Monday, November 23, 2009

The Pioneer Woman In St. Louis

Last Tuesday night, my dear husband Rob accompanied me on an adventure to see Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, in St. Louis.

In our effort to be at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis early enough to get good seats, we got McDonald's drive-thru for dinner. A night out, without our kids, when we could choose to dine where ever our hearts desire. SO WRONG, especially considering who we were going to see.

You can see another attendee's video coverage of Ree's Ethel Merman impersonation here.

Rob got a lot of work done while we were waiting - but only before and after the Question and Answer session. He laughed out loud when she answered a question about whether or not she kept a journal before starting her blog by saying "no" because she was "too busy gestating and lactating". We've so been there.

The hosting bookstore, Left Bank Books, tried to direct the line as best as possible...but there was still a ripple of disgruntlement when they allowed those standing on the sides (last to arrive) get in line before may of the people seated in the main section (early arrivals). The book store workers were tirelessly gracious.

Everyone, or at least everyone who witnessed it, was scandalized when two people tacked themselves onto the back of the line of people from the first two rows. Shameless line jumpers.

Let's pretend I intentionally blurred this shot to protect the alleged line-jumpers, m-kay?

I was nervous about talking to Ree. I had about I million things I would have liked to say, but there just wasn't time. It was like in the movie A Christmas Story when Ralphie is so gob-struck at seeing Santa up close and personal that he can't speak. Thankfully I didn't blurt it all out as I was making my exit...perhaps because there were no disgruntled elves and no slide.

I made a lame joke about the gift I gave her and she graciously smiled - I like to think she's sympathetic to dorkiness.

The cookbook is a thing of beauty - my girls are enamored with it and I'm getting ready to try the macaroni and cheese recipe. Honestly, I don't think there's a dish in there that made me think, "Hmmm, no thanks."

I think the chicken pot pie recipe may have the key to my recent efforts to copy the Chicken Noodle Soup at St. Louis (Panera) Bread Company. It has a slightly creamy broth, but is proclaimed 'low-fat'...I think a little flour may be the answer.

Did I mention that we had a McDonald's for dinner on the way there? J. Buck's was just down the street! They have fantastic Gooey Butter Cake dessert.

I suggested Ree address 'teaching your spouse to use your camera'. We always run in to that -especially since I'm still learning to use the darn thing, I find it difficult to relay it all... even remember what to relay.

On that note, I didn't have something set quite right for these indoor photos and many of them are tragically blurry...and then I handed the camera off to poor Rob when it was time to get my book signed.

Home & Garden:
Christ Church Cathedral is gorgeous - I can't imagine a more peaceful place to wait in line.

I wish we would have stopped on our way out to get a close-up, in-focus shot of this podium front. Those things you see are rustic nails, welded/shaped into stick-people, and they're all marching, arm-in-arm, carrying one another, etc. It was very cool.

Marlboro Man gave us dining recommendations for Tulsa; Rob's annual conference will be there next Spring and I'm mentally high-fiving myself for thinking to ask this far in advance...usually I'm begging The Internets from our hotel room in the designated city. I almost chuckled when he first suggested a steakhouse (Fleming's) - he reminded me of my college roommate's husband...but I was too busy fighting a squeal at his next suggestion: P. F. Chang's. Rob and I ate at P.F.Chang's for the very first time at this same conference earlier this year in Long Beach, CA, and we really enjoyed it - it was Rob's 40th birthday dinner and the whole experience was great. We will definitely find time to have dinner there while in Tulsa.

Marlboro Man seems to be just as good at wrangling his kids as he is at wrangling cattle, and amazingly patient around all of PW's fans - even those who asked him to sign the photo of his backside. I kept it civil and asked him to sign his 'head shot'.

Ree's oldest son started signing autographs at the table next to her, but soon decided to bypass all that chatting nonsense and worked his way down the line of waiting people...and when he got to the end of the line moved to those in the pews waiting to be called to the line...I was bummed he never made it over to our section, but he had other things to do...

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task...

Meet Me In St Louis, right before our eyes... also, ugly evidence of the aforementioned blurry photos.

Tasty Kitchen:
This was my gift to Ree, The Pioneer Woman. My lame joke was that the title was completely non-facetious.

Rawr! Have you ever seen a more timid cougar?

While not as beautiful as her book, our school fundraiser cookbook does include quite a cornucopia of recipes...from my granola bars to someone's Jello shots and everything in between...even Gooey Butter Cake, which was discussed on her Facebook in the days preceding the signing. I wonder if she managed to try it while in St. Louis.

Ree is just as delightfully pleasant as she seems on her website. I'm so glad we went...
...even if we did have to eat McDonald's for dinner.


Linda said...

Egads! That is ME asking PW a question in your first photo! She was great, wasn't she? Hope you had as good a time as I did. I love her and her cookbook! You have done a fine job of posting your pics...I love them!

Nancy R said...

Well, it's nice to see you Linda! She WAS great...don't you think if we could sit down and have a couple of drinks with her we could solve the world's problems?

Pineapple Princess said...

I found you through PW's facebook page. What a great post you wrote! I loved it!

I met PW last night. It was so exciting to meet her, wasn't it?

If you'd like to stop by, my blog is

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! :)

Ellen said...

Nancy I didn't know you were going to see her! I'm envious!

Karen said...

I was lucky enough that my son attended and had her sign a book for me. He even thought to call her and she said hi to me via his cell phone. I live in Indiana. You may have seen my son since the couple in the one picture you posted was sitting a row behind him. He is 6' 5", about 300 lbs and wore a burgandy sweater.

Karen said...

Ooops! My son was seated behind them. You can see the front of Kate and Jeff here

Kate said...

Karen told me to come here - you've got a photo of the backs of our heads! :-D (I was also the weirdo knitting a sock while I waited in line :-P)

Tina said...

I was one of the peeps in the first two rows and I could not BELIEVE the butters! That was so rude. I was wondering if they did make it to the front of the line. It seemed like they were a little scared to continue on, but I didn't stick around to see.

The night was fabulous though and PW was just as sweet in person and I imagined her to be. Probably even more sweet. I am so glad I went!

Glenda said...

Sounds and looks like a great time all around :).

Katie's blog said...

Ok. What a cool post - I have looked on her blog before. I think I want to try to get her book - you made it sound like a must read. Hope your holiday was great! Have a Merry Christmas!

G. B. Miller said...

Just getting around to checking out some more St. Louis blog links from PW's site. Love your post about the fun evening. You got the back of my head in one shot. LOL

Ree, MM and those two punks are pretty awesome, arent' they?!

It was a great evening and I'm glad that we drove the 180 miles up there for it. Well, my dear hubby drove. He dropped me off at 4:30 and I was out of there by 8:15. My photos are also very blurry. But I only have a point and shoot and am a notoriously bad photographer.