The rabbit hole I have recently found myself in is the world of the Pioneer Woman. If you haven’t heard of the Pioneer Woman, then I would question your knowledge of the internet itself. I have been enjoying her recipes, which my wife cooks to great success, for quite awhile now. My waistline can prove it. My wife Hollie, began following her blog a long time ago. Only recently have I gotten myself into the mix. Her recipes are awesome, along with the images of them. She is an amazing photographer, and the palette she has to work with is rich. She really digs DDP (Diet Dr. Pepper). I have even joined her Tasty Kitchen community, a sort of Facebook for cooks (and those who want to be one).
I have to temper the fires of discontentment when I read her blog, but in the opposite way I need to when I read the latest happenings in the architectural world. When I read Ree’s exploits of ranch living and the peace (and struggles) therein a little fire ignites somewhere deep inside me. It flickers the far fetched desire of moving back home to the farm, to begin a full fledged tree farm in the remoteness of north Iowa. To plant an orchard of apple, pear, and cherry trees. To fill acres with beautifully shaped pines, firs, and spruce. To have my kids grow up on a farm outside of a really small town. To work with my hands, with my wife and kids, outside. To stem this tide of discontentment I read an issue of Architect and ignite the fire of wanting to move to an exotic metropolis and get paid next to nothing to draw bathroom details for prestigious buildings designed by pretentious architects. Then I get spit up on by my baby girl and realize I’ve done the big city thing and it would kill me inside. By then my girl is giving me huge smiles, I gaze at her, and I forget the whole thing.
Ree recently published a cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I wanted to get a copy for my wife, and thought it would be a great Christmas gift. She could cook great food, and I could eat great food. Then I discovered Ree was doing a book signing tour. Hollie could have a cookbook signed by the author. However, the closest the Pioneer Woman was going to be was Kansas City or Minneapolis. It’s tough to travel three hours one way to get a cookbook signed and keep it a secret from your wife. However, she was going to be in Houston. This may seem to only exacerbate the problem, but I have a good friend who lives in Houston… whose wife enjoys the Pioneer Woman. Operation PW went into affect immediately.
I contacted Kristy through Facebook to keep it on the down low from my beautiful bride. I presented her with the idea, and she said she was already planning on going to see Ree. I didn’t even have to purchase the book; Kristy offered to buy it when she bought hers at Amazon. So, I had a book purchased and shipped to a friend in Houston so it could be signed in Houston for my wife in Iowa. This amazingly all got done before Christmas. Kristy wrote of this exploit on her blog and included a picture of her meeting Ree. Click on the picture on her blog and take a close look at the book that is open in front of them. The Pioneer Woman had already penned “To Hollie” in big bold letters on the title page. Kristy posted this blog entry on December 8. I don’t think Hollie ever clicked on the picture and studied it, or if she did she never let on when she opened it Christmas morning. A big thanks to Kristy, and to the Pioneer Woman.