LAWRENCEVILLE - Hadley Schnieders was looking a lot older than her 5 years Thursday evening. About 57 years older and like she would be right at home in front of a TV camera cooking up delicious Southern fare. With lots of butter, of course.
Standing side-by-side, Hadley, wearing a short salt-and-pepper-colored wig, looked like a mini version of The Lady of Southern cooking herself, Albany native Paula Deen. Deen made an appearance at the Books-A-Million at Discover Mills on Thursday with her husband, Michael Groover, promoting her latest publication, "The Deen Family Cookbook."
"You are so cute, darlin'," Deen, in her charming Southern drawl, told Hadley. "Thank you for comin' to see me."
Hadley, who lives in Monroe, told Deen she celebrated her fifth birthday with a Paula Deen party, complete with a cake that looked like a stick of butter.
Deen, who is well-known for loving butter, is the face of The Food Network show "Paula's Best Dishes" and owner and founder of the Savannah restaurant The Lady & Sons. She was originally scheduled to sign copies of her new cookbook at Thursday's event but instead took questions from members of the audience.
Kevin Gaines asked how he could get his 3-year-old, Peyton, to not be such a picky eater. Deen suggested getting kids into the kitchen to help prepare food and making food fun and interesting.
Sharon Rowan of Suwanee wanted to know how to make the perfect hamburger for her husband. Deen suggested using a special ingredient: Deen cuts up small cubes of butter and freezes them to make them good and hard. She then dumps her hamburger meat into a bowl, seasons it with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder, and then tosses in the cubes of butter.
"I call them butter burgers," Deen told Rowan. "That butter melts into that hamburger meat, and it's as good as anything you'll ever eat.
"If (your husband) doesn't like that one," Deen added, "tell him to fix his own."