Well that was fun! Alex and I arrived at the ranch Friday afternoon after a shockingly non-grueling travel experience (save the 10-minute pat down I received at La Guardia because of this newfangled thing called underwire. Really!) and at least an hour and a half in the car of me going “ooh horsies!” “and cows!” “neeeigh! mooo!” “ooh dirt roads!” and Alex mumbling something like “my god this is going to be a long drive.”
We let ourselves into The Lodge and hot damn, people — I don’t want to say that the photos don’t do it justice as the photos are just the loveliest, but it does not compare to walking into a kitchen the size of Manhattan (seriously, you could fit our bedroom in just the pantry). We spent a good part of last week marveling over how much bigger our new apartment feels (having a whole 30 percent more space than our old one, I think) and I’m pretty sure The Lodge is mocking us.
We immediately made ourselves at home, trying on the cowboy gear and testing out each and every one of the sofa’s sit-abilities (verdict: all plush and delicious). We then fastened our belongings to the end of a stick, hitched up our hiking boots and started on our way to our room at the end of the house, arriving just as the sun went down. Okay, I exaggerate slightly but I sure do like Oklahoma’s idea of “personal space” (and also “unpacked boxes” but let’s not go there, all right?).
Once the groceries arrived — I bet you didn’t know that in PioneerWoman-ese that “we’ll need three eggs and eight cups of flour” translates to the daily output of a chicken farm and enough flour to blizzard the entire ranch, but I’m not mocking. As a person who ran out of cinnamon while making cinnamon buns two weeks ago, I could learn a lot from her shopping list math! — we got to figuring out the logistics of the demonstration I did on Saturday. I’d been up since 5:45 a.m. Eastern and was wearing a maternity tent from Old Navy when Ree starting snapping my picture, promising it she wasn’t going to use it for anything. I think you can guess how that worked out!
Saturday was a blur of demonstrating three of my favorite New Yorkish recipes for the loveliest group of people (and a baby! with red hair and rubberband wrists! gah.). Now, I have no experience doing demonstrations but I do know this: I am incapable of following a recipe or measuring ingredients correctly while talking to other people. So I premeasured everything and laid them out in Ree’s endless supply of nested bowls and do you know what I figured out? Cooking is so much easier this way — I knew those people on the food tv shows were onto something! I learn something every day.
I demonstrated three of my favorite New Yorkish recipes from the archives, my Big Crumb Coffee Cake with a Rhubarb Filling…
Soft Pretzels, of course…
… and a very, very overdue recipe for one of my favorite breads on earth. But more about that next time. Ree’s Cinnamon Rolls (and my Yankee bastardization of them, which you’ll also hear about soon) just came out of the oven and the cinnamon, it calls to me. I am sure you understand.