Deen Enterprises and serves as Paula Deen’s Personal Assistant.” ~ pauladeen.com
You can see more tabletop inspiration from Brandon here.
The chapters on porches~ Porch Livin’, Screened Porches, Porch Views are full of beautiful photos that evoke images a Southern breeze~ sitting with a good book and sipping a glass of iced tea or a cool drink. No breezes were blowing when we visited, with sultry temperatures in the high 90’s & a heat index of 110! Fortunately for us, Savannah is a city where you will not go thirsty :-)
Searching through Paula’s drink recipes, I stumbled on this one~
Sparkling Sweet Cherry Lemonade, recipe here
My personal twist would be to add some citron vodka to make this a refreshing afternoon cocktail. . .
“Walk down any street in Savannah and you’ll see parlor-level porches; gaze through the fence and you will see the side porches; get yourself invited in and you’ll see the courtyard and balcony porches.”
One of Brandon’s style tips:
“Porches are for bringing your lifestyle outside during the warm months. You should think of the porch as an extra room, and like any other room in your house, it should reflect your sense of style. Be creative–think of your porch as a nighttime room as well as a daytime space.”
This porch is quite literally reflecting some homeowner’s sense of style~ I loved glimpsing the reflections in this mirror~ the magnolia and a bit of peach stucco, from across the street.
There is a chapter on wrought iron in this book. I am drawn to all variety and designs of wrought iron. I have bits of old gates and grills in my garden and on my walls at home and at the lake. (which is partly why this review was divided into two parts, I included too many pics :-)
Wrought iron is visible everywhere in Savannah. Most iron in Savannah is painted Charleston Green~ The color Charleston Green originated after the American Civil War, when the North provided black paint to the South for use in its reconstruction. Too “funereal” for Charlestonians, they mixed the black with a little bit of yellow and Charleston Green was born.
Stairs. . .
Balcony railings. . .
Gates. . .
I love the idea that this gate emblem/crest was custom made for someone with the intials BN. . .
And this custom iron gate with a frying pan inset outside of The Lady & Sons. . .
An example of an oval window inset we found in our strolls, that might have been installed to thwart pie thieves :-)
So with that for inspiration, I searched for a pie recipe from Paula. I found a different sort of pie recipe~
Tomato Pie, recipe here
I did make a couple of minor adaptations to the recipe with consideration to our arterial walls. (Whenever I watch Paula cook~ with her love of butter & mayo, I always wonder what kind of cholesterol medication she must be on :-)
I substituted olive oil mayo and used 3/4 of a cup instead of a full cup. I also used 2% cheese, instead of full fat~ I don’t think we sacrificed any flavor. The fact that I didn’t use the South’s favorite Mayonnaise~ Duke’s, would probably make Paula faint :-)
“The garden walls kept passersby from seeing into the gardens, but there are many who want to share the beauty of their handiwork with others. These people have installed wrought-iron gates or wooden doors with little windows that afford the curious a peek into the garden. Keep your eyes open on a slow stroll down any Savannah street and you will find many of these hidden treasures.”
Here are a few treasures we spied, thru garden gates into courtyards on our visit~ one of my favorite things to do. . . you never know what surprises you’ll find~
for Part II of Savannah Style, click here.