It’s been a long time since I had a hero. Heck, I’m not sure I have ever had one. But the Pioneer Woman comes mighty close. Ree Drummond, a self-proclaimed city girl turned rancher’s wife, dubbed herself “pioneer woman” when their ranch went without water for quite some time. I was first introduced to The Pioneer Woman blog a couple years ago and it’s since become a daily read. Surfing through her archives, I laughed out loud at the stories of her everyday life. More than a blogger, she is an incredible writer. In addition, a self-taught photographer whose pictures capture beautifully what is obviously the true essence of ranch life.
And then there is her cooking. Simple, yet delicious. She’s brought butter back into our life. She introduced the kids and I to sweet potatoes and we’ve become believers! If I’m cooking a Pioneer Woman recipe, the men in my life are very happy. Although most of her recipes are online, I was looking forward to the release of her new cookbook. When The Pioneer Woman announced a book signing tour and would be as close as Kansas City, my friends (other fans) and I screamed “road trip!”
Joni, Jules, Sandy, Sam, Robyn, Julie and I are horse friends. Well, we are real friends, too, but other than our annual Christmas get-together, there are very few times when we are all together horseless. What a treat to arrive at a hotel and not have to worry about first getting a horse settled in – it was just us! Food, wine and fun.
We arrived at the book signing early the next day. In true groupie style, we were the second guests in line. I recall when Ree walked in, she looked as I expected. Tall, gracious and happy. She sat down and immediately seemed to warm to the room. We were instructed to sit next to Ree while she signed our book; our cameras given to each other to capture the moment. It was reminiscent of being in line to visit Santa Clause. When my turn came, I was totally star-struck! I had a million things to tell her and could barely get out more than a few words.
Since partying with the Oak Ridge Boys in 1980, I haven’t really had a brush with fame. The Pioneer Woman trumped the Oak Ridge Boys!
Since someone asked, here is a larger picture with names:
Front Row: Ree, Julie, Joni