From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) may not be the first book you'd expect to see featured on my blog but I'm a sucker for a good love story, anything with quirk, and of course good recipes! My friend Valerie and I met doing charity work for the Ronald Macdonald House some years ago and ever since have been swapping book recommendations back and forth and bonding over our shared of love of reading. Around the holidays she told me quite enthusiastically about From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. My response? We need to share this with my blog followers! And so she's been kind enough to guest post her review here. I hope you enjoy it, and if you've read the book, what did you think?
Here's what it's about: "That's when I saw him—the cowboy—across the smoky room."
I'll never forget that night. It was like a romance novel, an old Broadway musical, and a John Wayne western rolled into one. Out for a quick drink with friends, I wasn't looking to meet anyone, let alone a tall, rugged cowboy who lived on a cattle ranch miles away from my cultured, corporate hometown. But before I knew it, I'd been struck with a lightning bolt . . . and I was completely powerless to stop it.
Read along as I recount the rip-roaring details of my unlikely romance with a chaps-wearing cowboy, from the early days of our courtship (complete with cows, horses, prairie fire, and passion) all the way through the first year of our marriage, which would be filled with more challenge and strife—and manure—than I ever could have expected.
The Pioneer Woman’s book, From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels is a memoir of sorts. The Pioneer Woman (PW), aka Ree Drummond, runs a super successful blog, thepioneerwoman.com. She posts great, simple recipes with step by step photos of what everything should look like. She also posts her musings on the world, photos of her family, homeschooling tips and more, all articulated with her wry, quick, easy flowing tone. PW wears many hats including wife, mother, chef, ranch hand, blogger, tv show personality, and unintentional comedian. She lives in rural Oklahoma on a ranch and married to a real-life cowboy. *SWOON*
Drummond was not always on a ranch, though. She lived in Los Angeles and was staying with her family in Oklahoma before her next move to Chicago when she met her now husband, “Marlboro Man” as she calls him. This book chronicles her relationship with Marlboro Man from first sight through their first year of marriage
I loved this book. It was a quick read, particularly because you always want to know what is going to happen next. It is peppered with recipes and hunger-inducing descriptions of steaks, linguine with clam sauce, and cinnamon rolls. It has beautiful graphics at the start of every chapter – I am such a sucker for that! I was just as in love with Marlboro Man as Ree, and I think you will feel the same if you read the book. Most of the book was originally published as serial posts on her blog, and was so successful that it was developed into a book. For that reason, it is sometimes a little disjointed, but content rules over transition in this book so it’s a forgivable offense.
Sarah’s bio says her love of cooking is second only to her love of eating, so I knew I had to include some of Ree's discussion on food. Here she is talking about cooking Linguine with Clam Sauce for a date. (And here's the to recipe to make it yourself at home!)
“In preparation for Date Five, I agonized for 24 hours over what I could cook for this strapping new man in my life—this man whose voice made my knees go weak and whose strong, sweet kisses finally showed me why God invented lips. I knew one thing: I had to pull out all the stops for this meal. Clearly, no mediocre cuisine would do. I reviewed all the dishes in my sophisticated, city-girl arsenal, most of which I’d picked up during my years in Los Angeles, and finally settled on the obvious winner: Linguine with Clam Sauce… Problem was, I had no earthly idea who I was dealing with. I had no idea that Marlboro Man, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, doesn’t eat fish, let alone minced up little clams, let alone minced up little clams bathed in wine and cream, let alone minced up little clams bathed in wine and cream that are mixed up with a bunch of long noodles that are way too complicated to negotiate. To say Linguine with Clam Sauce is near the very bottom of the list of dishes Marlboro Man would ever elect to touch with a ten foot poll would be an understatement of epic proportions.
But here’s the romantic part. He ate it. Well, he ate most of it, seemingly enjoying it at the time but, I realize now, refraining from throwing out too many effusive compliments, probably out of fear I’d cook it again sometime.”