Monday, September 5, 2011

Pioneer Woman – Hate Her? Love Her?

Pioneer Woman with Ree Drummond

Surprise Birthday

Chocolate Sheet Cake

I can't answer the question in the title, at least not yet, because I know very little about Pioneer Woman. I decided that, for once, instead of prejudging and listening to gossip and innuendo (some of my favorite pastimes), I would see for myself what I thought about the Pioneer Woman’s cooking. Because for me, it IS about the cooking. Would Ree teach me something on her new Food Network show that I didn’t know? Would she get me to look at an ingredient in a new way or even (I’m setting the bar quite low, I think) give me one tiny truc that I could walk away with.

And, frankly, although I’ve never met one personally, I AM predisposed to like Pioneer Women…in general. I like their sturdy, no-nonsense, get-it-done attitude. I am SO at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to bravery. I wouldn’t even let the exterminator take the bug calendar give-away out of his bag, it creeped me out so much. He was a little hurt and said kids really liked them, but I didn’t want so much as PICTURES of rodents on my counter.

Let's see what’s going on with Pioneer Woman, the show and its recipes - not the blog, not the gal herself, not her promotions machine, not the book, not the movie. Okay…maybe the whole thing is a tad annoying.

The episode starts. I’m thinking she had me at “Welcome to my frontier.” Am I really so easy and is that something that she often says?

I’ve never met anyone with a frontier before. And those kids ARE adorable, that cowboy husband IS hot and unless you’re going to tell me she got them from central casting, they have to be real. Don’t they?

I don’t get all the cow herding. What’s it all for? I thought you took cows somewhere far away to graze and then brought them back at night. They seem to be shuffling the cows around the house.

Ree’s making lemon blueberry pancakes. They're easy to put together – cake flour, sugar and baking powder are mixed together and lemon juice is added to whole milk to make it sour. (Of course, you could use yogurt or buttermilk too.) Hey! Ree just said that. I think we’re going to get along just fine, y’all. Sorry, wrong vernacular. What do they say in her parts? Yippee cow-ay!

Ree says to use whole milk, while the recipe on the FN website says evaporated milk. Actually, various reviews say there’s too much milk in general - 1½ cups to a little over 1½ cups of flour.

That’s actually exactly how much I use in my favorite pancake recipe (from the ORIGINAL New York Times Cookbook from the stone ages). The recipe calls for less milk, but I always bump it up to 1½ cups (at least).

Ree adds the egg to the milk with what she says is her favorite addition to any pancake recipe - lots of vanilla. The lemon zest also goes in and then the wet ingredients are added to the dry.

Ree tells us that when she was growing up, her mother brought her breakfast in bed for every birthday. My mother didn’t do that…not that she wouldn’t have…if she had thought of it, BUT I DO THAT FOR MY KIDS!

See? Ree and I are pretty similar, except MY hot husband definitely does not ride a horse to work every morning.


Oh, I jumped the gun. Ree says on a working ranch, when kids are working with their father from early morning, breakfast in bed doesn’t happen. But they’ll have the pancakes when they return from their chores.

More cow shots. I’m nervous about where those cows are going to end up. What kind of a ranch is this anyway?

Meanwhile, Ree is adding melted butter and blueberries (picked from the back 40?) to the batter. She pours the batter onto a griddle that’s been coated with more melted butter. (I have to say that doesn’t look like a griddle that been on the range for 25 years, but more like one she picked up from Kohl’s the day before.)

Ree uses a ¼ cup measuring cup for the batter. Then Ree tells us how she couldn’t imagine life without their wonderful 7 year old, Todd. Oh gosh, is he sick? Is there going to be some sad story coming about why they might have to go through life without him? Thank goodness, no. It was just a weird way to talk about her kid. Don’t worry me like that again, Ree! Did I mention that today’s show is food for Todd’s 7th birthday?

Ree fixes her “baby’s” plate for him with a big pat of butter on top and warm maple syrup from the stove. (I really shouldn’t skip that step when serving pancakes.)

Ree is driving up to The Lodge, where she’s planning a surprise birthday party for Todd. Is that a local hotel? Oh, that’s where friends stay and they have parties. (She’s certainly one-upped Ina’s idea of a next door Barn.)

I don’t like the idea of surprise parties for kids. Sometimes kids don’t do well when things are sprung on them. Plus isn’t he wondering why he’s not having a party? Just saying….

Ree says the great thing about The Lodge is that it’s always clean and ready to go. (I could see someone being slightly bugged by that remark.) She’s making mac and cheese. For some reason her mac and cheese recipe isn’t on the Food Network, but it’s here.

Ree starts by making a roux with butter and flour over medium low heat, as she explains that their kids’ birthday parties aren’t usually with 50 kids running around with piƱatas. They are normally family affairs. I like that. Outside, the boys are spraying the cattle with water. I’m guessing these scenes are to add a bit of local color.

Ree adds the milk to the roux and cooks 2 lbs. of macaroni. (She kind of brags that that’s a lot. Really? H and I can scarf down a pound in one sitting or maybe two.)

Ree adds 4 teaspoons of dried mustard to the roux. She’s says if that’s too much, add half at first. Then she “takes it over the top” and adds beaten eggs.

I have to say I’ve added many things to white sauces – cream, tomato, curry, heels of onion...but never eggs. She tells us about tempering the eggs first, by adding in a bit of hot white sauce slowly and then adding the egg mixture very slowly to the white sauce.


Ree cooks it for at least 5 minutes, then adds a whole bunch of grated sharp cheddar. Very nice, but I love a bit of red pepper for a bite. Oh, she’s adding quite a bit of black pepper, so same difference. She adds the macaroni in and stirs it all together. She’s so impressed by the amount she’s made. Eh! She sprinkles extra cheese on top.

Okay, her presentation IS a little hokey. Her lines are delivered a bit deadpan. In a complete monotone, she says, “Have you ever seen anything like this macaroni and cheese?”

Actually, yes I have, and, sorry, Ree, but MY macaroni and cheese is SO MUCH better than yours.
She is kind of sweet and homey, but there is a way to improve that recipe by leaps and bounds. Actually ANY mac and cheese recipe can be improved in this way.


This is what you do, no matter what recipe you’re using: 
Soften a chopped onion in the amount of butter that your recipe calls for in the roux. (Really soften it, without browning, by sweating it over low heat after bringing it to a sizzle. Add diced carrots and half a diced red pepper to the onion, if you want.) Raise the heat and add 2 big handfuls of chopped mushrooms. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until they give up a bit of liquid.
NOW, just proceed with your recipe. Add the flour, cook on low heat for 3 minutes, stirring. Add any spices or dried mustard here. Add the milk, really slowly, stirring all the time. Cook, after mixture comes to a simmer, for 5 to 8 minutes or until thick. Then add your cheese. And can you imagine what a little bacon would do? Finish as usual by mixing the cooked pasta with the vegetable enriched cheese sauce and pour it into a baking dish. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake.
(Take this up a notch even more, by scalding your milk with the heel of an onion, a bay leaf and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. It’s unreal. You can do this for every white sauce.)
Ree is making sliders with Paige (her teen daughter?) in the background taking a cake – a chocolate sheet cake, “her specialty” – out of the oven.

Let me get this straight. Is this a pattern on the ranch? The boys wrassle cattle and the gals make the grub? THAT I don’t love. Plus the girls were riding earlier, so does that mean that they have to do BOTH things, while the guys only do the outside stuff?

On to the sliders, Ree had added salt and pepper to her ground beef. Then she says we might be shocked by her adding heavy cream to the meat. Not really. I’m not bothered one way or the other. She says with sliders you only have a couple of bites for the taste to shine through, so the cream makes for “a rich experience”. That makes sense to me.

I hate that Ree’s using a big bowled wooden spoon to mix up the meat. I think it compresses the ground beef and doesn’t get it thoroughly mixed. Also, I don’t put wooden things in the dishwasher, which means this has to be washed by hand and there will be all those raw meat bits splashing all over the sink. (That’s the same reason behind not washing chicken. You risk getting more yucky stuff around the kitchen than you’re actually removing.)

Ree adds 6 or 7 dashes of Worcestershire sauce to the meat, again with the wooden spoon. Ree uses a 2 oz. scoop or ¼ cup measure to make the sliders. She forms them into patties and presses a thumb down in the middle to make a little indentation, so the slider doesn’t “poof” up.

Paigie has poured some kind of ganache-y icing over her sheet cake, which was baked in a really short-sided jelly roll pan, not a sheet pan. Interesting. I don’t mind that, because I prefer a bigger icing-to-cake ratio anyway.

The family is at the Lodge. Todd comes in and everyone shouts SURPRISE. He looks a bit flustered. I really don’t like this surprise idea. He opens his presents which include spurs and a rope for roping cattle. Wow, thanks a hunk…(?) Todd doesn’t look that thrilled. I suppose a Ken doll is out of the question, but couldn’t he have gotten a set of Lincoln Logs, at least? I guess they do that for real out on “the frontier”.

He calls his mother “Mama” and his father “Papa”. How could I teach my kids to do that instead of “Hey!” Or “You over there with the checkbook!”

Aren’t the presents supposed to be opened after cake? They really do things differently in Big Sky Country. Are they even IN Big Sky Country? Oh well, I like the way it sounds. Maybe they figure a typhoon will come down from the mountains and they want the presents opened first. I guess this isn’t the land of typhoons, but I bet they have some exotic weather events there. Wait! What am I talking about? An earthquake and a hurricane INLAND on the East Coast in the SAME week IS as exotic as things could be!

Meanwhile Papa is outside at a grill, which is the size of a barn, stoking up the charcoal. Is that the correct expression for what cowboys do with charcoal?

Ree tells us she could just serve regular sliders and mac and cheese, but she prefers to serve them with lots of toppings. Oh, THAT explains why her main recipes were so bland, because she’s going to put lots of goodies on top. She’s got peppered bacon (bacon that you add pepper to or bacon to which pepper has already been added? Dunno.) and slow cooked onions. And? Gorgonzola.

Hubby tells us the sliders should take 5 or 6 minutes a side to cook. I guess they like their meat completely dried out pretty well-cooked. (The recipe says 2 to 3 minutes on each side.)

Meanwhile, Todd is giving Gramps and Grandma big hugs (unless being on the range has aged Auntie and Uncle extremely prematurely). I DO agree with Ree that lots of family IS the best kind of birthday party.

Ree gets out the Gorgonzola and crumbles it up. I guess that’s it. Even with those toppings, I would still do my mushroom and onion thingie to the cheese sauce for the mac and cheese. Papa comes in with a massive platter of cooked sliders.

(It’s SO out of context, but I can’t help thinking of Barbra singing “Papa, can you hear me?”, while dressed in a Jewish boy’s clothes and yearning for Mandy Patinkin, who’s yearning for Amy Irving.)

Back to the birthday boy’s meal, there’s no green salad? No potato salad? No corn? I guess each person will just have 8 sliders.

Ree brings out the cake and lets all the kids decorate it with…guess what? Toy cows…and candy. Is that a big enough cake for everyone? Isn’t there any ice cream on the ranch?

At the end of the episode, we see Ree blogging about the party.

So what did I think of Pioneer Woman (the show)? There could have been more oomph to her recipes, as well as just more recipes. Where were the baked beans? Isn’t that de rigueur on a ranch? And what about grilled corn with something gooey all over it?

But, overall, I didn’t find too much to object to. Remember, that I’m coming to Pioneer Woman fresh. I never read her blog. I know she’s phenomenally successful and I saw her on a quick Today Show appearance awhile ago, but she really hasn’t been on my radar.

I could see how someone might think the whole Food Network show was a kind of vanity project, but isn’t that true any time you’re on television?

Others say she’s a sham and her real life is a lot cushier than we’re led to believe. Well, it already looks pretty comfortable to me and I can’t really object to PW (the show) if the only problem is that it isn’t real.
Obviously, that poses no problem for me. If it did, I wouldn’t have 36 hours of the Real Housewives clogging up my TiVo. Note I said they were ON my TiVo, not that I had actually watched (all of) them.

Plus I have to ask this. Is it possible that the backlash against Ree is from sheer jealousy?

And, naturally, I don’t exclude myself from those who are bitter and twisted over her amazing success, but I must be softening in my old(er) age. I just don’t find that much to hate. And believe me there are people that I detest, often for no reason. Even though I am a renowned grudge-holder, Ree just doesn’t rile me up.

Do I adore her as much as Ina? No. Do I enjoy her as I do Paula? No. Do I feel as if I have as much to learn from her as I do from Anne? Definitely not. But I do respect anyone who achieves success based on hard work. Of course, if Ree started out with a silver spur on her boot, there’s less to admire than with someone like Martha. She’s worked her way up the food chain like a mad woman, and so has Rachael Ray, whose work ethic I admire, even if her cooking leaves something to be desired.

I’m not trying to be a goodie-goodie, but I think Ree on TV is fine. She’s kind of funny. I actually prefer her show to her blog, which I just took a look at. Frankly, it’s a little complicated. It looks like it’s perfect for someone with ADD. There are all kinds of little boxes and places to click and go. Do I go to Confessions or Cooking or Juice Bags(?)??? It’s just too much.

It seems as if it would take centuries to read all the entries and sub-categories in all the different areas and sections. I’m not quite ready to do a thesis on Pioneer Woman-dom, but if I ever am, I sure know where to go for more than enough material.


Note: My blogging buddy, Rachel wrote a really interesting post about Pioneer Woman and she has quite a few issues with Ree. One of the most serious is the lack of riding safety on the Drummond ranch. Of course, I know nothing about that and would only feel safe riding a horse if it was in a video game, but it sounds appalling to let children ride without helmets. Adults too. Oh gosh, am I going to have to start holding a grudge?

16 comments:

Skattebol said...

I can only speak for myself - I am not at all jealous of TPW. I would be bored out of my mind living on a ranch. I think she is dishonest on her blog, suggesting that she is homeschooling, cooking, helping out on the ranch, and the list goes on, when she actually is not. She deletes any negative comment and blocks individuals from commenting. Her tagline is that she is "keeping it real" and she is not. So, it is not an issue of jealousy, but an issue of integrity. I cannot respect someone who has no integrity.

Stephanie said...

http://thepioneerwoman.com/ - Yes, those are her real kids and real husband lol.

And there's at least one hater out there who named her blog The Pioneer Woman Sux. Sad that people spend so much time hating on someone.

Lys said...

Sue - you know me and I call them like I see them. I watched the show, I used to read her blog and, quite frankly, something didn't add up. The more I read online and noticed, I have to say I am NOT a fan. I watched the first show and 10 minutes in, I had to say enough. The RH are a bit more real than this show. I also tend to be wary of bloggers that have interns/PR Firms/etc. do a majority of the posting/writing for them. Sorry but I had to be frank. Plus - I think that your recipes would definitely trump anything on this show :)

Abandoned By Wolves said...

I've seen the original book and I perused the web site and I watched about 10 minutes of one of her shoes, and based on that, I'd say that TPW is a hardworking cook and writer whose chief talent is self-promotion. Not unlike Paula Deen, come to think of it.

But there are worse things than TV chef/"personalities" who proclaim their love of their of life and how happy they are and how hard they work and how great everything is. I'd watch any episode of TPW 5 times before I'd watch an episode of "Jersey Shore" even once.

Sue said...

Hiya Skattebol,
Welcome! I’m definitely jealous of her blog’s popularity, but I guess PW (the blog) shows that it takes a village to achieve that kind of success.

I'm glad that I limited my remarks to what went on on her cooking show, but I can definitely see that trying to appear as if you’re a one-woman show and then having a whole trove of people doing everything for you is annoying. Does Ree actually say she homeschools her kids and then legions of tutors arrive at the ranch? That’s just dumb. How would people not find out about that? But I still don’t think she sits around eating bonbons or the ranchified equivalent. Don’t you think at some point, even just at the beginning, that she did a lot of that stuff herself?

I wonder what RR does about negative comments. I would think there would be millions. Disallowing comments IS pretty un-Amurican. I still can’t say I dislike her, even though I have no intention of wading through the morass that is her blog or taking her on as a role model. I may just glance at her show every once in awhile, trying to see what there is to hate. I have so many other people and things in that category, I just don’t think I have room for more.

Hi Stephanie,
Nice to have you…

That’s what all this reality stuff has spurred – lots of haters about lots of things, but, c’mon, it can be fun to debate the pro’s and con’s of people that put themselves out there. Listen, they want the fame, so they have to put up with the criticism that goes with it. Don’t a lot of these people not even CARE what is being said about them as long as they’re being talked about?

I haven’t seen it, but that blog is complete ripoff of the original hater blog about RR.

Yup, Lys, I do know you and your wonderful taste in things. And I have to take seriously your opinion that PW is a fake. But there’s only so much time in the world and I have to pick and choose the things that I love to hate and also love to love and she’s just not in either category.

Frankly, hearing all this stuff sort of makes me want to watch her even more. Maybe I’ll see a glimpse of a housemaid in the background. Maybe the nanny (for each kid?) will make an appearance at the dinner table as a “friend”. And between you and me, any PR firm that contacts me and wants to make me famous, has a pretty good chance (before I’ve had my 3 o’clock coffee) of getting at least a lukewarm response, before I realize the implications and say NO, I want to toil in obscurity.

Thank you for the recipe compliment…I haven’t seen enough of hers to comment, but, so far, I think I could win a cookoff between us, if the PR company didn’t rig the voting.

James,
Don’t you be saying anything bad about Paula, y’hear? Yup, I guess it’s true that there are many who work as hard at promoting themselves as they do in coming up with recipes. It’s interesting, though, what riles people up. Giada, for example, appears to lead a charmed life. She’s surrounded by beauty and finds herself in luxurious surroundings. But I guess, she doesn’t have the Me, Me, Me machine running 24/7, so people don’t get as irked with her.

I’ve never watched the Jersey Shore either, but I heard someone once say about Snooki (sp?) that when she’s on the screen, you can’t your eyes off of her and I have found that to be true. Plus I’ve been impressed by the gallantry of the Jersey Shore gentlemen when they’ve been on television, other than their own show. (I’m just asking for trouble now!)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

ARRRRGGGHHHH! I hate it when you criticize someone who is successful and are confused of "jealousy" (which is actually envy and not jealousy). I admire lots of talented and successful women who have millions and deserve them. Lots of very talented women work very hard, every bit as hard as let's say - Rachael Ray - and never get an ounce of recognition for what they do because they weren't sleeping with the producer of the local TV station. I'm not saying I wouldn't love to have the Drummond millions, but I wouldn't want that life. Granted, I do consider myself unqualified to write cookbooks or have a cooking show, and claim I would never want to do either because it would feel wrong to me, but then again, if they offered me millions, I might not turn them down. ;-)

Sue said...

Rach,
I don’t think YOU’RE envious (CAN’T I say jealous? – “feeling resentment because of another's success, advantage, etc. often followed by of: He was jealous of his brother's wealth.”) of Ree because she leads an entitled life, although I think plenty of people are, including me! You hate her because she’s a poser fake. I really get that. But don’t you think that takes a lot of work too? The funny thing is I really don’t want to defend her, because I don’t know that much about her and I’ve only seen one show that she’s done. Give me time to build up to full-blown detestation.

Danielle said...

I was only able to watch a small clip of the show because Food Network doesn't stream the full episodes. I've followed the Pioneer Woman Facebook page, and thought it was interesting. I would say that the reason why Food Network created a show was not so much because of her culinary expertise, but because of her large following online. There must have been a reason why so many people have become loyal followers of The Pioneer Woman. As far as people hating Ree, or thinking that she is fake ... I'm not sure that anybody is qualified to be her judge and jury. You can be objective and review her show, Blog, books, etc and still be professional about it. Questioning a person's integrity based upon comments written on a Blog or on a Website is short sighted. As far as The Pioneer Woman removing negative comments, what's wrong with that? Can you honestly say that you wouldn't remove negative/nasty/degrading comments from your Blog? Of course you would! Even the Food Network Musings Blog has the comments on moderation. Does anyone question the owner's integrity for monitoring the comments posted? Probably not. It is what it is. Just think, all of that energy you used up trying to drag someone else down could have been used to better yourself and create something meaningful.

Sue said...

Danielle,
I’m sure Ree’s popularity WAS the reason the FN gave her a show. As far as WHY is she so popular…who knows? Instant mashed potatoes are popular, but that doesn’t make them right. But, really, you might be barking up the wrong tree in your comments to me. I wasn't commenting on Ree’s life – real or fake. I'm new to Pioneer Woman and I actually had no idea there was all this love/hate stuff going on. I was looking closely at Ree's COOKING, and, afterwards, I was made aware of all these other issues. I guess we also disagree because I think everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. It would be nice if it were well-reasoned and not based on hearsay and gossip. But, unfortunately, in our incredibly wired universe, opinions are widely disseminated, legitimate or not. I’m sure Ree understands that…all the way to the bank. What do they say about how no publicity is bad publicity?

By the way, I have comment moderation because of spam. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I enjoy a good debate and I've even been known to change my mind about things. I just don’t enjoy robots posting Cialis ads as comments.

Emily said...

Riding horses in a video game - hahaha I love you. You're so funny.

I really haven't read Pioneer Woman, either. Until recently. I've checked out her blog a few times. I can definitely see the appeal. You're right about her site being too confusing. Photography, homeschooling, cooking, Tastykitchen blog, etc. It's too much.

I don't have a problem with her blocking negative comments. Nobody wants to read those. I hate, hate negative comments on my blog. They make me sad for days.

I don't think she's being dishonest on her blog, either. It's not like she's trying really hard to hide that they have money. They're loaded! Who cares? That doesn't mean she doesn't cook, help out on the ranch and homeschool.

By the way, we open presents before cake. Cake is always last. :) Dinner, presents, cake at the Hobbs house.

brokenresolutions said...

Just found your blog and loved it especially this post... I've been following PW for over a year and I loved everything about her... at first. Now, honestly, she annoys me but that still won't stop me from trying to win some of her loot now and then! I've realized that if posts something and asks your opinion and it's not what they think it should be, they delete it. For instance, just yesterday she posted about her daughters room http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/ and I honestly could not stand the room... the carpet choice was horrible, beds not practical, lack of privacy, storage, etc. Well, I shared that and go figure, it didn't get posted. So, I decided to run a test. I tried commenting several times under different names/e-mails (no, I have no life at work and was bored, lol. just don't tell my boss) and i made some positive comments and the bad to see if the site was just slow in posting my comments or if they were not publishing the negative ones (not even negative just how exciting to be filmed on their show. Not a fan of the carpet choice but love the desk- nope. wouldn't post it) I tried 6 times and the only comment that ever showed up was the positive one. So, that really rubs me the wrong way. Not everyone is going to love blue striped carpt tiles in a room for young maturing women... but to not post a comment... that bothered me. I'm not envious of her or jealous of her. I wish I could be as successful as her and want to know the secret but don't think she needs to censor her readers comments because not all in favor of everything. I still enjoy her blog from time to time, but just don't care for someone who is fake and does not keep it real for her readers. I refuse to watch her cooking show because I was not impressed with her Thanksgiving cook show last year with Bobby Flay. She seemed awkward on camera and I was almost embarrassed for her so could not sit through anymore of that. The only downside to my experiment yesterday is that I hope my main e-mail was not blocked for stating I did not like the carpet color choice, lol because I still hope to win some new knives, a new pot, a new camera, or a gift card from her! hope I was not placed on the naughty list!!

~The South Dakota Cowgirl~ said...

I'd simply like to say this: I do live on a ranch. I work on the ranch, and I cook for countless people from time to time on the ranch- in addition to cooking for my own family. And yes, I get to do chores, ride horses, start colts, calve heifers and cows, move cows from a used pasture to a fresh pasture, or for countless other reasons, fix fence and then come in at 9:30 at night and cook supper for everyone.

I live farther from a grocery store or town than she does. I'm about 70 miles from Walmart. And 45 from the nearest little grocery (which only has off brands and is more expensive than most).

I don't dislike her; what I dislike is her leading everyone to believe that ranchers are wealthy. It's public record how much subsidy money the Drummonds have gotten over the past 10 years. It's in the millions. Most ranch wives work their asses off, are just as good, if not better cooks than Ree, and don't get to wear designer clothes or cook on Viking/Wolf appliances in a kitchen that cost more than most of our houses. I don't know how she does it all to be truthful- and I'd like a bit of honesty on that front. I have a very hard time keeping my blog, take photos to share my life on the ranch (and the few senior portraits/weddings I shoot each year), the house clean, and supper on the table and I don't have young kids. She does do good things- she supports about 50 compassion international children and volunteers for her church.

I do know that they own over 50k acres- it's public record as they're one of the top 50 land owners in the US, and there's at least her husband and his brother on the ranch, and at least one hired man, but even here for our measly 8500 acres, with no hired man, we could use one. So there's got to be more than one, which could explain her lack of needing to do anything of importance on the ranch.

I have made some of the things she's cooked on her site, but very few of them. Like I said, I don't dislike her, I just wonder how she seemingly became an overnight success.

Lisa said...

I found Ree's blog a million years ago just after she started to get major traction, so I wanna say 10 years, maybe? Not sure, it was awhile ago, though. And what I have always loved about it was her writing was HILARIOUS. I loved it. Which is why I read it. I have two of her cook books, and the writing is personable and adorbs.

When her show came on (and I've watched 3 or 4 episodes now) I was excited to see that funny quirky sassy Ree live and in colour, but strangely she is not there! I don't know who this person is, but it is the most boring cooking show BAR NONE on TV. I can't stand watching it. I keep waiting for her to say something funny, goofy, self deprecating like she does on her blog, but it is all extremely dry and too sweet for TV.

It's bizarre.

It makes me wonder if she had a ghost writer for her blog all along??

Sue said...

Hi Lisa,
Welcome!

That's interesting that you loved her blog, but found the show lacking. People have been saying for a long time that her blog is more of a corporate effort than her individual handiwork. But even if that's not true, I guess it's not unlikely that things were watered down for television.

People have so many reasons for disliking the whole Pioneer Woman thing. I judge her mostly on the cooking on her show....I don't read her blog or go to any of the multitude of places her blog leads to. I find many of her recipes lacking and that's what I object to. (Although I do use one trick of hers. I often substitute fig jam for tomato sauce on pizzas that I top with salad and Parmesan. THAT'S good.)

sobelle said...

I find the Pioneer Woman show to be about as inspired as a piece of toast. Whether her life is real or fake is not the issue with me - I tune into a cooking show to get ideas on healthy and innovative recipe ideas, not the potluck fare from the 70s. If her cooking had to stand on it's own, without the folksy flashes to the ranch activities, this show would have been done in a heartbeat.

Nancy po said...

When I first heard of Ree, then watched the show I was so disappointed. Fake, married to a millionaire, life is tough. It's not "keeping it real" when you plagarize recipes, and retract things on your blog that are very offensive, or that you're busted for. If she were honest, and could cook something original, it wouldn't be so bad. I watch Trisha Yearwood's show, and talk about someone funny, great cook and host. Much better show. Although some of her dishes can be heavy, there's a lot of variety and they are simple, yummy dishes. Ree is just flat on the show. Because of a lot of the controversy I doubt a projected biopic will ever be made of her, unless it's on the Lifetime Channel...