My new cookbook will be here October 22, and it’s available for preorder now! It’s a brand new book, brand new cover, and brand new frontier! I actually stepped outside the kitchen for this cover, and it was nice to get a little fresh air! Ha.
Oh, friends. This cookbook has been many, many months (almost a year) in the making. The testing, the tasting, the obsessing, and the shooting was a delicious process, and I’m so excited for you to see what’s inside. It’s filled to the brim with all the delicious food my family and I love, but I also throw in a few curveballs to keep us all on our toes.
Speaking of what’s inside…here’s a peek! I won’t describe what’s going on in these photos…I’ll just let them seep into your consciousness.
I think of all my cookbooks, while I have different reasons to like each one, The New Frontier is the one I’ve most poured my heart and focus into. It reflects where my life and my cooking are now, and I’ve had so much fun putting it together. More than anything else, I want any cookbook I write to be USED—pages smeared with food stains, dog-eared, and so forth—and I feel good that this cookbook has so many recipes that you will want to make today! (Well, tomorrow, too.)
Here’s where you can preorder the book. I can’t wait for October 22!
I’m an early riser. Part of this is because I’m married to a cattle rancher and have been conditioned over the past 23 years to believe that getting up after the sun has already come up means the whole day is pretty much wasted. We’ve had summers where we were up before 4:00 am every day for a month straight, and I’ve looked sleep deprivation in the eye and buckled under the weight of its stare. At this point in my life, I couldn’t possibly sleep past 7:00 a.m. even if I had the opportunity to, and usually I’m up and around much earlier than that. Even when I go to Colorado for vacation and don’t “have” to get up, my eyes still open around 5:00 a.m. Again: I’m conditioned!
The plus side of this is that I have gotten to experience many miracles in the form of sunrises; the most recent one (above) happened a couple of days ago. It was breathtaking in the literal sense of the word, and neither my phone nor my real camera could possibly capture the majesty in the sky that morning. I felt it in my bones. I actually shivered at the beauty. It was powerful!
It’s funny, through the years I have heard lots of cowboys get asked the question “What do you like most about your job?” Across the board, the number one answer is something like “I love to watch the sun rise while I’m on my horse.” It’s definitely a universal sentiment, at least among the cowboys I know. And while I have been on a horse at sunrise and agree that it is a uniquely beautiful experience—more beautiful, I imagine, if the person on the horse is a skilled rider, which I am not, and doesn’t have to worry about staying in the saddle, which I do—I’m content to experience the occasional magnificent sunrise in the comfort of my yoga pants…and in the comfort of our backyard, overlooking the peaceful pond that Ladd’s dad built when he raised a family here with my mother-in-law, Nan. Something happens to the soul when being flooded with the fiery drama that is a sunrise. It has a way of setting everything aright.
I’ll tell you what else sets everything aright, at least for me: Uninterrupted time at home. A few months ago—actually, well into last year—I looked ahead at 2019 and decided to clear a block of time this summer. And by “clear a block of time this summer,” I mean I marked a violent, bright red line through part of May, the entire month of June, and half of July, with the unambiguous phrase DO NOT SCHEDULE! in capital letters. Not that I haven’t been during this time (hello, cookbook!) but it was a (slightly aggressive) reminder to myself not to fill these calendar days anything—filming, travel, events—that would take me away from home, so that I could enjoy the things that I knew would be going on during this block of time. And here’s what’s going on!
* The boys are starting their intense football training and practice leading up to the fall. They need food, man.
* Alex is home after graduating from college, and will be here until she starts her new job in Dallas mid-July. She hasn’t been here continually like this since she left for college four years ago, and I love it.
* Paige is also home after her first year of college, and will be here until she leaves for her camp counseling job in July. It’s so great to have girls back under our roof.
* My nephew Stuart is with us this summer, helping Ladd on the ranch and just being the great kid he is.
* I’m finishing my new cookbook—dotting i’s and crossing t’s and feeling so thankful that I’ve had this time at home to dig in and give it my all. I am feeling good about this darn book!
* Sunrises. Lots and lots of sunrises. Which, again, remind me of all that’s good.
Beginning in mid-July, things will get busy again, and I’ll feel ready! I’ll be filming more shows on the ranch, school will be gearing up again, football season will begin, and I’ll be getting ready for my cookbook launch and book signing trip, which kicks off in October. And while I know it will be quite awhile before I’ll probably be able to carve out another 7 to 8 week “break” like the one I’m taking now, I think this time at home is going to refuel me in ways I have yet to see. Ladd always teases me that I never fill up my vehicle all the way, and he’s absolutely correct. I don’t. I drive until I’m just about out of gas, then hurriedly stop and add just enough fuel to get me through the next day or two. Not to be all symbolic—and actually, scratch that; this is completely symbolic: I realized the other day that I often take that same approach with myself. I’m typically in the day, dealing with the day I’m in, and sucking the resources I need to get me through until bedtime. Funny correlation, but the vehicle/fuel analogy really helps me see the value in taking this long pit stop this summer.
I wonder if Ladd and the kids can handle me with a full tank of gas? Haha. I can’t wait to find out!
Meg, Alex’s lifelong friend, got married Saturday! She’s Hyacinth’s daughter, and while it’s a little surreal that she is now a married woman, she found pretty much the perfect man for her in Stephen. It’s a beautiful thing to witness when love happens and it seems so right.
Alex was her maid of honor, and it was so fun to watch her take her job so seriously. She truly celebrated Meg and Stephen, and the joy she felt all day was palpable.
Gosh, it seems like just four years ago that these two were graduating from high school. Wait. It WAS just four years ago that these two were graduation from high school! Time is flying by way too fast.
In Pawhuska news, summer has officially begun and we’re having fun welcoming visitors from all over! This is an old truck that a friend of ours restored using old Drummond Ranch vehicles. It’s shiny and fun.
I’m having fun keeping the store stocked with fun new things along with favorites we’ve had from the beginning…and we’re working on opening a new store a few doors down later this summer.
And here’s Charlie’s! Our small but passionate-about-sweets staff is doing such a great job.
And I think the kiddos are loving it.
The adults are, too!
As for me, I am enjoying having Alex and Paige home AND am in the last days of finishing my cookbook before it goes to the printer. It’s a push not unlike childbirth, and in the end I’m looking forward to healing (ha), getting my energy back (haha), and sharing my new baby, I mean cookbook with you…and I really think you are going to enjoy it. I still to this day think of all of you when I write a cookbook, because it’s so important to me that it be useful and usable. I’ll show you the cover in a few days!
It’s been a busy time on the ranch, so I’m going to start with this peaceful image of our cows against the setting sun. I snapped this while Ladd and I were driving home from town Saturday night. He and I had just had a short and sweet date at…
Yes, our dream as a married couple has come true: We now have an ice cream shop in town so we can drive in and get an ice cream cone whenever we want. Except we’re discussing limiting ourselves to once a week because this could be dangerous. We’ll see how that goes…
Before we opened, we had murals painted on the wall.
It’s amazing what a white coat of paint and black lettering can do for a place!
This is a pic from opening day. I think these might have been our first customers…at least one of our first!
Can I just say that opening an ice cream store in our little town has been a complete pleasure??? Ice cream is the common thread that unites us all.
So is candy. I had fun picking out all of this cute stuff.
My high school friends all came to Pawhuska last week for the mini-reunion that we try to have at least every other summer. I have blogged about this through the years: After our twenty-year reunion in 2007, we all had so much fun (after not having seen one other much since high school) that we vowed to keep the connection going in the years that followed. We made good on that promise, and have gotten together almost every summer since then. It’s been a really special thing to reunite with old friends at this time of our lives: Since we started having our mini reunions in ’08, some girls have had babies, some girls have become grandmothers, some have battled cancer, some have lost spouses and parents. One of our friends lost her son. We were just barely starting to turn forty back when we reunited. Now most of us have cross over the line of fifty. We used to kick off our reunion talking about who dated whom in high school; now we talk about hot flashes. (And who dated whom in high school. Ha!)
Old friendships are very, very precious. I love these girls.
Our chefs at The Merc made some special things for us all to share. Chicken fried lobster is now on my list of five favorite dishes of all time. Um…more on this later.
I buried the lede! Alex graduated on Thursday. (This is her “friend” [haha] Mauricio, who graduated on Saturday!) So excited for both of them as they head into the real world later this summer.
After dinner that night, we all played cornhole near the hotel and (predictably) ate ice cream.
Alex is graduating next week! (I really should have put a question mark on that sentence, because I truly can’t believe it.)
I’m so proud of her. And I can’t wait for her to come back home and live with me forever!
In my dreams…she actually has a job and is moving to Dallas later this summer.
(But that’s closer to me than college was!)
News from Pawhuska: We are opening a little ice cream place in town later this week. It will have cones and sundaes and fun candy, and Bryce and his friend Kevin were happy to volunteer as tribute (tasters) last week.
They’re so self sacrificing!
These are the bare bones of the ice cream place: We basically painted the brick white, had the bench built in, added pendant lights, and brought in some tables. We have a little more work to do this week (we’ll paint some fun murals on the wall) but we’re almost there!
(I’ll tell you what we’re calling it later this week.)
(It might make you cry.)
I finished all the recipes for my new cookbook, The New Frontier!
It won’t be out until October and I still have a lot of editing to do, but to have all the recipes finished and written is a great feeling.
I’m ending with this photo of Ladd and me because I sure do like him.
Because winter was especially long, spring burning happened a little late this year…but boy, did it happen! A consolation for not being able to start burning until April, however, is that the wind has been so favorable to burning. With the exception of a couple of days they had to abstain due to the wind being strong enough to make my face ripple in a slow-motion video (which is precisely why I do not participate in any slow-motion videos), most of the days have seen gentle breezes…ahhhh. Oklahoma, we are loving you right now!
I was at the Lodge the other day when Ladd was burning, and the fire skirted up against the north side of the house. This isn’t the first time this has happened; it goes all the way back to when Ladd and I were dating, and he and his dad and brother burned around the Lodge just before a Drummond family cookout began. I watched as the fire got closer and closer, and before I knew it, the flames were all the way under the (then old and rickety) wood deck. My mother-in-law Nan and her mom, Edna Mae, started filling stock pots in the kitchen and pouring water through the wood slats as the guys manned the fire truck and attacked it from the other direction. I joined in, filling whatever vessels I could find, running out on the deck to try to douse it. The fire ultimately went out, and we all sat down to eat.
I had only one question: “Does this happen a lot?”
Everyone laughed. (I’m still waiting for the answer.)
I posted this on Instagram and Facebook, but wanted to let you know about my partnership with Purina to create a line of all natural dog treats! I’m very proud of the treats, and I’m very proud of all my doggies, who have been rock stars during Purina’s visits to the ranch. (It helps that they love the treats!) Nice lip lick, Walter!
Our good friends’ daughter got married a couple of weeks ago. I’ve noticed that most of the selfies of Ladd and me are when we have both showered and dressed up. And showered. Ha.
Bryce went to his first prom Saturday night. He’s just a sophomore, so he still has a couple more ahead. He has a great group of friends in Pawhuska! Also, this was funny: I posted this photo on Instagram Sunday and pointed out that Bryce is the Anthony Michael Hall lookalike in the back. A keen reader pointed out that Sunday happened to be Anthony Michael Hall’s birthday! What are the chances? I feel this has some spiritual relevance somehow, given my obsession with 80’s movies.
April sunrises have been remarkable! And very pink! I’m trying to breathe them all in, despite my calendar in April, which is probably a world record for me in terms of the number of things going on in the world around me. Finishing my new cookbook, filming new Food Network shows, working on a new project for this website (I think you will like it!!), getting ready for Alex’s graduation, and various other kid, husband, animal, and family things coming over the next several weeks! It’s a busy time of year…but the sunrises will get me through.
I hope you’re all having a good spring so far, and I hope you’re breathing in the sunrises! (Or sunsets, depending on your sleep schedule!)
I have been at the Merc quite a bit over the past week, and I had the honor of meeting Glendene, who is turning 100 this week!
Glendene came (with the important women in her family) to the Merc to celebrate, and I was so excited that I happened to be there so we could share a few words (and a hug or two.)
This is what life is all about, isn’t it? Glendene has lived a full, rich, and layered life. She has witnessed changes in our world that most of us have only read about. And on her hundredth birthday, she’s surrounded by those she has nurtured and raised. She’s surrounded by love.
Happy birthday, Glendene! You deserve to celebrate!
Hi, friends! HUGE news. I mean, monumentally globally relevant news. Okay, not really globally relevant news. Okay, not really monumental news. Okay, not really news. Not anything, actually. Here goes: I started swooping my bangs over to one side. Here’s a pic I took to send to my sister, Betsy, and my mom. It covers my cowlick! Pardon my flushed chest. It happens sometimes. Most notably, when I have walked around in high altitude (see Colorado photos later in the post).
In case you missed it, I was interviewed for a story on CBS Sunday Morning that aired Sunday.
Here is the link if you’d like to watch! (Ladd is on it, which I really liked.)
In dinnerware news, I wanted to show you my new spring pattern at Walmart.
It’s called Heritage Floral, and it just takes my breath away. You can find it in Walmart stores right now! Thank you for listening.
We are in Colorado for a few days, and here is a photo Ladd took yesterday. He skied with his brother, Tim, because no one else will go where they go. They’re lunatic skiers!
I would never—as in never, ever, ever—ski on this hill. I would sit down and wait for help to arrive. And if you don’t think this looks very steep…
Here’s another angle. NO. No, no, no. My palms are now wet with sweat, as they were when we were driving here a few days ago. Colorado has gotten so much snow in the past week or two, and there were avalanche threats (and maybe still are.) But the folks around here are so grateful for the snow. It’s kind of like being in Oklahoma. We want rain so badly when it’s dry, but sometimes a tornado comes with that. Sigh.
As I was writing this post, Ladd sent this photo of Bryce to me. This stopping point is actually called Two Elk Lodge, and there happened to be an elk in front as they arrived to eat lunch. What are the chances?
I have been in Los Angeles for the past week shooting a show for Food Network, and because I can’t be away from home for very long before my eyebrows start to twitch and I start to suck my thumb and cry, home came to me over the weekend.
I would like to say I’m exaggerating, but I’m a hopeless homebody homegirl whose battery starts to rapidly deplete the longer I’m away from my nest.
So my birdies came! Well, two of them: Alex and Bryce. First and third. Older girl and older boy.
And a bonus: Mauricio, Alex’s FRIEND. He hangs well with us.
We walked to Santa Monica Pier at night, and it was carnivalicious fun. I peer pressured, or parent pressured, Bryce to ride one of those wildly swinging amusement park rides, and he yelled while we were on the ride so loudly that I got tickled and couldn’t breathe. I was worried I’d be one of those people that passes out on amusement park rides, but it wouldn’t be because I had some kind of vascular issue or because I was scared, it would be because I am the kind of mother who pressures her son to ride a scary ride and then laughs when he yells about it.
It was fun to be with the Drummond kids on the beach. It isn’t our usual jam! Bryce wasn’t sure how to navigate the rings. I would have shown him, but I didn’t really want to show off.
He had no problem with the pull-ups, though! Again, I would have…but…
We had a delicious brunch on Saturday! I had Lobster Florentine Benedict, which is everything I love in the world. Look at how red that lobster is! I’m such a hick, I thought they were chunks of red bell pepper at first.
Also, guess what celebrity I saw at the restaurant? You’ll never guess. I’ll give you a hint.
Her daughter is an actor.
She’s been with her longtime partner, another actor, for many years.
Her first name contains the name of a color.
She was once in a movie with Bette Midler and Diane Keaton.
Her name rhymes with Boldie Prawn.
Have you figured it out yet?
I had so much fun with the kids. On Saturday we rode scooters around in the rain and I didn’t fall once. I started out in a floral kimono and cowboy boots and I ended with a rain jacket and tennis shoes. Yes, I still call them tennis shoes. They’re mauve-ish pink and I love them.
I’m heading home Wednesday and can’t wait to fall into the arms of Ladd, Todd, and my seven hundred dogs.
I was awake at 2:00 am last night for no reason, then finally drifted off to sleep again at 3:30. As often happens following a middle-of-the-night bout of insomnia, the dreams that followed were vivid and extremely weird. I am well aware of how obnoxious it is when someone tries to relay his/her dream to others who did not experience the same dream, but I have to get this out so I can move on with my daily work. Thank you for indulging me. If you stop reading now, I understand. In fact, I encourage it.
I dreamed I was lying in the chair of an endodontist in Cincinnati. She was informing me that she had to pull out one of my teeth, and that the new tooth she would put in its place would be a subtle shade of green, and this would only be visible if I were on TV. “But…I am on TV,” I responded. So she replied that the only other option would be charcoal grey. I tried to respond that I’ll just keep the bum tooth I had and take my chances, but she had already administered a numbing agent and she thought I said “Okay, I’ll go with the charcoal option.”
The extraction forceps were headed toward my tooth when I heard the voice of an ex-boyfriend from high school. He was in the waiting room at the same Cincinnati endodontist, and had heard my protestations about being on TV and not wanting a green tooth. He recognized my voice, so he came to the doorway of my exam room and struck up a conversation with me, and I had to try to look and act charming while the endodontist’s extraction forceps were clamping around my bum tooth.
Soon the waiting room had filled with three other boys I had dated in my past. I won’t name any names, because I am friends with all of them today, and I don’t want their wives to know that I was dreaming that they were at my endodontic appointment. Not that their wives would feel threatened by this, I just don’t want them to know how weird I am. But basically the gist of this is that I ran into all my ex-boyfriends at once, and instead of making sure I looked as good as I could possibly look, I was getting one of my teeth pulled with a really numb face.
When I got home from my Cincinnati trip, I discovered that I had forgotten to tell a construction crew not to show up and renovate my house, and everything was covered with tarps and there were contractors everywhere. Then I heard Ladd’s voice saying “Honey…honey…” and then I woke up. Seems I had overslept and my phone was on silent and he’d had to drive home from feeding cattle to wake me up. I’ve never been so glad to see my husband in my entire life.