Last year I raved about country singer Trisha Yearwood’s cookbook, Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen: Recipes from My Family to Yours. This year it’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Cook by Ree Drummond.
Drummond, a city girl who fell in love with a Marlboro Man she spied across the room in a smoky bar, was a former vegetarian and self-confessed food snob. She had to clean out her recipe box when she found out cowboys don't take kindly to being served Ahi tuna and sesame noodles but prefer meat and potatoes.
Not only does this cookbook have simple yet delicious stick-to-your-ribs country recipes, but every one of them is illustrated with step-by-step photos that were taken in the natural light of Drummond's kitchen. The Pioneer Woman Cooks was written and designed without a staff of assistants, using clip art she'd been saving for years, and illustrated by her friends.
Like Yearwood's book, Drummond's book is filled with family photos and stories that serve to make her dishes even tastier. I have it on good authority from a Central staff member that Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes (p.70) are out of this world.
I don’t normally buy cookbooks, but I made room on my kitchen shelf last year for Trisha’s book; looks like I’d better start clearing some room in my china cabinet for Drummond’s keeper of a cookbook.