I have watched it with both of the mothers in my life, and been inspired every time.
My mother-in-law had it on one day last year when I wandered into her room. She had such a cozy set-up in there with two of the most squishy and comfortable butter-yellow recliners, smack dab within eyeshot of the television set. She had her remote in hand and was fast forwarding through some commercials. She, like us, did not like commercials and would not listen to even a few seconds of one if she could help it.
"What are you watching?" I asked curiously.
"Oh, this is The Pioneer Woman! She talks about food and makes it for her audience. She lives on a massive ranch in the middle of nowhere."
Hmm. In the middle of nowhere. That sounded intriguing. So I sat down in the other recliner, pushed the handle back, and settled in for a good watch. My mother-in-law had scads of The Pioneer Woman on what she called 'TEE VOE', whatever that was. I had never had it and was amazed at her prowess with it.
The program shows The Pioneer Woman's family, her ranch, her gigantic home (called 'The Lodge') and mostly, her kitchen. It was all immensely comfortable looking and happy. The four children are home-schooled and ride horses and help with the multitudes of cattle and everything else that goes into ranching. It was awesome.
Ever since that day, I have wandered past my mother-in-law's room in hopes that she will have a stockpile of The Pioneer Woman episodes playing themselves out in front of those recliners. It became a tradition. She took to saving out her favorites to play for me. "But haven't you already seen it? Do you really want to see it again?" I would ask.
"There can never be too much of The Pioneer Woman," she would say with a laugh.
She is now, sadly, gone from our lives, and upon my first visit to the farm after this happened, I crept down the hall to her room. Peering in, I felt as though she should be sitting there in her recliner, waiting for me to join her.
Both of our mothers are, and were, pioneering women who raised their children on farms. It wasn't an easy life, but it has made all the difference in the world. It's nice to know that out there in the middle of nowhere, a red-haired lady is making a difference in her world.
Pardon me while I tune in to her next episode. I think it's something to do with chocolate peanut butter pie and Salisbury Steak (and I don't even need 'TEE VOE').
See you along the way!
The Pioneer Woman, courtesy of the Food Network