Dolly Parton loves sharing Southern 'medicine for your soul' with new baking mixes
As a steadfast Southerner, Dolly Parton knows the importance of a worthy buttermilk biscuit and sweet cornbread.
A native of Sevierville, a small town near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, Parton grew up with the comfort foods whipped up by her mother, grandmother and aunts.
So it seemed a natural extension of her roots to include some of her favorite make-at-home treats through her partnership with Duncan Hines.
Dolly Parton’s Fabulously Fudgy Brownie Mix, Caramel Turtle Brownie Mix, Buttermilk Biscuit Mix and Sweet Cornbread and Muffin Mix headline the second round of products in the company’s partnership with Parton, which began last year with cake mixes and frosting.
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With her cinched waist and notable curves, Parton might not look as if she eats more than a crumb of these offerings from carb-lover heaven. But she’s learned the necessity of moderation. A low-carb diet is her norm, but she leans into her cravings for Southern food – family recipes for chicken and dumplings and banana pudding are her staples – which she calls “medicine for your soul.”
“I grew up loving all of that (Southern) food, but when I was about 39, I started paying for it because I wasn’t as active,” she says.
Exercise is still not a priority in Parton World, as she jokes about doing “a few diddly squats now and then…I do nothing, so it’s diddly.”
The new products are in stores this month, and starting Feb. 8, a baking collection including all of Parton’s branded mixes – as well as recipe cards, a tea towel and a spatula – will be available at shop.duncanhines.com.
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The recently christened Rock and Roll Hall of Famer – who is working on a rock album featuring Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Pink, John Fogerty, Elton John and a host of other musical luminaries – is no longer an ardent road warrior. But she still plans to play sporadic shows and says when she’s on her bus, she keeps a fridge packed with those Southern food favorites she’s cooked so she can indulge on her days off.
“I mostly have to live on a low-carb diet (when I’m performing),” she says. “My clothes are so tight, there’s no room for nothing else in there but me.”
On Thursday, Parton will celebrate her 77th birthday. “Those are lucky numbers, so I hope I can stay lucky,” she says with a smile. She's releasing a new song for the occasion.
“Don’t Make Me Have to Come Down There” was inspired by a dream Parton had about God standing on a mountaintop and saying the phrase like a frustrated parent.
“It’s what I feel God must be thinking about us, living our lives and not trying to work together,” she says. “The dream woke me up. It was such a strong message that I felt like (my birthday) was a good time to drop it.”
The rest of Parton’s birthday will be spent in the studio as she continues to craft her “Rock Star” album. But Parton doesn’t consider any of her numerous projects “work.”
“I don’t have a job,” she says. “I have a joy.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dolly Parton has new Duncan Hines mixes, new song, rock album