Dolly Parton has always marched to the beat of her own drum, from her unconventional road to success to her trailblazing musical accomplishments. As one of the first female stars in the country music scene, Parton has never been afraid to follow her instincts and make her voice heard. This willingness to do things her own way can also be seen in her wardrobe and cooking skills, and is more evident than ever in the side dish she chooses for her mac and cheese.
Parton's Fruity Take on Mac n Cheese
The music legend loves a cheesy plate of mac and cheese, and she puts her own spin on this dish just like she does everything in life. Although many people prefer sides like cole slaw, salad, or grilled chicken, Dolly Parton alway serves her mac n cheese with fried apples.
She describes it as a "great taste combination," and says that she loves using a few different cheeses, often including Velveeta and cheddar. When asked how she created this unique combo, Parton explained that it was a moment of spontaneity that resulted from having a mostly-empty refrigerator.
"One time I didn't have a whole lot of stuff in my refrigerator and I was hungry. I don't even know if it was some macaroni I'd made before or store-bought, but I just remember having some fried apples that had come out of another order of food from somewhere."
From then on, Dolly Parton stuck to the mac n cheese and apples combo, and says that she always makes fried apples to pair with her mac and cheese. Her apples always get a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra flavor, and she keeps her mac and cheese simple with salt and pepper.
Dolly Parton Loves Southern Cooking
Along with mac n cheese, Dolly loves cooking classic Southern food, which she learned from her mom growing up. As she told TODAY, "Growing up in the South with my mom being the greatest cook in the world -- and my aunts and my grandmas -- I just remember things like fried chicken on Sunday was one of the greatest things ever."
"Or like a big old bowl of potato salad along with the chicken. I make chicken and dumplings. My mom was good at that, so I kind of follow her. I just remember when I tasted all that good food, any of that left an impression on me."
Parton is also known for her love of potatoes, and when talking about the possibility of mayonnaise going bad on a hot summer day, she said, "When that happened at our church and that big bowl of potato salad got there, you didn't have to worry. Even [if] it was sunny, it wasn't gonna last that long! It wasn't gonna go bad ... not if I was around!"
The beloved country star's speciality is chicken and dumplings, which she keeps simple and traditional. She can also be found cooking other Southern delicacies like green beans, roast pork and fried okra.