wildly popular blog of the same name. And yet, despite the fact that she lives in the middle of nowhere, I am fascinated by her life. She manages to find lots to do with her time, what with keeping up with the extracurricular schedules of four kids, not to mention homeschooling them, along with the busy workings of a cattle ranch. It's a life I wouldn't wish for myself, but I certainly find it interesting to watch. And I think that's why it's so interesting to watch: it is a life that she didn't wish for herself. Ree didn't plan for a life on a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere. She was an L.A. girl. She was a vegetarian. She wore designer clothes. But then she met the love of her life who happened to own a cattle ranch in Oklahoma and everything changed. But everyone who is familiar with Drummond knows her back story, so I won't get too involved in her biographical details, but if you want to know more, you can read all about that in her memoir, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels (and you should because Ree is an amazing writer).
The recipes in this volume are typical fare for what you would expect from Drummond: simple, easy comfort food. There isn't anything special or unique about what she makes, but what does set this cookbook apart are the places where Drummond injects photographs of her family and of life on the ranch. Again, she manages to make a subject I never found much interest in -- living on a ranch -- fascinating and endearing. So while I won't be clamoring to make many of the recipes in this book (though her sloppy joes were quite tasty and I must say, I will be using that recipe again), I will be clamoring for more stories and pictures because she makes me want to be adopted into her family -- well, maybe as a cousin or something so I don't have to live on the ranch. I'd just want to come visit from time to time :)
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond
Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: William Morrow
Disclosure: Library Copy