The event started at 7:00pm, but my friend and I arrived at 6:30. Now, I knew the Pioneer Woman was a popular website, but I must admit I had NO idea how popular. There were nearly 700 people in attendance (I would say 690 woman and 10 men!) The evening started off with a question and answer session and Ree's personality and wit is the same in person as she writes on her blog. She was a hoot! The autograph session started around 7:45 and --- no joke ---- 3.5 hours later at 11:15 it was my turn to finally meet her! The reason for the long delay is that she was willing to sign multiple copies of her book (which is now a New York Times best seller) and posed for countless pictures. She was ever-so gracious, although I am sure she was exhausted. She traveled to Kansas City with her Marlboro man and two younger sons, and based on their energy level in the auditorium, I am sure it was quite an entertaining journey. There was one point in time when Marlboro Man had more woman asking for his autograph than did the Pioneer Woman!
I had her autograph the book to my daughter, who unfortunately could not attend the event due to a musical rehearsal (she is in the production of Bye Bye, Birdie this weekend and this final week of rehearsals are mandatory). Pioneer Woman even brought t-shirts for all of us in attendance (which, if you think about it, is GREAT advertising!) They are really quite lovely, don't you think?
She told us that she is working on a second book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, which is due to be released sometime in the winter of 2011. In her own words "....it is the rip-roaring true story of how she met her husband, and how she went from spoiled city girl to domestic ranch wife in a blink of an eye." You can read parts of the saga on her website, although she promises more details and an entirely new second part in the book.
Well, I am off to peruse the cookbook and maybe even try out a recipe or two. Ree shared that the one dish that she could eat every day of the week was Penne Alla Betsy (penne pasta and shrimp coated in a tomato cream sauce). That sounds like a perfect dinner for the cold, dreary, Midwest day.