My husband Ted loves me more when I make pecan pie. Not just any pecan pie, mind you, but Ree Drummond — the Pioneer Woman’s — pecan pie.
For those of you who haven’t tried it, here’s the recipe. It’s a must for the Thanksgiving menu. Well, unless you have a tree nut allergy.
At lunch on Sunday, Ted asked me when I was going to make him said pie. Little did I know that evening I’d randomly see on Facebook that Ree would be in my neck of the woods. Okay, well, a 47-minute drive across Atlanta — home of some of the country’s worst traffic — but my neck of the woods, nonetheless.
At first I thought, “Oh, that could be fun.” But not well-schooled in “the safe places to venture all by my lonesome in Atlanta” (which according to Forbes.com ranks as number six out of the ten most dangerous U.S. cities) or eager to take four young children to a 7 p.m. presentation and book signing, I dismissed the idea.
Dismissed, that is, until the next morning.
I woke up with the event on my mind. I took my four-year-old to the dentist and felt excitement at the thought of going — to see Ree, not the dentist. Before long, Ted, our four daughters, and I were en route to the Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia.
Okay, so maybe Ted loves me a lot even when I don’t make him pecan pie.
An hour-drive and almost four-hour wait later, we sat front and center to hear Ree Drummond talk about her life as the Pioneer Woman and read to us her latest book, Charlie and the Christmas Kitty. We weren’t disappointed.
Ree greeted us with her trademark humor and kept both adults and children alike entertained. As I watched her from literally six feet away (no zoom lenses were used in the taking of these photos), I loved that she was real, humble, unpretentious. And my kids, well, they loved her sound effects as she read. Snores. Howls. Ranch dog accent.
Charlie and the Christmas Kitty is the humorous story of an unexpected — and at first, much avoided — friendship. Seeing that this book is a children’s book, I decided to ask my eight, six, and four-year daughters to offer you their reviews of the book. My four-year-old politely — and I use that word loosely — rejected the offer to write her first online review, but my two oldest daughters decided to share their thoughts.
Charlie thought the ranch wouldn’t be there without him, but all he did was nap and eat bacon. A kitten comes to the house and Charlie tries to get rid of the kitten. But then Charlie makes friends with the kitten. It was a very nice story of friendship. My favorite part was at the end of the book where he said, ‘Oh no! Not again!’ when another dog showed up. I think other kids should read this book because it is a very fun book.”
Ava had this to say:
I liked Charlie and the Christmas Kitty a lot. I liked it because it was a story of friendship. My favorite character was Charlie because he thought the ranch wouldn’t be there without him. He’s funny. All he does is eat bacon, sleep, eat bacon, and did I mention, eat bacon? It was fun to hear the author read the book.”
There you have it. Reviews of Ree Drummond’s Charlie and the Christmas Kitty from the mouths of babes, so to speak.
It’s been a long time since I purposely put myself in long lines and even longer waits to meet an author. Some of my past experiences have been disappointing; others fun. This ranks, perhaps, as one of my favorites. And yes, when I met Ree, I was sure to tell her, “Our home is better because of your pecan pie.” Ted heartily agreed.