Reviewing the Pioneer Woman Come and Get it, taught me more about the universality of the human condition than any of our other cookbooks. Its choice, its recipes and our club members response to it made me realize that no matter the person, sometimes it all comes down to, “the human condition is the same for everybody” Pioneer Woman, you, me, the working mom, the new mom, the busy dad –we all have to make dinner everyday and ultimately skill and training won’t matter.
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Our host this month was B. She is our resident pastry chef. She doesn’t practice her trade directly anymore. She directs the education of others now. As a club we always want her take on cookbooks. We want that insight from someone who has a trained palate and knows what goes into a good recipe. When I made Julia Child’s rotisserie chicken and the recipe included boiling bacon first, B knew it was called “barding” . She explained the purpose and use of such a process (you can read it at RecipeTips.com — the boiling part is at the end). I will never boil bacon again but now it doesn’t seem that ridiculous. Well, except in Better Off Dead
via GIPHY “You said you didn’t like your bacon fried, so I boiled it” (Better off Dead)
In our cookbook club, if you host you also get to choose the book to review (all the picks are on our Cookbook Club Pinterest Board). I was a bit dismayed to realize B really wanted to do a Pioneer Woman Cookbook. I don’t mind these cookbooks, but it seemed a bit too down home, blah, just plain-family-cooking to be the choice of a trained chef. But who am I to judge, perhaps the Pioneer Woman held more cooking expertise and creativity than I realized.
As our club began to meet for the evening, I were a small group, but that’s never a problem as many people make multiple dishes. The night’s servings would include:
- Potato Chip Cookies
- Milk Chocolate Mousse
- Raosted Garlic Loaded Cheese Loaf
- Thai Chicken Wraps
- Chicken Drumsticks and 40 Cloves of Garlic Sheet Pan Supper
- Mini Turkey Meatloaves
- Meat Pies
On the whole everything was as advertised. Easy to make with a few grocery store quick items. The food was hearty and homestyle. Apart from the Potato Chip Cookies being too odd for repeated making, the rest of it was no surprises and no complaints. What struck me most were the things we all really cared about with these recipes.
Was it actually easy?
Would your kids eat this?
The spice is Oklahoma spice, so the kids can handle it right?
Did you make it in less than an hour?
We started off the evening asking B what she thought of the cookbook. She immediately launched into how she chose it because she wants family-friendly recipes that are quick and easy.
The trained chef is looking for family-friendly recipes that are quick and easy? It totally makes sense, B just had her second child. Despite all her many accomplished qualities,she needs dinner on the table, fast, with little effort every day. Turns out I need that too. So the gap between SAHM and hard-working culinary artist is about a thread thick at 5:45pm and exhaustion has set in and McDonald’s has uber eats.
The reality is is that moms need to make dinner every night! Moms need to make dinner fast every night! And moms don’t want to think through the possibilities at 6:05 pm when the baby is crying, dad is chasing the potty trainer and stomaches are growling. (this too happens every day) Not even my great friend the trainer of chefs escapes the grind of dinner time. No parent does.
I feel just a bit better that I am not so creative at dinner time I must turn to recipes. Now that I know B does it too. I am not so weak and lacking in creativity. I am not unskilled. It’s just the reality that is daily grind at dinner time. I am not so different from B –well my kids are teens so I need to cook larger quantities.
We found some great kids friendly recipes in Pioneer Woman Come and Get It. The meat pies would go over great with just about any kids that like a pizza pocket. And the mini turkey meatloaves will be the love of every girl’s dinner plate who can’t help but coo at the sight of “baby [insertfood here}” Neither recipe is spicy and, of course, both are easy to make. And just like Pioneer Woman’s family a sheet pan of chicken drumsticks will be a hit, even if the seasoning could use a bit more, well..seasoning. But be prepared to fght your teens for the Garlic Cheese Loaf. It’s a 20 minute recipe that we disappear in 3 minutes flat. After you set it out, grab your chuck and prepare to only eat the crusts after that –there’s a reason it made the cover of the cookbook, TRUST ME.
So you, me, Pioneer Woman and B can just know that homemade food is great and we can all use a little kitchen hack to make dinner prep less mental labor and physical labor. So like Pioneer Woman said, Come and Get it.