Dolly Parton has been making audiences smile as they sing along with her infectiously catchy tunes for decades. As the years have gone by, she hasn’t stopped singing her songs and doing all she can to help people in need. In fact, Parton gave a whopping $1 million to COVID-19 research when the pandemic first began and later learned that money was used to partly fund the Moderna vaccine that has saved so many lives.
From philanthropic endeavors to bedtime stories recorded to listen to each night on Parton’s YouTube channel, Parton is always trying something new in her life, even at 76 years old. Through it all, there has also been one constant always there and that’s her husband of more than 50 years, Carl Dean, the love of her life whom she met at a laundromat called The Wishy Washy in 1964, according to Biography. In 2022, the pair is still going strong and loves their moments at home when Parton is in her gourmet kitchen cooking and Dean is keeping her company.
When Dolly Parton steps into her kitchen in her 3,324-square feet home in Brentwood, Tennessee, she gets lost in her own world playing her favorite music and humming along, and sometimes her husband, Carl Dean, will join her there, but she has a rule she usually sticks to where she will do the cooking, but he has to do the cleaning.
“I like it when he comes. A lot of times he’ll sit and watch me, or he’ll talk,” Parton told People. “He’s a pretty good cook. Not a gourmet cook, but I tour so much he’s always, through the years, had to fix things for himself. So he knows how to do that, but he loves my cooking.”
However, Parton admits that there are times she just wants to be by herself cooking up her favorite meals and doesn’t even want Dean there to do his part. “I’m a messy cooker, and he’s good about cleaning up for me and keeping the stuff cleaned up around me,” Parton said. “But sometimes I don’t want anybody around, so I’ll just say, ‘Why don’t you go to the den, I’ll clean this up later or you can help me later.”
Dolly Parton bakes up Southern treats in the spirit of her mom
One thing Dolly Parton uses her kitchen for is some good old-fashioned baking that reminds her of her childhood in Tennessee where her mother cooked up all sorts of treats in their small Appalachian home filled with a dozen children. In fact, all that baking prompted her to team up with Duncan Hines for a line of Dolly Parton cake mixes, replete with bubble gum pink packaging and Parton’s image on the box, available in stores starting in March.
“Growing up poor, we didn’t have a lot of sugar, so we didn’t have cakes all the time,” she told People. “So when Mama made special cakes, we loved being in the kitchen. I make them like Mama did. I have five sisters, and they all cook, but I’m the only one that everybody says my dumplings taste just like Mama’s. To me, that’s the greatest compliment ever.”
The always-svelte Parton admitted that carbs and sweets are her downfall whenever she is on a diet — and she has some special favorites she will treat herself to on occasion. “If I’ve been on a low-carb diet or something for a while, the first thing I want to do when I break it is to have some cake — or potatoes,” she said. “That’s my weakness. Usually that’s why I fall off of any diet, is for the love of some sort of a potato.”