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Snark Talk: Home, Home on the (De) Ranged

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And cowboy butter? Why does everything have to be prefixed with cowboy?

 

I used to think it was just a Ree-ism to drive home the point of her "pioneer" life (and I'd amuse myself imagining incongruous recipes with that label: "Since I like borrowin' recipes, today, it's Cowboy French Laundry cooking on the ranch! And we're startin' with Cowboy Oyster Sabayon just for Betsy!")  But now I think it's more insidious than that -- I'm pretty certain that when her store opens, "Cowboy" will be one of the Ree brands for sale  (for the "manlier" products; salsas, BBQ sauces, grilling accessories, pancake mixes. Maybe even an "old timey" drawing of Ladd in his cowboy hat fer all us greenhorns and city-folk who might not unnerstand he's a real live fer sure cowboy!)

 

Also: I think Ree calling the to-be store the "Mercantile" is near Draper-like levels of canny manipulation. It's not just a clever callback to the past (which, thanks to Mad Men,  I now know is a carousel that goes backwards and forwards, taking me to a place I know I am loved) but is there a woman alive between the ages of eighteen and eighty in North America who has not come across the word "mercantile" at some point in her youth? Either through Little House or Dr. Quinn or Anne Shirley or a hundred other books, movies, television shows? 

 

She's pitching a very specific kind of nostalgia (which is delicate but potent, It's a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone -- argh, wrong thread again! Can't help myself, I'm Mad Manning all over PTV!)  And by pitching that kind of nostalgia (for something most of us never experienced other than second-hand, in bedrooms or backyards or darkened summer basements, the blue light of the tv flickering away) she's appealing to several generations of women in one go. When it comes to positioning herself -- establishing brand without  any real talent for what's being branded -- she's as canny as they come.

Edited by film noire
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I just watched the same show.  I remember those iceburg wedge salads being very popular in Illinois when I grew up.  Usually they were topped with French dressing.  I think those steaks were overloaded with butter......fried in oil and butter, then topped with large patties of herb butter.  I guess none of Ree's meals are what I'd call healthy.

 

I get angry at how she treats good meat. Come on, Ree, crisp up that damned fat on the side. They just look greasy and icky when served - not even rare!

 

There was way too much oil in that pan. And cowboy butter? Why does everything have to be prefixed with cowboy?

 

I am fascinated by the fact that her tone and facial expression never changes, regardless of what she's doing or saying. She has that same monotone voice and that grin that makes her look like Jigsaw.

 

Botox is an amazing thing.

 

@film-noire - you slay me. I sort of believe you're Bourdain, too, because he likes noire! But yes, you're right. Ree's appealing to the 21st century woman who thinks she can be June Cleaver AND Ma Ingalls which still instagramming and getting her nails done.

 

I prefer more reality. 

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I think people don't really watch this show for the recipes--it's more for the perceived lifestyle. Or to get a glimpse of Ree's multi-thousand dollar digital camera. Which she uses to take twenty pictures of chopping an onion for her blog. And every time she uses an onion in a recipe, you are treated to twenty pictures of how to chop an onion. Ugh. Makes me crazy.

 

I don't begrudge a person finding a way to package themselves and make a living. The one thing I'd like to see end in all these cooking shows and blogs is the foodgasm-ing. Every time someone tastes a bite of their own food, it's the best thing ever. Eyes roll up in their head, head tilts back, cue the "mmmmmmm" noises. I have to laugh because one of my kids was eating something the other day and they were carrying on like that and I was like "What are you doing?" and he said "I'm eating like they do on tv!" LOL--I think my kids watch too much food network and see too many food ads. 

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In the episode from yesterday (I think), oldest daughter is getting summerlong cowboy lessons from Cowboy Josh, and as she was putting some kind of feed into a big pail, she mentioned that were antibiotics in the feed. Didn't catch the reason, though, so did anyone else catch that? I thought putting antibiotics in the feed was frowned upon these days.

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Jeebus after all this time, the kids' acting skills are as bad or worse than ever.  Par for the course, as the same goes for Ree, with her "I just love this stuff" and "oh my gosh" and "it's going to be soooo yummy" and "yummy" this and "yummy" that.  Don't forget to add "a good amount!"  

 

That Chinese takeout show was hideous.  Thanks, Ree, for showing me how to use a fast food drive up!  The amount of time this stupid show wastes on stupid stuff . . .

 

I don't know which I like to make fun of more, this idiot or Nancy Fuller.  Those two are giving Sandra Lee a run for her money.

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I just don't think I can watch this show anymore.  It's just that sometimes I find just one little irritant and then I just can't help but just fixate on it and I just can't stop so I just miss any good things that just may be contained in the same show.  That's just the way I am.  I'm justified.

 

But anyone who uses the word "just" over 70 times in one 30 minute program just drives me over the edge.

 

But that's just me.

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But anyone who uses the word "just" over 70 times in one 30 minute program just drives me over the edge.

 

Which is one of the reasons I can't stand Barefoot Contessa.  Nonstop "just."  Then there's Giada and her "there we go."  PW also loves "okay" and "all right."  These damn hosts get locked into words, and no one tells them to stop their bad habits.  It's verbal diarrhea, as bad as saying "like" every two seconds.

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I agree the amount of filler on this show is absurd. I've seen the same stock footage of cows, horses, dirt roads and trucks for three years now. Enough already.

On a funny note, I came across an old Ladies Auxiliary cookbook of my grandmother's and I swear, half of Ree's recipe file was in there.

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I am so sick and tired of the use of "Man Cave" as if it's something to be proud of and proves that the boys are turning into stereotypical men. I bet Ree used the term 50 times today. What's wrong with the use of the term "clubhouse"? Next, I assume the two girls will be be creating a make-up counter and hairstyling salon for the stereotyping to be complete. I swear Ree and her family should move next door to the Duggars.

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Saw an ad today with Marcia Cross in it and it looked like a less bloated Ree.  Wonder if that's who Ree models her hair after?

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The man cave show was a total disaster.  Nothing looked good or even moderately healthy.  And she's jumped the shark with the use of candy in desserts with that layered brownie thing.  Bleck.

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The man cave show was a total disaster.  Nothing looked good or even moderately healthy.  And she's jumped the shark with the use of candy in desserts with that layered brownie thing.  Bleck.

Those brownies were too much. I've made the ones with the cookie dough base, Oreo middle, and brownie top once and those were on the verge of over doing it. if she stopped after the peanut butter cups they might have been better. Plus the actually brownie part looked really dry. 

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I really don't like it when Ree takes food (like a sundae, brownie) and throws every single thing imaginable into it.

 

When the boys set the table in the club house I simply could not believe it. Do little boys even do that?

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I don’t get her appeal .  She’s  a plump & jowly version of  Sandra Lee "on the range".   Lots of canned crap  food without SL’s  cocktails.

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Ree was first introduced to the FN during a throwdown with Bobby Flay. Ree won although Bobby's food was more to my taste. I did wonder if a producer's fix was in because I think that is something that FN would do to give us a reason to watch her show. I mean give the woman who beat Bobby Flay a show of her own.

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Which stolen recipe did Ree use to beat Bobby Flay?

Overuse of the term "Man Cave" is the main reason I can't watch House Hunters anymore. The best part of that epi was Ree dousing the chopped salad in dressing...only to stick it right back in the fridge. "Hey, Bricey and Toddey, you up for some soggy lettuce?!"

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Which stolen recipe did Ree use to beat Bobby Flay?

Not sure why you would say stolen.  I have seen very few original recipes that are not tweaked a little and called the cooking host recipe.  I am sorry buy most of the host on Food Network cook things that have been around for a long time just tweaked a little or say the volume turned up. Does that mean that they stole all the recipes also?  I have made a chocolate cake very similar to the Ina's for years, got the recipe from my grandmother, doesn't mean that Ina stole it, it just means she put her own spin on a classic recipe.  Ree does the same and her show appeals to a large audience, hence the good ratings.

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Ree does the same and her show appeals to a large audience, hence the good ratings.

Everyone here contributes to her high ratings.

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I think she's on Food Network at a fortuitous time and doesn't have much competition for ratings.  Food Network has obliterated so much of its instructional content.

Edited by anneofcleves
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Which stolen recipe did Ree use to beat Bobby Flay?

 

 

It was a Thanksgiving Feast episode.  I didn't see it until after she'd started her own show, but it was pretty clear it was all set up to introduce her to the network.  If I remember correctly she challenged him to come to the ranch for a Thanksgiving throwdown. 

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Food Network,

you done shot yourself in your gosh dang footies, with your love of fake cowboy culture. Lenny McNab,

winner of Food Network Star, and his (misogynist dick) thoughts on the Pioneer Woman are quite something:

 

"Someone commented, "He's taking over The Pioneer Woman show from the fake cowgirl Ree Drummond," and Lenny responded to that with:

"I'd fuck her...IN THE ASS!!!!!!  that's right...I said it!!!"

 

(edited to add:  racist and vulgar language at this link, might not be safe for work)

 

http://www.foodnetworkgossip.com/2014/08/food-network-star-lenny-mcnab.html#.U-k2y87D-2w

 

Yum! This schadenfreude is so delicious! Can I have the recipe, Food Network?

Edited by Lisin
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Yes! I cannot wait for this years Thanksgiving Show. I hope it's live and I hope Lenny and Ree both show up. Maybe throw a little Ladd into the mix for a rootin' tootin' good time.

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I was pretty excited that Netflix and Food Network had signed a contract.

Alton Brown's Good Eats first season, is on there. I thought great, maybe they will have some of the older shows we never see. Unfortunately, none are there.

Ree's first season is on there if anyone is interested.

Edited by imjagain

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I'm disappointed that there aren't any new shows to snark about, but in truth I hope she's taking her time to shop around for a new consultant to work on recipe development.  With that ranch of hers, she could have a show that is at least as interesting as her blog.

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Food Network,

you done shot yourself in your gosh dang footies, with your love of fake cowboy culture. Lenny McNab,

winner of Food Network Star, and his (misogynist dick) thoughts on the Pioneer Woman are quite something:

 

"Someone commented, "He's taking over The Pioneer Woman show from the fake cowgirl Ree Drummond," and Lenny responded to that with:

"I'd fuck her...IN THE ASS!!!!!!  that's right...I said it!!!"

 

(edited to add:  racist and vulgar language at this link, might not be safe for work)

 

http://www.foodnetworkgossip.com/2014/08/food-network-star-lenny-mcnab.html#.U-k2y87D-2w

 

Yum! This schadenfreude is so delicious! Can I have the recipe, Food Network?

Wow!  With all that available online, I'm really surprised that the Food Network even chose him to be on the show!  To use a term he'd understand, what an a-hole!

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“I’m a writer, blogger, photographer” (and a puppet, a poet, a pirate, a pawn and a king). Her intro has always seemed like one huge poker tell to me. In the creation myth of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond has erased her real history (never a word about the privileged upbringing) and draws the curtains on her current life in OnePercentville (jes’ a humble ranch wife, is all!) and plays the throwback l’il lady swooning all over her menfolk and chilluns and kitchen bowls every chance she gets (as if real ranching and 'country' folk are all still living in 1952, liking Ike and building bomb shelters in the back forty)  but hot damn, lookee here; the first three labels she slaps on herself in the intro are all about Ree (what husband? what kids? what ranch?) At the end of the intro, she squeezes in mom and “accidental country girl” (as if it happened to her without any personal agency  – like a Harlequin romance – oh, how fucking canny she is)  but her first introduction to her audience is all about her, independent of any of the perfectly staged, retro domesticity she’s about to hang around our collective necks like a paper mache albatross.

 

 

Years ago - like, maybe 10 or so - I used to go to her blog periodically. She had some decent recipes then. Not sure if it's still available on her website, but she had a PDF book you could read chapter by chapter about how she met the marlboro man or whatever she calls him. She was very open about how she grew up in the midwest in a fairly affluent family, went to college in LA, and was getting ready to move to Chicago for law school when she met the MM. I guess that's why she calls herself an 'accidental country girl.' But I don't watch the show (I think I watched about 5 minutes, once) so I don't know how she presents herself on the show.

 

I don't have a big problem with her, except that it sounds like she's flagging in the cooking area, which is kind of a problem for a cooking show. I agree that the big attraction of the blog and I assume the show is the idealized lifestyle in which she finds a big, strong manly man (who is probably not all that country either) and lives this idyllic and very photogenic life where she's homeschooling her kids and having dinner waiting on the table when her big strong guy gets home, all while making beaucoup bucks. In some way it's a very pretty picture and no doubt appealing, particularly to those of us who have a fat, lazy man sitting on his ass at home, or who go off to a boring job every day, or who don't have the wherewithal to home-school their kids. I don't particularly begrudge her her success--she found a way to do what she wants and make it pay and that's generally a good thing. That cowboy and cowgirl shit gets pretty tiresome, though.

 

I wasn't surprised when she got a show on FN because she seemed to have a big following on her blog and also seemed to be very savvy in the way that she built that following. I always wonder about FN stars like her and imagine that they wind up moving pretty far away from their real lives as they get successful.

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Has anyone seen Ree as a guest on Trisha Yearwood's show (2014 episode - Blue Plate Special)?  Trisha's not the greatest cook in the world, but she's really natural, warm, funny, and friendly (to me at least).  It was really striking how awkward Ree was on the show.  I know she's not a stage performer like Trisha Yearwood, but you would think after so many years of being in the business Ree would be more at ease interacting with others on camera.  There were a few times it looked like Trisha wanted to say something snarky to Ree's awkward, child like responses, but of course she didn't.  Awkward.

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I saw some of Ree on Trisha's show. I tuned in to see how Ree would be. That really was, in a way, an unfair contrast. Trisha is so natural on camera with her entertainment experience. I don't think Ree will ever be comfortable on camera. Doesn't make her a bad person, but, for me, doesn't make for a TV show I will watch. I watch Trisha's show because I find her so likeable and entertaining. I wouldn't make most of the recipes she does, but that's okay. I like that Trisha owns up to where she got the recipes from, not acting like she came up with them on her own (looking at you Ree). Trisha seems like the kind of person who would be fun to hang out with.

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I've seen that episode and thought it was very awkward. Only my impressions were that Ree was being kind of smug and condescending and Trisha eventually turned into "who the f*** thought this was a good idea?" It did not make for good TV.

 

Funny, I just commented in the "All Episodes" thread how ALL of the Drummonds have vastly improved their on-camera presence except for Ree. I'd hand the statue to Ladd. He's gone from one-syllable muttered replies to hosting "Cattle Ranching 101." The second most natural is Alex. Now that "The Little Drummond Boy" is getting on in years, he's gone from cloying to annoying. I suppose it's those surly tween years...

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I hate being guilty of making fun of anyone's looks, but I'm not making fun here.  I feel sorry for that one kid of theirs who looks just like Ree.  He's the elder of the two boys.  When he smiles, he has those deep dimples like Ree has, and his face looks exactly like hers.  He might be cute if he were a girl, but he's a boy!  Then, I noticed the other day, when the kids came in from moving the cattle, that one of the girls strode into the kitchen like a cowboy -- sort of bent over, bow-legged, swinging her arms like men do. Between her ranch work and her life of soccer, that girl may have some problems some day.  I wondered why Ree doesn't correct her about these mannerisms now before much later and show her how to  be more feminine.  If she were naturally that way, that wouldn't bother me, but I had the feeling she's spent too much time around ranch men and has picked up their ways. It seems like the kids need exposure to all facets of life, not just ranch life, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

I thought Ree's recipes all came from her mother.  She's constantly saying, "I LOVED these when my mother used to make them," or "I remember when my mom cooked these."   I can only hope they taste better than they look.

 

Where did Ree have her kids?  At home, with a midwife?  Anybody know?

Edited by Lura

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Where did Ree have her kids?  At home, with a midwife?  Anybody know?

According to her book, the first one was in a hospital. She doesn't discuss the others in the book. She shares lots of disturbing details about the whole experience too.

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Thanks, mousie.

 

I was just reading about Ree on Wikipedia, not the best source and criticized for its poor sources, but I did find some facts about her, if true.  She was about to study gerontology (dealing with older people) when she met Ladd.  I didn't realize that www.tastykitchen.com was an outgrowth of a contest on her blog.  She had a recipe contest on Pioneer Woman (the blog) on which she asked for people's favorite recipes.  She had 5,000 responses in the first few hours, so she started the other website and even has a cookbook containing those recipes.  She allegedly makes over $1 million a year from advertisers on her Pioneer Woman blog!  Her parents are divorced, and her father, a doctor, is remarried.

 

I didn't know she grew up in Oklahoma.  She was only in L.A. for college.  That makes it seem to me that she's always been a country girl. 

Edited by Lura

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She's not a city girl but if you have read her past blog postings, she admits to have been raised in a very upper class, county club kind of lifestyle.

Not quite the county bunkin, living in the middle of no where, that some of her fans seen to think she was raised in.

Edited by ariel

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She's not a city girl but if you have read her past blog postings, she admits to have been raised in a very upper class, county club kind of lifestyle.

 

Ree writes on her blog that she grew up in the small "corporate town" of Bartlesville, OK.  The population of Bartlesville is about 35,000 now and certainly was far less when Ree lived there. Her dad was a doctor, but her parents were divorced.  I don't see that she had much of a "privileged" life from the way she talks about it.  She said that once in a while she and her mother drove quite a ways into "the city" to go shopping and always stopped at the same sandwich shop for lunch.  In doing some research on Bartlesville, it seems, IMHO, that it was small town living and an ideal training ground for the life she lives now on the ranch.  Again IMHO, Ree is no "accidental" country girl.  She's always been one, but that's a tag to make her sound more appealing and more adventuresome, maybe in an effort to make her blog, her life and herself more intriguing.

 

As for Lenny, I'm shocked and disgusted with his language.  No wonder he doesn't have a show yet!  If I were the FN, I wouldn't trust him on my airwaves.

Edited by Lura

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If you want some insight into Ree's life and her courtship with Ladd, read her faux-moir. It's called something like "From Black Pumps to Tractor Tires..." I was bored and laid up with a bum hip during a business trip a few years ago and downloaded it for cheap off Amazon. It's a quick read. I finished it on the plane ride home.

 

From what I remember, the book starts off with Ree contemplating moving to Chicago to go to law school vs. sitting around waiting for Marlboro Man (aka Ladd) to call her. The family home abutted a golf course and Ree used to take walks around the greens. Her courtship with Ladd seemed very dull...

 

Can anybody who follows Ree explain the reference to "Marlboro Man?" Did Ladd used to smoke? Doesn't make any sense.

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Grisgris, you might remember that Marlboro cigarettes always had magazine and TV ads that featured a very handsome man, holding a cigarette while riding a horse out on the range.  He became known as "the Marlboro man" and was drool-worthy for half the women in the country, I think.  As one male model died or grew too old, he was replaced by an equally handsome newcomer, equally drool-worthy.  Eventually, women would say things like "I'm waiting to meet my Marlboro man," or whatever.  Apparently, Ree thinks that Ladd is as handsome as these men were, coupled with riding a horse out on the range, and gave him that nickname.  I don't know whether this is the info you were looking for, but it's all I have.  :)                                                                                                                                                                         

Edited by Lura

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Yeah I read the book after Gris Gris was talking about it. Her parents did not get divorced until the time frame of the book, when PW was in her mid twenties.

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Grisgris, you might remember that Marlboro cigarettes always had magazine and TV ads that featured a very handsome man, holding a cigarette while riding a horse out on the range.  He became known as "the Marlboro man" and was drool-worthy for half the women in the country, I think.  As one male model died or grew too old, he was replaced by an equally handsome newcomer, equally drool-worthy.  Eventually, women would say things like "I'm waiting to meet my Marlboro man," or whatever.  Apparently, Ree thinks that Ladd is as handsome as these men were, coupled with riding a horse out on the range, and gave him that nickname.  I don't know whether this is the info you were looking for, but it's all I have.  :) 

                                                                                                                                                                       

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I remember the real "Marlboro Man" & sadly pale little Ladd looks nothing like him. I also don't remember half of the woman in this country drooling over the MM.

I do however remember many of my gay male friends drooling over the real MM.

Edited by ariel
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