So sorry for the hiatus, folks! We’ve had some unexpected craziness around here since my hubby broke his leg and had to have surgery just before Thanksgiving— eek! The worst is over; he is on the mend. But in the meantime you missed out on Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes from me and for that I am SO sorry!!
Now that the apologies are out of the way, let’s move on.
A couple weeks ago I was blessed to meet one of my most favorite people…someone I would love to just spend the afternoon with, chat about food, dogs, The Real Housewives franchise as a guilty pleasure, boots and wine. I got to meet THE Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.
A little background on my new bff (you know, we got real close in the 3 minutes we spent together):
Ree Drummond is “The Pioneer Woman”. She has a food blog at http://www.thepioneerwoman.com where she shares her creative homestyle recipes, engaging stories from her life on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma with her husband, 4 kids, and some basset hounds, and some beautiful pictures that she captures herself.
Her journey started with a simple blog and now, less than 10 years later, her blog has an enormous following, she has her own show on the Food Network, 3 cookbooks, multiple children’s books, and a cute novel about her love story with her husband. Her food and photographs invite people in and her genuine character keeps them following.
She was exactly how you would think she would be from reading her blog; just a genuine person with a great sense of humor. While waiting to meet her, I observed her visiting with other guests and she was so down to earth, sweet, and funny! She took her time with each person and showed adoration for the children that were visiting with her.
Just an example of her “realness”: As I was waiting in the crowd, I saw her kind of rub her nose with the back of her hand and overheard her say “oh wow, I have an itch on my nose! Do you ever get an itch on your nose and there is just no proper way to scratch it?” HAHA! It was just so transparent and, again, real.
When it was my turn to meet her you would think I was 12 years old meeting one of the Backstreet Boys (because at 12 years old I was crazy for Brian of the BSB). My heart was racing, I grinned from ear to ear and told her how much I love her blog and cookbooks. I gave her a card with my blog URL on it and few restaurant recommendations for the area. She said she was flying out tomorrow morning but would keep the card because she keeps a list of restaurants to visit. A man helping her with pictures looked at the card and asked me about the restaurants. I said “oh my goodness, Petite Provence has the best croissants and OH! Their risotto cakes with poached eggs are top are to die for!” “Risotto cakes?” they asked. “Yes,” I said, “they are made with risotto, asparagus, mushrooms, and bacon and then pan seared until they have a nice crust to them and then topped with a poached egg!” Ree exclaimed, “Oh, now you are making me hungry describing that!” YES! (I inwardly shouted) That is one of the reasons that I do what do! I love to describe food and get people excited about it! Mission, accomplished!
Before I left I told her how much I enjoy her work, how real she is, and how her stories really speak to the heart. CONFESSION, and I am totally embarrassed to say this, I TOTALLY choked up a little! WHAT?! I was shocked myself, as I walked away, and my friend was laughing at me (Thanks, Liz). But really, I guess I have just been so inspired by what she has done with her life and how she has reached people. How she has been able to, uncompromisingly, share her life and stories about what is important to her: Her faith, her family, and good food, of course. It is just so rare in the world we live in to find someone that has made a name for themselves without having sold their soul for a buck. Now, do you get why I was choked up? And let me be clear, I didn’t CRY. There weren’t tears rolling down my face. I was just touched by her character. As I said goodbye, she looked at me and said “Keep blogging!” Thanks for the encouragement, Ree!
If you haven’t read yet blog yet, YOU MUST! It will become your new addiction.
I recommend all three of her cookbooks, although the first one is my very favorite. Her cookbooks are so different than any other you have on your shelf because they not only have delicious, homestyle recipes, but they have beautiful pictures of her food and their cattle ranch in Oklahoma (that Ree photographs herself) and laugh out loud stories written by her. Her writing makes you feel as you are part of her life and you WANT to be part of her life because it is so simple yet enviable.
Now that you have been introduced to the Pioneer Woman, you are welcome! And sorry for the 2 hours a day you will now be spending on your computer.