The Pioneer Woman and Too Much Salt

Did you know that the widely read and widely respected* Ree Drummond has a following of hate bloggers?

At first, when I found Marlboro Woman’s blog, I was a little shocked that anyone would speak so unkindly about the woman whose food photography impresses me to no end.  And then, I actually read it. It’s a short blog, considering it was just started last week. I got a really bad taste in my mouth and not just because I had finished a cup of tea an hour ago. The accusations leveled against our dear Pioneer Woman were disturbing and smacked loudly of *gulp* truth. MW was right… I had never read a negative comment in her blog. Never! And that can’t be because there aren’t negative things to say. Have you seen how much butter she uses in her recipes? And what is with all that salt?

And then, I realized something even worse: I have never made a recipe from PW that I’ve liked. I know I’ve only made two recipes. But that is largely because I rarely come across one of her recipes that I even want to make. What is going on here? Have I been taken in just like millions of others in the world and dazzled by a created brand? Have I been hoodwinked by the possibility of winning a beautiful bright red Kitchenaid mixer just for leaving a silly comment?

Probably.

Here’s the twist: this blog post is not a PW-bashing blog post. Rather, it’s the opposite. I will continue to read and to love Ree Drummond’s cooking blog**. I will be slightly disappointed that she bans dissenters from her comments, but I will drool over her photographs anyway. And, at the same time, I will absolutely and whole-heartedly agree that Ree is fake, that she has invented herself, created a persona for herself that she portrays to the world: a super mom, a super cook, a super farmer’s wife*^. And  yes, maybe she’s got the world fooled. After all, Marlboro Woman is right: her recipes aren’t particularly original, and many of them maybe not even that good**^. And she does recycle beautiful photos over and over again. But what kind of marketer isn’t trying to fool the world? And if you’re out to make a living as a blogger or, really, any money at all, how can you do so without creating your brand? What awful thing has Ree Drummond done that has all these other bloggers so upset?

Well.

It’s very simple really.

She succeeded.

* Or so I thought.

**I will also regularly read Marlboro Woman’s blog because I strongly believe that every story has two sides, two sides that need to be equally acknowledged. Also, it’s kind of like watching a train-wreck…

*^Though if you were actually a farmer’s wife, you would know she is definitely not — farmers’ wives are not housewives.

**^ Mac’n’Cheese anyone?

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78 Comments

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78 responses to “The Pioneer Woman and Too Much Salt

  1. Laura

    Yeah, I was sort of stunned when I discovered the anti-PW people as well, and went through kind of the same mental process — girl is LOADED, clearly, and can afford a lot of behind-the-scenes help that does not exactly feature on the blog. But I just figure, that’s her prerogative, and like you said, she’s managed a successful brand. There is no celebrity who is exactly like they portray themselves, so why would she be any different?

    I have had the same problem with the recipes, even! I generally read them for the ideas and the techniques (which I do find very helpful, if repetitive — I didn’t know how to chop an onion, so I do not begrudge her showing that all the time), but they don’t seem to turn out that well. Possibly I tweak too much (in the interest of not keeling over of a heart attack at 25). Plus her recipes are so…meaty…which I don’t eat. So that can’t help.

    This is a long comment just to say that I agree with you! :) EXCEPT I do see slightly negative comments now and then — “yikes, that’s a lot of cream, I’ll probably substitute half and half” and the like. But you’re right, there’s nothing more negative than that.

    • Both recipes of hers I’ve made I didn’t tweak at all and neither of them made it into my ‘Make this again’ book. So, it’s not just because you tweak!

      If I had the time and resources, I would totally aim to be the next PW… a million dollars a year from a blog? Uh, yes!

  2. farminarian

    Your Ree Drummond link doesn’t work….If you see this as a negative comment, you don’t need to approve it.

  3. Love it! I personally am not fond of her. There are PLENTY of other as good or better photographers out there for one, and for two, yes, the butter. Just. Way. Too. Much. I’ve made her cinnamon buns and they are good, but no better than my original recipe, and who needs flippin’ eight dozen artery clogging, ridiculously sweet, cinnamon buns tempting one for days. My question has always been why has she succeeded and not some of the other bloggers that I know and love. Darn that marketing one’s brand! ;o). Although you don’t sing the praises of allrecipes, that website works for me — although don’t get me started on all the goofs that poorly rate the recipe after they’ve changed half of it to suit the ingredients they have on hand.

    Blessings!
    Deborah

    • You’re right, her photography doesn’t stand out above the rest by any means. (Are you familiar with foodgawker, tastespotting or photograzing at all?) I think what I enjoy about it though is that she focuses a lot on the process. It can bog down the blog posts sometimes, but I often find them to be the most interesting of her photos. They always make me wonder how long it actually takes her to make one recipe.

      I think the difference between PW and some of the other food bloggers is not that she’s more successful, but that she has very clearly made a business out of it. She’s been bought by I don’t know how many companies. Smitten Kitchen, on the other hand, probably brings in a good sized purse in advertising revenue, but beyond that, Deb never pushes anything. Her focus is purely on the food (most of which is TOO gourmet for my interest). Her brand is calmer, less over the top, quieter. And, believe it or not, she has 100 000 more subscribers on Google Reader than PW. That doesn’t say much about her total readers, but it probably says something… And I have yet to find anything negative about that blog.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. Thank you for stopping by. The Marlboro Woman was launched as you said to provide both sides of the story. Apparently millions of internet surfers have landed on Drummond’s site and become addicted to her “little ol’ ranch wife” fairy tale. Sadly, the site is nothing but a lab experiment for her photography hobby and a black hole for bad, make that very bad, recipes. My research indicates versions of PW’s recipes have already been published in numerous cookbooks for decades.

    After reading a comment from one of her fans that went something like this:
    “Dear Pioneer Woman, I have your book on the night stand next to my Bible. I’ll be reading both before retiring this evening”, I decided to throw my hat in the blogosphere to diffuse what I feel is a fraud being perpetrated on the gullible. Drummond may be widely read, but I take issue with widely respected. Admiration for this woman is declining sharply.

    • Thank you for providing the other side of the story! To often we — myself most definitely included! — allow ourselves to get sucked in to such an idealistic version of a person that we forget to look for the signs of fakery.

    • Jack

      You must lead an extraordinaryly sad life ..

      • festus

        Nope, a glad life, but you must lead an “EXTRAORDINARYLY” uneducated one. And that’s sad. I feel sorry for you, in fact.

      • R&R

        No you don’t feel badly. Jack doesn’t seem to be hating anyone… unlike you.

    • Sky

      Oh my, not only do you have your own blog dedicated to hate, but you have to bring your ugliness here too. Yuck! I don’t care if Ree Drummond meets your standards of what a real pioneer woman should be. Why is it that serious in the first place? I’ll bet most people don’t even care about that. She’s still not a bad person, no matter what you’re saying about her. In fact, YOU seem like the fraud. You seem to be obsessed with wanting to see her her fail. So, I think YOU are the evil one!

      • festus

        Get down off your high-horse, missy. Your last two sentences above don’t even make sense. Take two Midol and go lie down for a while.

  5. You are so right! I’ve never vocalized it before but I’ve always felt this way. Her recipes are nothing special, and though the photographs are nice, I’ve never been compelled to try anything from her site. I had a few friends that bought the cookbook and were really disappointed. I think that you’ve pinpointed exactly what bothers me about her, and it’s that she comes across as fabricated. A movie character. Thanks for sharing – sometimes it’s not until someone else agrees with your opinion that you even recognize how you feel!

    • I did wonder what her cookbook is like, if it’s any more polished/special than her blog. Perhaps I’ll take a look at it if I ever see it n the library, but I certainly won’t be buying it. Especially since I expect most, if not all, of the recipes are already on her blog.

      I am pretty curious what exactly is behind that fabrication…

      • Miz Susan

        I was an avid reader back when it was more homegrown and personal but the “aw shucks” schtick started to feel very disingenuous and contrived. Mainly, I lost interest because the recipes aren’t terribly interesting (or healthy!) and her lack of culinary training is worrisome. For example, several of her recipes call for warming the same liquid used to marinate raw meat and using it as a sauce on the finished dish, with the explanation it’s safe since the raw meat only soaked in the marinade for a few minutes. Yikes!

  6. Pingback: The Word’s Getting Out – Pioneer Woman is a Phony! | The Marlboro Woman

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  8. Paula S.

    Interesting site. I only learned about Pioneer Woman recently in the local newspaper’s food column. When I checked it out, I enjoyed looking at the pictures and recipes, but something seemed off. How could one ordinary woman on a ranch do so many things all the time? How could she afford it?
    And above all, why was she fixated on using too much butter in everything? (We love the Marlborough Man sandwich, but I don’t add pan juice to a sandwich, as we hate anything involving soggy bread, and I use a lot less butter. Even the first time, I used somewhat less than she said, and had leftover butter in the pan, wasted. Butter got up to four dollars a pound here this winter. I use all I need, but I don’t waste.) Well, her deal with an arm of the National Dairy Council explains her fixation with so much rich dairy in everything.
    My other problem with her is the constant low class habit of wanting everyone to notice her husband’s posterior. Is she still in junior high?
    When my curiosity led me to Google Drummond ranch, that’s when I not only found out she married into some of the oldest money and biggest land holdings in Oklahoma, but I found interesting sites such as this one.
    I don’t feel the hate and loathing for PW that people on some of these critical sites do. I just resent being duped into thinking she is the wife of an ordinary successful rancher, and her presenting herself as superwoman. She’s an ordinary ranch wife like Donald Trump is an ordinary businessman.
    For the person who wondered about the cookbook, it is a beautiful book, but not a lot of recipes. If is common however, for regional cookbooks to have lots of beautiful pictures. My Amish cookbooks are like that. Unfortunately, the “end” page of the book is a full page of the famous MM posterior picture. Just goes to show a lot of money and land won’t make someone a lady.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Paula! I feel much the same way as you do. I don’t particularly loath her, but I don’t hold her in the same high esteem I did when I first started reading her blog, back when I was first discovering the world of food blogging.

      That’s good to know about her cookbook. I’m pretty surprised, actually, how many people are willing to drop the money to buy a book that is essentially available for free in her blog on the Internet.

      It’s definitely interesting though, watching the two sides… Pioneer Woman in one corner and Marlboro Woman in the other!

    • Sky

      I never put people on pedestals in the first place. I first saw Ree when she was on another show — can’t remember if it was Bobby Flay or Oprah. It was a cooking challenge. She lost the challenge, but she was such a great sport. After that, I sometimes catch parts of her shows. During the show’s intro, she says something about being an “accidental” country girl, so I don’t understand why so many females are getting angry because they work harder than her. She’s wealthy. And wasn’t her father a dentist or some kind of doctor? I look at her more as a city girl who married a cowboy. It’s just not a big deal. She’s very warm and pleasant. And the people behind the show have a lot to do with how she acts in front of the camera. I’ll bet they told her to smile a lot more and they wanted to priss her up with hair and makeup. I really don’t care what she looks like or the styles and prices of her smock tops. The women who are complaining so much about her must be truly miserable with their own lives.

      • festus

        Human beings project their internal realities out to the universe. So, Sky, I am sorry you are truly miserable with your own life.

      • R&R

        Festus, again, Sky doesn’t appear to be hating the Pioneer Woman. You are, so you are one of the people who has the problem.

  9. Paula S.

    Today I noticed she has a picture of the kids playing outdoors and the caption reads, more or less, “some days we do school, some days we don’t. It depends on if I’m in the mood.”
    I’m not going to attack home schooling. It can be good or bad. It depends on the parents, their own skills, and their reason for home schooling. This does, however, point out one of the dangers of homeschooling. That don’t care attitude is why SOME home schooled children are NOT getting a complete education. And only doing things when you feel like it is not good preparation for adulthood.

  10. Nice post– I am more baffled by her fans simply because they’re just like… in blind, unwavering adoration of Ree, which kind of scares me. She’s made a ton of money and I don’t fault her for that, but I don’t respect her for all the smoke and mirrors stuff. And the little ole me routine is boring too, but it is what it is.

    Also, tried one of her recipes… NEVER. AGAIN.

  11. Polly

    Paula – pretty sure the caption was meant as a joke.

  12. Alicia W.

    I just found this post and thought I’d add to the agreements already posted. I first stumbled across PW around August of 2010 and was drawn into some of the tasty-looking recipes on her site, as well as the beautiful photography (at the time) she showcased. Mostly because I wanted to experiment with her recipes and see if I could look as good as she does by eating what looked to be ridiculously fatty, but delicious, foods all the time — I gained 20 pounds in 2 months. And I didn’t even make that many dishes! I’d say probably about 6 or 7 total. After that, I realized she was full of crap, though why it took me so long to realize it I’ll never know. Needless to say, I’ve lost the weight I had gained, because any time I DO make one of her recipes (the Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork is actually really good, for example), I ALWAYS tweak it. I typically cut all the ingredients in half (or more), and add/subtract anything my common sense tells me should or shouldn’t be there.

  13. I have been reading PW website for months now and I click on it every single day…I’m addicted! I want to win stuff and I like looking at her pics. However, I’m also addicted to Jersey Shore and the Bachelor. I happen to love the raw humanity of reality TV and I totally understand that all of reality TV is fabricated. I think of PW this way….I like her blog but I don’t want to be her friend. Does that make sense? I like Sex and the City but I would never want to be friends with Carrie. I just don’t personally LIKE Carrie, but I love the entire world that is SATC. I have never personally liked Ree. She turns me the wrong way. I don’t know why but I completely understand both sides here. Ree is worshiped by lots of people who want to know her personally just like you would a celebrity. But, I don’t happen to like her as a person. Yes, I have always known she has people behind the scenes doing LOTS of things for her. Duh! Did people think otherwise? That’s so obvi I can’t believe anyone is offended.

  14. Deb

    I realize that I am commenting on a old story,however, I just came upon it. I don’t usually read blogs,so no one probably cares what I have to say. However, when searching for PW because of the food network show, I came across all the hatred and was shocked to say the least.
    I have read what people say and I didn’t think that she was fake. She is exactly what TV people do….pretend.(I know bloggers, and a lot of them act like something they are not on their blogs) Making your life look like what you would want it to be and want everyone else to see.
    Her recipes are exactly how midwesterns eat. I live in KS just over the border. I have made a couple of her recipes and they were good. She is not the only person who uses a lot of butter.
    When I read some of the comments on the internet…the only word that comes to mind is Jealousy

    Whether this gets posted or not really doesn’t matter cause I probably won’t be back to see what was said.

    • Thanks for commenting Deb! Even if this is an old story, I still see everything people say here, and unlike at PW, I don’t sensor — unless you’re calling me bad names.

      Your thoughts are very parallel to mine. Ree has done what every good blogger should do — she’s built a brand for herself. That brand does rub some people the wrong way occasionally, myself included at times. (I get a little frustrated when she refers to herself as a ‘rancher’s wife’ and bemoans the early mornings and dirty clothes. I grew up on a dairy farm — the farmers’ wives I knew were out there with their husbands running the farm, not going back to bed after getting the kids up.) Sometimes, I think people take a blogger’s ‘brand’ a little too seriously.

      But, this happens in every facet of blogging — the successful bloggers, the ones who are actually making money, and making a living through writing on the Internet end up under the microscope, and they’ve all got haters. Check out forum topics about ‘Young House Love’, the extremely successful house bloggers. The PW isn’t the only one. Her haters may be the most vicious though.

      Like I said in the post, I still read PW cooking blog and will occasionally read her Confessions. I admire the successful empire she’s managed to build, but I’m not blind to the white privilege she’s always had and that has allowed her to do it. There are so many bloggers I’d rather read for the sake of reading, bloggers who are strikingly honest in their writing and about their life. PW is fun, but she’ll never make it back onto my list of favourites.

  15. I am encouraged to see that a lot of insightful people have seen through the marketing ploy and have refused to buy into Pioneer Woman’s alleged “authentic lifestyle.” It’s contrived to the max: ex-L.A.-based public relations person meets cowboy and suddenly becomes . . . Pioneer Woman. Hoo, doggie. Ree-diculous. I’d love to hear from some real female ranchers.

  16. Lemon

    Another comment on an old story!

    My brush with Ree was on flickr in 2006. Flickr is a photo sharing site that is (was?) popular with amateur photographers. She was my flickr “friend” – I loved her oversaturated style, and mustang and ranch photos! She was so nice in her photo comments. I didn’t realize she had a blog until I saw her flickr page with the link. It was just getting started then and a tiny fledgling of what it is now but the gist was the same – farming, kids, dogs, and cooking with butter.

    But it was always pretty obvious that she was loaded. On top of all of that expensive farm equipment, late model SUVs/trucks, she had a top tier pro camera and equipment (you could read the tags of what types of gear people are shooting with.) With all the great mid-level cameras on the market it was unusual for someone to fork out that much money on pro equipment unless you shot professionally – or had a lot of spare money. At one point she bought a high end photo printer, this HUGE thing that you would see in a professional print shop, to print out pictures of her cows. That’s not something even pro photographers buy because, outside of the massive upfront prince, the paper and ink are ridiculously cost prohibitive. I couldn’t figure out at the time why should would need something like that but it’s probably that she was thinking to set up some type of photography based business. Maybe she couldn’t decide what she wanted to do and blogging turned out to be it.

    I left flickr but have read her blog now and then. I’m not into gardening, homeschooling or cooking with butter, but I do love animals and admire that she’s really into her pets, and it’s been fun to watch her kids grow.

    I think what she’s done is pretty cool. She took a love of photography and writing, found an niche for it (bible belt ladies), and slowly cultivated her audience into a built-in market for her products – books, show, etc. Good for her! Girlfriend has business skills that fortune 500 headhunters weep for.

    Who cares if she’s an “authentic” ranch wife? I would much rather take pictures and blog than shovel horse shit every morning. Who wouldn’t? Honestly, though, unless she’s changed dramatically I think she’s pretty true to herself from what I knew of her several years ago.

    • Sky

      Amen. There you go! All those jealous biddies like the Marlboro Woman are just sickeningly disgusting! I was appalled to learn that another woman would deliberately create a blog solely to bash another woman, who is really quite sweet. They get all upset about being a “real” ranch woman, whatever that is. How juvenile! And they are comparing their lifestyles to hers and coming up short, so they are jealous. I already said on the Marlboro Woman’s site (sure she deleted it) that her and all the other haters must be unhappy women in their marriages and family lives. There is no excuse for that kind of pettiness. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. I’ll celebrate any woman who is decent, kind and doing her best to be a good wife and mother. Women should feel good about other women like that… not bash them.

      • festus

        Sky, you make it so easy. In one paragraph you go from name calling, shaming, and harsh judgment to getting all self-righteous about being decent and kind. Seems as though you might be a flip-flopper.

      • R&R

        ^^^^ Marlboro Woman, is that you?????

  17. Cupcake

    I just came across your blog, through Marlboro Woman. When I first discovered Ree, I was thrilled & hung onto her every word, recipe, and photo. Then I discovered her “haters” and thought they were hilarious. You’ve got to see Pie Near Woman’s site. Priceless. I love a good satire, a good joke, & a good ribbing. MW goes off the deep end sometimes, in my opinion. Ree’s cooking is pretty much everything I grew up on….so I enjoy seeing those recipes again, learning how to make them a little better or tastier, and just reminiscing. I grew up on a ranch, but alas, not one quite as big or profitable as the Drummond Ranch. I don’t hate her for being rich or for making unhealthy foods. I don’t really see her as being fake, I think she’s “just plain folks” and is trying to convey that to the audience…no matter how rich she is, or how much money she married into, she’s pretty much like the rest of us.
    BUT….my inner-evil still likes to read & laugh with the haters! LOL!!

    • Sky

      I don’t like all the negativity that’s “out there.” It hurts people. I’m at the point of quickly backing away from blogging altogether. Imo, much of social media is detrimental. I especially don’t like to see a good woman get attacked by a jealous hen like the Marlboro Woman and all her frustrated cronies. Nobody is perfect. We all have our faults, but from what I can see, The Pioneer Woman is a very nice person. She’s doing her best, and that’s all anyone can expect from her. I wish her only good things because I’m sure she has a lot to deal with, especially regarding her husband. He’s not the most talkative or expressive man in the world, but they are together many years and raising good kids. I think Ree Drummond goes “above and beyond” to be a good wife and mother.

      • Lynn

        Sky, the reason why people hate on Ree is not because they’re jealous. It’s because of what she tries to pass herself off as, and the phoniness behind it. If you wanna talk about how she’s “a regular person, just like you and me” think about it: What human being has time to raise 4 kids (one of them being particularly on the young side and another one getting ready for college), homeschool them, write multiple books a year and go on promotion tours (some of which she appears to be gone from home for weeks, even months on end, if you wanna talk about her being a good mother), man a ranch, placate a ridiculously misogynistic husband, produce a national TV show, keep a blog up and running, etc? NOBODY. And that’s fine. But for her to pretend she can do that, and having people praise her for it is like worshipping a singer who uses auto tune and lip-sings, but cannot actually sing. Plus, the appeal she has is nil. Can you HONESTLY say that you’ve made a recipe of her’s that has actually come out well without any tweaking? Can you HONESTLY say her shows don’t look and sound scripted (and again, if you wanna talk about her being a good mother, that her kids don’t look absolutely wooden and forced)? And about her being a nice person: When does she ever take the time to appease fans and answer emails? Back when I liked her (yes, I used to once be a follower too), I remember sending her at least 5 emails, not one got a reply. I see on Twitter and Facebook of her fans constantly asking her questions and praising her, and very rarely does she ever take the time to acknowledge them (and even when she does, the writing is so coordinated and unlike her writing style, it’s almost certain a PR person wrote that and not her). When do you ever see her going out and doing charity work (other than her Land O Lakes Pin a Meal bullcrap, which is really no skin off her back)? If you wanna talk about how people say they’ve met her at book signings or meet & greets and that there she was “kind and warm-hearted”, give me a break. That’s not because she’s a nice person…it’s because she’s a good businesswoman and being rude to fans is just not good marketing. And yes, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But do the intelligent thing and think yourself over, before you pull out your defensive knives over someone who you really may not even know the full story on.

  18. Ane

    Oh, Marlboro Woman does delete comments that don’t go with her ideas…. PW and her a similar in that way.

    • Paula

      Absolutely! Last year she banned a ton of folks who had done nothing wrong, and recently wrote a post bragging about having a “housecleaning” and getting rid of a bunch of “post menopausal women”, and spoke of them in rather crude terms. I was one of those post menopausal women who had contributed information to her blog.

      She and PW Sux can be every bit as unreasonable as PW can be fake and uninspired in the kitchen.

      Another little tidbit, I have irrefutable proof in my email from before they all went on a banning binge that PW Sux and Crazy Cow are one and the same. They used the same email. PW Sux is secretive as hell, but she slipped up.

  19. Jennaleigh

    I’ve only tried a couple of her recipes and both times they cleared the apartment. It was so awful and taste-less. Let’s just say my husband stuck it on the porch and it ended up attracting a lot of flies…like a plague…

  20. Marie Frank

    Finally someone made an intelligent comment about the reality of PW’s world (Lemon). I totally agree, she has never said she was actually out there doing the ranching duties, so who cares? She also makes recipes that have been out there forever, who cares? She would have to do masses of research to give credit to Everyone who ever made strawberry shortcake, for instance! I made a post on MW’s blog that questioned the hateful comments. It was erased immediately. Can’t have it both ways MW.

    • Paula

      Actually, Marlboro Woman has banned everyone who was the least bit moderate in their comments–including me, and seems to have banned en mass most of us “women of a certain age” who had been regulars and had a great rapport with one another.

      Funny thing about her, she and Lisa at Crazy Cow Country Farm site are one and the same. I have email addresses from both of them in my on line address book. They both use the same email. One site is the foul mouth bitch persona, and the other is much tamer, but they are the same person. If you dig deep on the Crazy Cow site, it is easy to figure out the full name of the person with two websites and two personalities.

    • dot

      Marie Frank – yes she can and she does. MW has an awesome site.

      • R&R

        Marlboro Woman, is that you?????

      • Marie Frank

        I think MW is a frustrated nasty person who is spending a lot of time trashing a woman who has marketed herself and is doing very well. Shame on her. How can you devote so much time to being so negative? Boggles my mind.

      • Marie Frank

        Hey Dot, why is it OK to trash somebody and then not let your opinion be on the site?

  21. andy

    I think Ree is an unhappy, overindulgent person who is ashamed to be in her own skin. At some level she knows she’s attempting the impossible – no one can bullshit the universe.

    • R&R

      That’s pretty funny. Some of us don’t see what you see at all. Drummond seems like a regular person, just doing what she loves. Don’t know how that gets some people so upset. Makes no sense.

    • Marie Frank

      Ashamed to be in her own skin? This is a lady who has a great life. I think she is laughing all the way to the bank. She has nothing to do with the production of those shows. She also has a network of people to homeschool. Those kids has plenty of input, and probably have more of a wholesome life than most kids who sit in front of a TV or computer game staring into space. They are outdoors doing chores and look very happy. So shame on the people hating PW. They are surely green-eyed monsters.

      • festus

        She’s laughing all the way to the bank at folks like you who are pathetic enough to pay your hard-earned money to support her “wholesome life.”

      • R&R

        Festus, why do you care who supports the Pioneer Woman? Some people still like her — and that’s true of people who actually know her personally. So what? She can’t please you. Oh well. I suggest you find someone else (another cook or chef) that you really like and can get behind. That will end all the frustration you must be feeling inside about Ree Drummond. Sorry. You’re a very angry person.

      • R&R

        Marie Frank, yes, the Pioneer Woman’s children look very well-adjusted and happy. True, they are outdoors getting exercise. That’s good for the mind and body. None of them are obese or overweight, and they have a strong father who I am sure has been very involved in rearing them well. Sweet, kind children. Having children like that is the ultimate blessing, I think. Good parenting. Drummond and her husband should get lots of kudos for that, if nothing else!

      • R&R

        Now I know the women on here are crazy in hate and jealousy. You really can’t say anything good about Ree Drummond’s kids either. Some women get mad about that too! Wow! Well, women are notoriously jealous of other women. It will never change, I guess.

  22. Lynn

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. I used to like Ree, I used to be a religious fan. When we had to move to Okinawa, Japan for my husband’s job, her blog was like “my little slice of home.” I began reading her blog religiously and waiting for her every update. I sent her emails saying how much I loved and admired her, and never got a reply. That didn’t bother me at the time, I figured that she’s a busy woman who probably gets thousands of emails a day and just doesn’t have time to answer them. When we returned to the US, I remember trying to make some of her recipes (we didn’t have a kitchen in our complex in Okinawa, and her food looked really appetizing). Her French breakfast puffs, they didn’t come out right, I thought it was something I had done wrong (even though I’ve been a pastry chef for the past 16 years). Her breaded Panko mozzarella sticks, I browned them to the brownness she portrayed in the photos on her Tasty Kitchen website, and when we ate them, they were hollow logs of Panko (turns out the cheese will altogether melt if the sticks are fried for too long, and it kind of miffed me that she didn’t mention that in the recipe). Okay, 2 strikes. And then I learned her TV show was going to be airing during daylight hours where I live (before it would air early in the morning, before waking hours) and I was excited. Then I watched her show, where she was making chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and tomato salad for her family. And WOW, that was the worst cooking show I ever watched. It was worse than Melissa D’arabian’s 10 Dollar Meals show. No recipes were original, they weren’t anything the average home cook didn’t already know how to make and the food looked completely different than how her creations looked on her website. I decided to start researching her since something seemed fishy. I stumbled across a few recipes on AllRecipes.com that were EXACTLY LIKE HERS. I didn’t want to think that she ripped them off, so I tried to ignore that. Then, I decide to “Like” her Facebook page and follow her Twitter account. I noticed many more of her fans who would be adoring her would also ask her questions, and it put me off a bit that she never really took the time to answer them, it was always another fan answering the questions. And when she WOULD answer, it was such a scripted comment, it had “PR person” written all over it. I watched another episode of her cooking show where she literally made store-bought hot dogs rolled in pancake batter MADE FROM A MIX. But I still wanted so badly to like Ree, so I brushed all of that off. One day, I stumbled across an interview where somebody asked her about the giveaways she does, and she says “Ladd and I consider that charity work.” THAT enraged me. I thought “who the hell does this lady think she is?? Us fans look up to her, love her and make her what she is today (because as the adage goes, “you’re nothing without your supporters”), and she has that little respect for us? She looks at us as if we’re peasants who deign to scrounge whatever morsels she gives away! That we’re “charity cases.” And that’s when I turned. I had had enough. So to all out there saying people who hate on PW because “we’re jealous” or “have miserable lives”: No, you’re wrong. We are not jealous of this woman, we do not have miserable lives and marriages, we are just tired of being played the suckers by this arrogant phony.

    • R&R

      I read your entire rant. I don’t view Drummond as a serious chef. In fact, I have not made any of her recipes. I just like that she seems to be happy in her life with her friends and family, and that’s something positive to watch, rather than all the other evil hateful stuff on television these days. I think that if you’re looking for really good food, you might follow Ina Garten or one of the other chefs on TV. Again, Drummond just seems like a regular mom who has to cook for her kids. She does little short-cuts and copies recipes just like you do. Only thing is, she is on TV.

    • R&R

      And one more thing. You may not be jealous of Ree Drummond, but, believe me, there are many wives and mothers across this country who are jealous of her. In general, when happier people encounter unpleasant people and circumstances, they “move on.” They don’t sit and fester in those bad feelings.

  23. festus

    RANT? Where do you get off calling a rationally presented, well-written, and comprehensive personal account a rant??? Don’t “sit and fester” on this site if you’re unable to engage in informed dialogue. I am to believe YOU that many wives and mothers across this country are jealous?? Do you have a Ph.D? Are you a qualified and experienced researcher? Have you conducted a poll that is both reliable and valid to confirm your assertion? Please post your detailed analysis, with supporting data, and describe your research methodology.

  24. R&R

    And yes, folks, more ranting! Bitter, unhappy women!

  25. festus

    I’ve got no connection to The Marlboro Woman. And you’re showing your ass by calling my post a rant. Back to my point, are you prepared to comment with your fact-based assertions, or do you prefer to continue in avoidance mode? Put your data where your mouth is. How many wives and mothers across the country are jealous of Pioneer Woman? What are their demographics?

    • R&R

      Um….. in my psychic soul, I would say that the number is “77,777.” How’s that? As for their demographics, I’ll give you better. They are all wives and mothers just like you. Okay? They are of the same “ilk” as you, so they are your sisters. It’s not so much about the PW and what she is doing so wrong. It’s more about you and what is lacking in your existence. And people like you just found a good place to rant and rave and project your anger.

  26. festus

    77,777, got it. Um, okay. My sisters (???) and I will leave it there. Peace out to your psychic soul, and keep gettin’ down with your heebie-jeebie bad self and others of your “ilk.”

      • festus

        You freakin’ Froot Loopy old Sky bat.

      • R&R

        I’m not the person filled with hatred about a successful wife and mother who lives in the middle of nowhere, who cooks fairly normal meals for her family and happened to land a television show to showcase it all. Festus, my psychic powers also tell me you’re somewhat mentally unstable. See a shrink before you “go off” one of these days or years.

  27. R&R

    Lastly, your words: “gettin’ down”, “heebie jeebie bad self”, “peace out.” Uh, who talks like that…… except……. I won’t say it. How could you be so jealous of this redheaded country woman whose life is likely nothing like yours? At least, pick a target who is similar to you. Admit that your life is so different from Ree Drummond’s and that’s probably why you can’t stand her. Nothing to do with phoniness and all that other silliness you talked about. You probably wish you had your own show, too. Now I understand fully why you are so angry.

  28. LHG

    Here is how I see all this for whats its worth, Those ” ladies ” at the MW website ( and I use that term rather loosely) seem to be a really hateful, mean and snarly bunch. I have read some things on there that is amusing but the majority of it is hateful, rude and bullying. They talk about her, her children, her husband and anything else to do with her like she is the next Osama Bin Laden. I am sure her followers know she is rich and has help I mean it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. As far as her cooking she is from the mid west and that is how most folks in that part of the country cook and eat. I do believe there is some jealously on their part and I think some of them are just old hateful ladies that a good love making session would quite them down some. I really don’t understand the hate for her its not like she is advocating child abuse, animal abuse, adultery or God knows what other things. They need a life and something else to do with their time other than dogging this lady. And no I am not her nor one of her minions I just don’t like the things I see.

  29. Di

    Pioneer woman steals recipes and claims them as her own. She baked a cake on her show that she states is her in laws private recipe. My mom has made that cake since I was a tiny girl. It is from jello recipe. She just needs to give credit where credit is due.

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