The Pioneer Woman- A Love Story Cookbook

Let me tell you how this all began.

My Pioneer Woman stalking that is….

A few months back, as I was searching food blogs for my weekly meal plans, I stumbled across a blog that really caught my attention.

It is a story really.

One about a city girl, who accidentally found herself living in the country, married to a take-your-breath-away cowboy, who sole her heart and gave her four beautiful little ‘punks’ (as she calls them) on a ranch in Oklahoma.

She homeschools.

She cooks.

She ranches.

She gardens.

She chronicles her family’s life in photographs.

She blogs about it all.

Her storytelling is as colorful as her photography, as she recreates her past for her readers explaining how she landed where she is and fell in love with her Marlboro Man.

Her Marlboro Man who you can tell she absolutely loves and adores. The kind of love we all want. You just feel it in her words.

The day I found her blog, I sat in the recliner reading for at least 2 or 3 hours as my children destroyed the house before my eyes.

I was left with the most unprepared feeling.

I grew up in the country and have sworn to never ever go back, except to visit. Small town life is something I could live without. But, after reading her blog something inside me was different.

I wanted a ranch.


Horses and cattle.

I wanted wide open space for my boys to roam.

I wanted to make Lenny my Marlboro Man.

I was hooked and had lost my mind.

And Lenny could not understand where all my ramblings of country acceptance came from that Saturday evening when he came home.

Crystal, are you ill? Feeling ok? YOU want to move to the country. Pioneer Woman what?

Where did my leadership skills go? Am I becoming a follower?

I added her to the sidebar on my blog so I could follow her everyday… blog stalking is what I call it?

Then, I promptly told my friend Kim about her. You would love her, you’ve got to check her out. And she did.

Kim was sold and slightly excited that I was interested in moving to the country… maybe even in the boonies like Kim. How exciting.

Some time passes….

About a month ago Kim told me Pioneer Woman was coming to Dallas to promote her new cookbook. I marked my calendar and knew I wanted to go.

Yesterday was the day.

It was cold.

Like 40 degrees cold- that is tragic for a hot state like Texas.

Kids were crabby.

It was rainy.

No sitter.

Just not ‘feeling’ the drive to Dallas…. with my five kids tagging along. They could easily destroy a bookstore…. in like 20 seconds flat.

But Kim was determined to go. And I am so glad she was. It was an experience I will never forget, and I do not think she will either.

Kim’s husband, a man of more patience than I ever knew, offered to keep my big kids until Lenny finished working.

Off to Dallas Kim and I went, with baby Matthew in tow.

Driving in the rain and cold, up hill both ways of course.

The signing started at 7:00. We pulled in about 7:15. The parking lot was packed.

Now, I knew we were not the only people in Texas who knew about Mrs. Pioneer Woman, but I honestly never ever expected 700 people.

Are you serious?

Does EVERYONE know who the Pioneer Woman is? I expected some people to attend, but not every country gal wanna be… and their friends and their mommas. These people are passionate.

Not a parking spot one was to be found.

We parked in a shopping center nearby and strolled over to Borders Books with Matthew and umbrellas.

I should have known better… for whatever reason I wore flip-flops. Rain and cold and long pants never mix well with flip-flops. Little did I know, they would have plenty of time to dry.

Like, six hours of time to dry.

The inside of the store was packed.

Not a book one was left in the store. It was not even 7:30. I overheard a staffer say they had 700 books and every last one was gone.

Where is the closest bookstore? Caddy-corner and across the street.

Kim and Matthew stayed and watched the crowd while I drove to Barnes and Noble. Kim secured our wristbands for our eventual place in line.

Shocked again, but happy, Barnes and Noble only had a few copies left. We were in luck.

By the time I arrived back to Borders, I could not feel my very cold and wet toes. Kim had our wristbands and Matthew was still happy as a clam, chewing on Sophie.

The wristbands were done by colors. We were silver…. silver was the last color to be called. Once your color was called you could then get in line.

And it was not a straight line which gave a clear view of our author. It was a line that wrapped around the store…. literally all the way around the outer edge of the store.

(For those of you who have a mind like my mother, this is where I will interject and clearly and very slowly state: THE LINE WAS INSIDE THE BOOK STORE. I DID NOT STAND OUT IN THE COLD WITH MY BABY FOR 6 HOURS. Thanks, Management)

As we waited we kept wondering where we would draw our line in the sand. We drove about 40 miles to get there, in the rain and in rush hour traffic.

Kim, the analyst, kept calculating. If they call silver by this time, we probably will not get out of here until…. she kept surveying the crowd.

We decided that once they called silver to line up, if we made it to the point in the line that wrapped around the store and reached the bathrooms, we would stay. No turning back after that.

While we waited, we admired Pioneer Woman’s daughters as they perused the store. They were precious. Very humble. Very sweet. Paige, the youngest of the two daughters, signed our books and we interviewed the oldest daughter as we pretended to be Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric.

You like Texas, I bet you’ve been here before…. ever been to the Fort Worth Stock Show?

She was so sweet as she answered our (my) goofy questions. (My friends have told me before I am an interrogator.)

Here is Kim with Paige. Did I mention she is such a sweet girl? Pioneer Woman, you have raised your kids well!

Finally, silver was called about 10:00 pm. The line was by the restrooms about midnight. We toughed it out. We had reached our no turning back point. We were in it to win it.

Matthew was amazingly patient. Not much fussing. He even fell asleep for an hour or so. We held him mostly, all 24 pounds and 15 ounces of him. Man, that kid is heavy. As there were chairs along the way we rested….

Here are Kim and Matthew taking a rest from the line.

We were getting closer and closer. Reading a few magazines along the way. Chatting with some of the other moms in line. Feet hurting. Kim finally took her big girl boots off as she could stand in them no longer. We were hungry…. sleepy. Are we pathetic?

At 1:00 am we turned the final corner… we could see her. HER! Mrs. Pioneer Woman. We were all tired. Kim and I could not believe this woman was so willing to sign every last fans book until the wee hours of the morning.

A few minutes before 1:30, it was our turn. That moment we had waited for. We could now step up to the post and meet and greet our new BFF. Kim was so kind and told me to go first.

You would think I’d been prepared. A million questions to ask and six hours later. I think my brilliant line was something like, your family is so beautiful, can we get a photo with you.
I did not mention my five thousand children…. she obviously knew about Matthew who was clinging on to me like a baby koala bear.
I did not tell her about my new found country living desires.
I did not even mention that I have a blog.
But I was so happy to have a signed book from THE Pioneer Woman.
I have never waited so patiently for anything in all my life. No complaining either…
Here is our hazy eyed photo with her. You would have thought we met a rock star.
Look at Matthew- Momma, don’t drop me! He is chewing on the collar of my sweater.
Yes, those are sun glasses on my head at 1:30 in the morning… there are just some things in my life that make absolutely no sense… I’ve accepted it.
I got my copy… signed, sealed delivered, I’m yours!

Our drive home was Whataburger taquito induced. Yum! We were starving. Baby Matthew slept peacefully the entire way home.

What can I say.

This is the life of housewives living on the edge. Mad moms in the city.

It was an amazing experience!

If you have an opportunity get this cookbook. If not for yourself, as a Christmas gift. Or, better yet, both. It is a collection of recipes with step by step photos that tell the love story of Ree Drummond’s life.

You’ll fall in love- I know I have.


  1. Anonymous says

    i love pioneer woman, but wow! i don't think i could have toughed it out like that. So glad you got a book, and a story to tell.

  2. Anonymous says

    I am lmao! I totally forgot about the treck across the parking lot in the rain and with big girl boots on to get to the book store. I had soooo much fun! At the time I was deliriously tired, my feet hurt and I was starving. As I read your post, I remember the laughs. I have never laughed so hard. We waiters in liners all have such a great stories to tell. She is going to be in Houston tomorrow. Wanna go?


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