WATCH: Paula Deen Receives 10-Minute Standing Ovation in First Public Appearance

Paula Deen emerged from her cocoon of modestly portioned comfort foods, Victoza, and Southern apologism to appear alongside her sons in a demo at the Metro Cooking & Entertaining Show in Houston on Saturday. (Okay, so maybe the Southern apologism layer was still there; you didn’t expect her to go out naked, did you?)

Deen received a ten minute long standing ovation from the crowd when she first stepped out on stage, which ultimately moved her to tears.

“These are tears of joy, y’all,” she said, before moving on with the demo. “This is my first time out in three months. … The one place I wanted to make my first step out was in Texas. You are forgiving folks with hearts as big as your state…We all experience pain in some way, but pain is also a good thing because it makes you grow.”

If only “growing” also meant understanding still-damaged attitudes towards race, or realizing that “antebellum South” is a bad wedding theme.

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