Paper Napkin Interview: Dishing with Miranda Lambert

We sat down with this sassy country star to chat about family recipes, her Texas childhood, and life as Mrs. Blake Shelton.

Dishing with Miranda Lambert
Miranda dines on fried pickles and sweet tea at Sportman's Grille, a hony-tonk bar and restaurant with wild game on the wall in Nashville's Hillsboro Village. Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

What's your favorite childhood memory from your native East Texas?
The joys of country life. We lived on a farm with a big garden and rabbits and hogs–some were pets and some were for food. It taught me how to live off the land, and that small-town life made me who I am.

Speaking of living off the land, you're an avid hunter. What's your prized shot?
A 12-point buck that I hit with my bow while hunting in Kansas.

After the huge success of your last album, Revolution, was it daunting to begin the process over again?
It was bittersweet. I was still attached to Revolution, but once I started writing, the passion came back. This album has the Miranda Lambert stamp, but over the past two years I've grown up–both personally and creatively–and the music reflects that.

You're a gifted songwriter. Who do you consider the top country scribe?
Merle Haggard. He never minces words and writes about his life and experiences with complete honesty.

You got your start singing in Texas dance halls. Do you have a favorite?
Gruene Hall in the Hill Country. It's a gritty open-air beer joint and the oldest dance hall in the state. To me, it's really the heart of Texas. You don't know the Lone Star State until you've experienced Gruene Hall.

What do you consider the ultimate Southern Thanksgiving dish?
My grandmother's cornbread dressing. I've never met anyone who can top it. She gave me the recipe and swears that's all there is to it, but there's some secret step I can't seem to figure out.

What makes a Southern girl?
She is sweet and hospitable but also confident and strong. A Southern girl isn't a pushover and will kick your &%! if needed.

Do you ever sing karaoke for fun?
I do! Just last week Blake and I sang karaoke on Broadway here in Nashville. I did "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt. Blake's signature song is Tracy Byrd's "I'm From the Country."

You're active on Twitter. Whose Tweets do you most look forward to?
My husband's. Because I never know what he's going to say. If you're faint of heart do not follow @blakeshelton.

How do you take your barbecue?
Very seriously. My family jokes that my smokehouse is nicer than my actual house. And we have a signature sweet red sauce–it comes from my papaw's time working as a cook in the army.

What's the last thing you scribbled on a paper napkin?
Song lyrics. If an idea comes to me in a bar, I jot it down on a napkin and stuff it in my pocket.

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