She rocks! And as one of my new P-Dub friends said, she attracts a crowd of good people. It's true. I stood in line for four hours with a stack of five cookbooks waiting for my moment with Ree and met some of the most nicest, funniest women who were waiting as well. We had a lot of fun talking, sharing how we found the blog and why we like it. The lady in the red shirt went out to move her car and came back with a dozen cheeseburgers and fries from McDonald's. It was great, she went up and down the line offering the food to everyone. All the kids who were tired and hungry, and there with their moms were really happy to get fries. We were all hungry and tired, but excited to be there.
I first met Pioneer Woman in 2008 while I was deployed to Afghanistan. I don't remember how I found her blog, but it was exactly what I needed. It took me about a week and a half to read her true life, love story, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels (the first chapter is at the bottom of the page) and it proved to be the great escapist reading I needed at the time. I fell in love with Marlboro Man right along with Ree, and felt her pain over her parents' relationship falling apart. I also fell in love with her life on the ranch. But her recipes, oh, her recipes, are the stuff of dreams. Let me tell you, when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere and the only food you have to eat is a rotating, unimaginative menu of food that's just plain boring and not that yummy, you dream of food. Ree's recipes provided plenty of fodder for food dreams too. Her blog was the perfect escape from the desert mountains of Afghanistan for a few minutes every day.
Her cookbook is really fun with crowd pleasing recipes and glimpses into her family's life on a ranch in Oklahoma. The recipes aren't low fat or low calorie, after all when you're feeding four kids and a husband who spend their days riding horses while working on a cattle ranch, mending fences and doctoring calves the last thing you need to worry about is cutting calories. You have to keep their energy up for all that hard work.
The book is great for beginners in the kitchen, because she provides step-by-step photographed directions for each part of the recipe. Not only do you see the finished product, but you see what each step should look like as well. It's great, especially when the recipes are unfamiliar.
When I read on her blog that she was going to do a book signing in my area, I decided I was going. I called sis-in-law T and told her I was going. She sent me an early Christmas present, Ree's book along with a copy for herself, and one of her sisters-in-law. I then bought two more copies, one for my sister who married her cowboy and one for a wedding gift.
Ree is just as beautiful and down to earth in real life as she is on her blog. She took time to talk with each person and make meaningful eye contact. She shines! I was happy to meet her and tell her about each person who would get a cookbook. I was really happy to be able to thank her for providing an escape for me in Afghanistan.
I'm so excited to have a signed copy of Ree's book. I can't wait to try more of her recipes and share them with friends here in DC.
Thanks Ree for signing all five of my books.
Thanks too for being so nice in person.
Hope you enjoy your stay in DC.
photos are mine